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its early years, the campus was shaped by Beaux Arts principles
of symmetry, clarity and axial planning. Those qualities were abandoned,
along with the Beaux Arts love of ornament, during the explosive
growth of UCLA in the post-war decades. A reaction set in against
traditional ideas of order and coherence, and too often buildings
were designed according to the whims of individual architects, with
little regard for the common good. There was a sense of urgency
about expanding facilities and housing to accommodate rapid growth
in the number of students, and there was ample state funding to
the pendulum has swung back, and tradition is again in favor. Staff
architect Bill Gregory likens the present approach to the stitching
together of a piece of ripped fabric. "We're trying to restore the
original, cohesive plan, which had been obliterated," he says. "But
we want to keep the richness and diversity -- too much order can
task of the campus's architects is easier than it was 30 years ago,
mainly because the student population today is stable; in another
respect it is harder, because state funding now provides less than
25 percent of the university's operating budget. The goal has shifted
from quantity to quality -- to upgrading or replacing labs, libraries,
study and recreational facilities. "Building goes on constantly,"
says Oakley. "An institution has to be dynamic. Our role is to support
the university's mission of education, research and service to the
community, and to sustain a wonderful physical environment that
will attract the best students and faculty."
is a major factor in creating such an environment, and the overall
standard has improved sharply since Oakley's appointment in 1987.
Architects are now selected not only for their talent, but also
for their ability to achieve a sense of harmony and consistency,
and thus strengthen those elements that make UCLA a special place.
That implies respect for -- though not slavish devotion to -- the
brick, terra-cotta and concrete used in Royce and Powell, Haines
and Kinsey, as well as the paving around them, a palette of red
and cream that can be as inspiring as Bruin blue and gold when used
creatively. Buildings as different as the Chiller/Cogeneration Plant,
the MacDonald Medical Research Laboratories and the Law Library
extension demonstrate how inventively this vocabulary of materials
can be employed.