"However, by turning the Erdman Hall Dormitories in on itself, shutting off the view of the exterior world, and lighting the interiors of the three blocks mainly through light shafts, the student's rooms are deprived of sufficient daylight, while Kahn (1960: 118) full well realized as early as 1960 that: "Each space must be defined by its structure and the character of its natural light."
"Convinced that "women must not live in a barracks," Kahn equipped Erdman with a variety of intimate spaces of domesticity. He created a single grand living room in contrast to the many small living rooms in Bryn Mawr's other dorms. "In typical '60s fashion, Kahn thought in terms of the collective and the communal rather than the separate and the particular," Lewis said. A member of the Class of 1969 commented that "coming to Erdman was like coming into light and air" after living in pre-gothic, dark and enclosed dorms like Radnor, with their long, lonely corridors.
Erdman was, however, an experimental building, and "some experiments went wrong," Lewis said. Alumnae agreed, remembering the moisture problem, the noise that carries easily through the walls, and the flat roof that requires frequent maintenance. (More than 2,000 slate panels that face the outside of the building were removed and re-anchored last year, and the roof was replaced.) In Erdman, Lewis said, we see "the failures of a man reaching as high as he can for something just out of reach."
« Older Every Day We Are Dying and Outer Space Does Not Gi... | The Power Button... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt