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Architect resigns in protest over “mega dorm”

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axonapoplectic
axonapoplectic

here’s the floor plan: 



https://twitter.com/spokanerising/status/1453927747277840388?s=21

Oct 29, 21 2:06 pm  · 
 · 
tduds

.Image

Oct 29, 21 2:15 pm  · 
10  · 
axonapoplectic

Final boss: MEGA DORM

Oct 29, 21 2:25 pm  · 
7  · 
Non Sequitur

sweet prison.

I bet it has a green roof tho, so that's good.  That's what your 50k/year tuition gets ya...

Oct 29, 21 2:10 pm  · 
 · 
natematt

HAAAAAA 

Fat chance tuition includes housing, that's not how it typically works. You got to pay an extra 5k/semester for that :D

Maybe they'll surprise everyone and this will be really affordable housing option? ... they'll have people who don't even go there lining up to live there.... Not to suggest it's humane or in anyway good design, but cost of living is the cost of living. 

Oct 29, 21 4:44 pm  · 
 · 
rcz1001

Not possible until maybe 2075 when it's 50+ years old and the original ROI is paid off (maybe.... maybe not... who knows). Then maybe if would be the cheapest units with 10x10 interior (cell) with reinforced CMU walls and a steel door with just a small round (1/2" diameter) viewing porthole, a bed made of 1x1 square steel tube with 1/4" thick walls and perforated sheet metal, a portapotty inside. Notice your portapotty of 4-ft. x 4-ft. already took up a portion of your 10x10 cell. Just maybe, it might be cheap that there will always be a resident.... ugh..... you get the idea.

Oct 30, 21 5:40 am  · 
 · 
peterharper

The units 

Oct 30, 21 6:13 pm  · 
 · 
tduds

The more I look at it the more I think it might actually be legal, and the more upset I get that code would allow this.

Oct 29, 21 2:14 pm  · 
6  · 
Volunteer

I don't think the Chinese treat the Uyghurs this badly. 

Oct 29, 21 2:16 pm  · 
2  · 

It's nice to see an architect take a stand against this obscenity. Where are the UCSB alums? No amount of money justifies housing students in the half-baked fever dream of a 97 year old, half-blind, billionaire.

Oct 29, 21 2:19 pm  · 
8  · 
RJ87

Looks way nicer than the dorm I lived in freshman year.

Oct 29, 21 2:23 pm  · 
2  ·  1
suzelle

at least my dorm had windows

Nov 8, 21 4:29 pm  · 
 · 
citizen

There's a long history of really bad development proposals that never got built.

What does the AHJ have to say about this?  (I don't find anything in the current news.)

Oct 29, 21 2:29 pm  · 
 · 
citizen

(Secretly wonders if this is a PR stunt to promote a certain new movie.)

Oct 29, 21 2:31 pm  · 
 · 
randomised

fucking billionaire scumbag in his blue overalls inspecting the mega dorm...


Oct 29, 21 2:35 pm  · 
4  · 
b3tadine[sutures]

This right here.

Oct 29, 21 6:09 pm  · 
1  · 
monosierra

USCB Penitentiary

Oct 29, 21 2:39 pm  · 
 · 
justavisual

wait, what time is it again?

Oct 30, 21 3:59 am  · 
 · 
z1111

Kind of looks like a sociopath that wants to inflict his disability on as many innocent people as possible.

Oct 29, 21 3:00 pm  · 
3  · 
monosierra

No architect can sign off on this right? Munger could throw a fit and demand that the architects produce drawings exactly as he had sketched but surely no firm wants to take on the liability.

Oct 29, 21 3:10 pm  · 
 · 

The only thing missing is the Grenfell cladding.

Oct 29, 21 4:10 pm  · 
5  · 

So that's about 500 students per floor. I can't see details on the bathrooms/showers. Where are they and how many? Steam and smells will be vented out by fans, I assume—and will spread to other rooms.

And that's just a start—

Oct 29, 21 6:05 pm  · 
 · 
b3tadine[sutures]

Damn, and we killed the only man who could take this building out.

Oct 29, 21 6:11 pm  · 
 · 

Here's one unit. I see one john, one sink—and a common shower area?

https://www.independent.com/20...

Oct 29, 21 6:26 pm  · 
 · 
joseffischer

it's 2 WC, 2 lavs and 2 showers, back to back, so 4 people per restroom

Nov 3, 21 7:33 pm  · 
 · 
SneakyPete

I once made a study room so small people asked why anyone would ever use it. It was so the university could not eliminate the only exterior window that reached the corridor by turning it into a bedroom. Literally a desk and a door, and I did it because Universities treat their students like chattel. Most years it's the only study room that can be used because the other one is turned into overflow housing. 

This prison design does not surprise me. It sickens me, but nothing surprising here.

Oct 29, 21 6:51 pm  · 
3  · 
SneakyPete

Stay in your fucking lane, Munger.

Oct 29, 21 7:04 pm  · 
1  · 
Volunteer

Santa Barbara has one of the best climates in the world and not one thought here has been given to it. Can you imagine what Mies van der Rohe may have given the students? 

Oct 29, 21 7:17 pm  · 
1  · 
SneakyPete

Is Mies van der Rohe involved? Let me guess, he designed the straw man over there, right?

Oct 29, 21 8:16 pm  · 
2  · 

^SP

I taught umpteen years at some ten schools, and am at a loss for any that had acceptable classrooms, save in the old buildings. They had windows you could open and blinds to control sunlight. Since it was college, we only had to put up with them for an hour or two. Still.

One school, a modern open plan, only had narrow bands of windows at the top that could not be closed or opened. The a/c, centrally controlled, never worked properly. Our only solution was to open doors while the a/c expensively lumbered on. Who knows how much money poured through the doors.

One string of classrooms was directly across the way from a building that housed the restrooms and a/c units. The a/c, again dysfunctional, still made a racket. If we left the doors open, we could barely hear each other because of the noise. And on hot days the restrooms, poorly maintained, smelled horrible. So the choice was closing doors and sweltering or opening them and enduring the smell and noise.

For education, you just need light and ventilation, maybe a view, and a little heat in winter. If you can't get the simple things right, what hope do we have?

Oct 29, 21 8:46 pm  · 
4  · 
midlander

looks like a good place to isolate safely if a pandemic ever sweeps through society!


is it shielded against radiation too?

Oct 29, 21 9:11 pm  · 
1  · 

Packing people in such density spreads disease.

Oct 29, 21 9:28 pm  · 
 · 
midlander

^sorry the sarcasm of my remark was missed! this building is like a laboratory for breeding viruses in student subjects.

Oct 29, 21 9:30 pm  · 
1  · 
midlander

seriously though, this is grossly incompetent on so many levels...


it's a weird secondary effect of greed that people idolize wealth to such an extent they completely disregard obvious incompetence because it comes from an unimpeachably rich speaker. cf: trump.


bodes poorly for the future of ucsb that their board is so badly composed that they are starstruck and digging in to insist a terrible idea is fine and necessary.

Oct 29, 21 9:21 pm  · 
3  · 
z1111

Overcrowding, as well as related problems such as lack of privacy, can also cause or exacerbate mental health problems, and increase rates of violence, self-harm and suicide.


I would say that this is malpractice except this obviously deranged individual is not an architect.


I have been studying architectural psychology for 45 years. Imo if this project is built it will cause irreparable harm to those who live there. 

Oct 29, 21 11:06 pm  · 
3  · 

It makes me sick just thinking about it. How many feet and minutes away is each resident from sunlight and fresh air?

Oct 30, 21 2:29 pm  · 
1  · 
midlander

also at the stated 1.68m sq ft and 1.5billion budget, this is a $900/sf building! I realize southern california is more than i'm used to in chicago... but wtf are they spending it on that they can't afford windows or basic quality of design?

Oct 29, 21 11:34 pm  · 
5  · 
djm5

The lack of windows was intentional, regardless of cost. According to Munger, it forces people out of their bedrooms and into common areas. The guy must be a sadist.

Oct 30, 21 1:22 am  · 
6  · 
proto

[retracted]

Oct 30, 21 10:34 am  · 
 · 

The facades are distinctive—and expensive—certainly for a dorm. That is the part that pays tribute to Munger. Plus the doodads on the roof and first floor. Maintenance and energy costs must be huge. Run those out over the life of the building and that $200m gift doesn't look so good. Then add replacement costs down the line. A well-designed dorm doesn't need a/c over a school year, just some kind of heat for the cold months. An efficient building would have saved UCSB a ton.

Oct 30, 21 2:14 pm  · 
2  · 

An efficient building would not have secured an egomaniacal billionaires funding.

Oct 30, 21 3:22 pm  · 
2  · 

Then add the costs of demolition and replacement if this turns out to be another Pruitt Igoe disaster.

Oct 30, 21 3:39 pm  · 
1  · 
djm5

I feel really sorry for these poor students (the wealthier ones can live in more hospitable housing).  8 people and 1 toilet?  Tiny windowless bedrooms?  Munger admits he made the bedrooms as inhospitable as possible to force people to spend as little time as possible alone.  

Very limited privacy, it's almost like living on a submarine on land.  When you crowd too many mice into a cage, they start biting and scratching each other.  And they also self-harm.  

It's not too late to pull the plug.  As a UCSB alum, I would tell Munger to keep his $200 million.  He's not an architect and he has doesn't have the grace to donate to the university without micromanaging his donation.  Madness.

Oct 30, 21 1:26 am  · 
5  · 
rcz1001

There's a line between even micromanaging the donation and practicing architecture without a license. I am not sure this is even permitable under current building codes and all that. On the exterior, that's fine but go inside and we have a problem. Egress and other issues comes into mind but I leave that to our PROFESSIONAL LICENSED ARCHITECT colleagues to point out. It is one thing to make sure the money is invested well and that there isn't a switch and bait. I accept that as reasonable. 

I accept the person financing to have a say but this project requires an license Architect and only a licensed architect is qualified to make ARCHITECTURAL decisions and to specify them. Yes, engineers are involved and they a licensed and make specifications in their discipline but a non-licensed person who is a NON-PROFESSIONAL altogether less than that of a building designer shouldn't even be having ultimate control over architectural design and specification because the one that stamps and seals shall have the say on the plans and specs. 

POINT TO MR. MUNGERS

However, Mr. Mungers, you can certainly decide whether to finance and you should have some say about matters of aesthetic like stylistic things, but there is some things that only a licensed person shall have any role. In addition, regardless of whether or not you draw the design or not, if you even take some design from somewhere else (like a jail) and decide to specify that the project plan and design shall not deviate from that design then you engaged in practice of architecture.... and that is in violation of California state law if you done so without a license. Therefore, Mr. Mungers, if you are going to be the architect of this, you shall assume all unlimited personal liability for any errors and omission that fails to meet professional standard of care.

Oct 30, 21 5:58 am  · 
1  · 
b3tadine[sutures]

I'm going to need to see some credentials, citations, or Covid-19 vaccination card, or we are going to ask you to step outside.

Oct 30, 21 8:59 pm  · 
 · 
rcz1001

^^^-------- b3tadine[sutures], stepping outside is probably more humane and best advice for future students... in the case of this proposed design of the proposed dorm at UCSB.

Oct 30, 21 9:19 pm  · 
 · 
rcz1001

Maybe we need to revise IBC 1030.6, so that in R-2 occupancy (ok, whatever would be for apartments and dorms) that whenever the egress path from sleeping room to exterior exit of building at ground level or any exit to exterior of building (compliant with applicable codes for discharging from above grade floors to grade) exceeds 125 ft. that there shall be emergency escape & rescue opening directly to the exterior. 

On floors that are above grade levels above a (safe height) that there shall be an exterior landing and possible an exterior stairs discharge or something. I do believe in case of doors, there should be a proper egress that people in their dorm (which are really basically "sleeping rooms" according to code) should have emergency escape/rescue openings to the exterior of buildings especially if the path to exterior of building exceeds 125 ft. egress path travel (which I believe is indicated in the code under 1006.3.3 but basically, the exit access travel distance. 

Additionally, I do believe that the code SHOULD require at least two exit discharges within 125-ft exit travel distance of an egress from any dorm unit, and ideally, every door unit has an emergency escape/rescue opening.... however that would be my opinion. 

As a designer, if I was designing this, I would have emergency escape/rescue opening and at least an exit to exterior stairs every 100 ft. of the exterior facade or otherwise exterior in the sense that they would be adequate protected stairs at the exterior side so there wouldn't be an issue of smoke or fire so no one would have to risk running through flames until they get to a lawn/court or public right of way. I think there is some serious defective design issues regarding the proposed plan for the dorm.

Oct 30, 21 9:57 pm  · 
 · 
rcz1001

I believe it is the intent of code of IBC that in any R-2 occupancy that there would be a reasonable number of exits so that sleeping room (bedroom... dorm room is really just that unless it is an actual apartment dwelling unit) would have egress discharge with a maximum travel distance from the sleeping room to a exterior exit discharge (or something like that) no more than 125 ft. for a single exit and if there is two or more exits that it would still likely be intended to be within 100-150 ft. in that there would at least be adequate number of exits. Additionally, there should not be complex mazes for anyone in any dorm to find an exit. Keep the path as simple and straight forward with minimal 90 degree turns. With the proposed design, I see a rat maze that in a smoke filled environment (during a fire) can lead to students getting turned around and lost in the maze when they can't see their way out or exit signs on to their way out.

Oct 30, 21 10:14 pm  · 
 · 

I am strongly against this project. The UCSB announcement page of the project includes links to the full presentation and the comments. The presentation includes plans with the name of an architectural firm- Van Tilburg, Banvard,  Soderbergh, AIA.  https://sam.ucsb.edu/campus-planning-design/current-projects/munger-hall


https://vtbs.com/dev/contact/

Oct 30, 21 9:17 am  · 
 · 
Non Sequitur

I’ve seen worse M.Arch projects do not can’t be THAT bad. 



Oct 30, 21 9:58 am  · 
 · 
x-jla

this building looks like it was designed by a robot.  

Oct 30, 21 1:21 pm  · 
 · 
b3tadine[sutures]

How come no one has asked about the solitary confinement rooms? Hey, I thought the AIA was against solitary confinement? This firm is an AIA firm.

Oct 30, 21 1:57 pm  · 
 · 

My experience with open areas in dorms is that they didn't work—almost no one used them. Students gathered in shifting and flexible relationships in the dorm rooms, where they could choose their companions and get away from others, as well as met in directed activities, at the library, on the playing fields, at the eating places, on the lawn.

I'd be curious to see a followup study on how Munger's plan works. The odds all eight get along have to be close to nil. There will be factions and divisions. The noisy will distract the studious, who will have to seclude themselves in their rooms. Or the studious clamp down and stifle social activity. Or they just fight or avoid each other. A sensitive student might well be ostracized, excluded, and forced to be secluded as well, away from restoring light and air. Etc.

And they're all trapped in there, with only a single door for escape. I'm reminded of a play by Sartre.

They will, however, gain intimate knowledge of their bowel movements. "There goes ol' Bud to the crapper again!" They will get to know each other by their smells.

The ideal dorm room, Moscow State University, 1963-64

It has adequate, open, flexible, and adaptable space.

It can be customized to meet needs, activities, and interests.

It can take a beating without looking much worse for wear.

It has a window.

I assume it had heat and bathrooms were down the hall.

Oct 30, 21 3:21 pm  · 
1  · 
kschwen

From the architect's website:

"The primary goal of Van Tilburg, Banvard & Soderbergh (VTBS
Architects) is to provide meaningful design solutions that effectively
respond to the needs of our clients and the inhabitants of our
buildings, while respecting the sensitive balance of community and the
environment. The firm is widely acknowledged as a creative design firm
with substantial technical abilities in designing a wide range of
retail, commercial office and interiors, educational facilities,
residential, retirement, masterplanning and mixed-use projects."

VTBS needs to recall their values, clearly stated above, in relation to this design proposal.  The needs of the inhabitants need to be more carefully considered.

Oct 30, 21 3:29 pm  · 
2  · 
ChaseJase

It’s 2021. How can such nonsense even be drawn as floor plan? Isn’t there building regulation in the US that regulates Right of Light for residential use? 

Oct 30, 21 6:05 pm  · 
 · 
kenchiku

I had a single dorm room to myself with a massive window looking out at my school's beautiful Japanese garden. I still spent most of my time hanging out with friends in the building's common areas...or you know...hanging out in my fucking room. Rooms are just as much as a communal hangout spot as the actual communal spaces are.

Oct 30, 21 6:28 pm  · 
4  · 
curtkram

this is not a prison.  if you housed inmates here, it would be considered unethical. 

i've seen expensive apartments where the concept was that your apartment is for sleeping, and the common areas were considered your regular living space.  it was a skyscraper, so no operable windows and not many private balconies.  high prices, high demand, and very successful.  it can be done, but not like this.  munger is showing his age.  time to retire. too many people are counting on berkshire maintaining sound judgement.  

Oct 30, 21 6:36 pm  · 
3  · 
newguy

It's like somebody read Foucault, and thought: "Yes.  Good.  More"

Oct 30, 21 9:10 pm  · 
 · 
rcz1001

If each dorm got much smaller, it would start to remind me of a borg cube (ok... a miniature cube).

Oct 30, 21 10:31 pm  · 
 · 
lorenheyns

If you want kids to come out of their rooms into a common space, make the rooms small tubes with a bed only (large enough to share with a guest), and make the common room MASSIVE, with a huge window. Surround the common room with 32 sleeping compartments, stacked three to six high, with zip lines from the upper levels. Create lots of private study nooks in the common area and fill it with fruit and nut trees.

Oct 30, 21 10:49 pm  · 
1  · 
rcz1001

When I was at University of Oregon, I was in the Walton Complex (then last year at an on-campus apartment). In that case, the Walton Complex (built in the 1950s) were decent enough.... even then.... I didn't stay in the unit all day. There may be times when I am working on homework and all but I wasn't in the unit all the time. Even as it was, with it's own shortcomings would be more ideal than what I would expect to be getting from the proposed dorm. I actually liked the Walton complex as it provided among the more spacious dorm units on-campus as it wasn't ridiculously small. I wouldn't mind the tight coziness if the roommate was female and reasonably attractive but guys.... um.... not so much or not so close. I don't dislike the exterior of the building proposed. That is not my issue with. But a facade is only skin deep. It's disappointing if I was to attend that college to see a nice beautiful facade and once I go inside that the interior is crap and cramped. I don't live in NYC where the dorm room proposed MIGHT be a luxury apartment for a whole family. Okay, that's probably a big stretch but..... ok.... nevermind.

Oct 30, 21 11:00 pm  · 
 · 
zonker

Maybe for GP at Corcoran State prison

Oct 31, 21 12:13 am  · 
 · 
Koww

students should be studying, not looking out the fackin' window. be thankful you're not making sports shoes

Oct 31, 21 4:25 am  · 
 ·  1
citizen

Fixed.  Where do I mail my invoice?


Oct 31, 21 3:21 pm  · 
3  · 

https://www.berkshirehathaway.com

Oct 31, 21 8:17 pm  · 
1  · 
Volunteer

What does the AIA, Cali and National have to say? 

Oct 31, 21 3:47 pm  · 
2  · 
sameolddoctor

I just checked -- they have their thumbs up their asses...

Nov 1, 21 8:00 pm  · 
1  · 

Or we could hollow it out and make it a shrine to megalomaniacs:

I'm not sure it'd be big enough, however.

Oct 31, 21 7:03 pm  · 
1  · 
geezertect

I demand to speak to the warden.

Oct 31, 21 8:24 pm  · 
 · 
citizen

All a big misunderstanding.  It's just a set design for The Shawshank Redemption remake starring Owen Wilson and Chris Rock.  

Oct 31, 21 8:27 pm  · 
 · 
gibbost

They've already got 'proof of concept' from what he built on Michigan's campus.  https://ids-michigan.com/proje...  Interestingly, several of the residents from that building flooded a Reddit page for the new proposal at UCSB.  Number one comment was regarding the lack of windows.

Nov 1, 21 12:53 pm  · 
1  · 
bowling_ball

This project is 5x larger than the one in Michigan (sq.ft)

Nov 1, 21 2:55 pm  · 
 · 
gibbost

You're right. And it appears the barracks got even smaller in this new scheme. I assume Munger's remarks for the new proposal went something like, 'less windows & less space, more bodies, more money' and the University said, 'let's do that.'

Nov 1, 21 4:03 pm  · 
1  · 
gibbost

  

Nov 1, 21 4:02 pm  · 
 · 

This Slate article puts the dorm in perspective:

https://slate.com/business/202...

But in other ways, it is very much the logical outcome of several familiar trends: donor-driven public institutions, colleges desperately competing for students, and a nationwide housing shortage.

Nov 1, 21 4:35 pm  · 
 · 

More bullshit from the psudeo-left: Slate is owned by WaPo (Jeff Bezos). College isn't about education, and there is no 'housing' shortage - there is an affordable housing shortage. This is all the result of economic policy that allows the massive accumulation of wealth by a few (like Bezos) at the expense of society as a whole.

Nov 1, 21 9:56 pm  · 
1  · 
tduds

I really wish journalists would stop referring to him as an architect.

Nov 2, 21 2:15 pm  · 
1  · 
SneakyPete

I gave my wife aspirin. I am an amateur doctor.

Nov 2, 21 2:20 pm  · 
 · 

The article gives a quick review of the student housing crisis in California, especially Santa Barbara, which I didn't know about.

 What numbs me is the author's thought that students and parents will find the proposal attractive, at least initially. For all I know, the UCSB people really think they've come up with a good solution, which makes me dizzy. 

Reading, I didn't see any Bezos brown stuff on the author's nose.

Nov 2, 21 5:02 pm  · 
1  · 
Volunteer

Thought modern architecture (except for Brutalism and some post-Modernism examples) was supposed to be about light, space, and openness? Even the medieval architects developed the flying buttress to allow for walls of glass several stories high in their cathedrals to flood the interiors with light. Now we have come to this and without a peep from the architectural establishment. 

Nov 2, 21 8:03 am  · 
 · 
midlander

1. this building was designed by a lawyer 2. the style is an awkward neoclassical 3. this forum, the resignation of the advisory architect, and the media coverage indicate widespread criticism from the architecture community.

Nov 2, 21 8:25 am  · 
1  · 
tduds

lolwut?

Nov 2, 21 12:33 pm  · 
 · 
lestercorbus

It could be a movie set for a sci-fi sequel to Matrix or for a movie on a trip to the outer planets.  I hope there is a holo-deck.

Nov 2, 21 9:33 am  · 
1  · 
JLC-1

why the f do you keep making people's lives miserable when you're 94?

https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/02...

Nov 2, 21 9:43 am  · 
 · 
atelier nobody

At that age, it's probably all he has left...

Nov 2, 21 1:19 pm  · 
2  · 

He’s a billionaire, it’s his life’s work.

Nov 2, 21 1:39 pm  · 
2  · 
lestercorbus

After 65 you do not have anymore filters.

Nov 4, 21 11:09 am  · 
 · 
JLC-1

you're saying he's been evil all of his life, only now we know about? can't be.

Nov 4, 21 11:12 am  · 
 · 
whistler

I believe that is the physical manifestation of a "super spreader architecture".  WTF!


Nov 2, 21 2:30 pm  · 
 · 
karenfaithorn

Please - someone, anyone… how do we stop this!?


Do NOT let this be built! 

Nov 2, 21 5:36 pm  · 
 · 
rcz1001

Incompetent builder that is so incompetent that it burns & collapses before the students are let inside it during a tour with Mungers inside. Oh, that sounds bad.... never mind. (Note: Not a serious proposal or proposition.)

Nov 4, 21 2:05 pm  · 
 · 

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