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Under Construction Indefinitely Exhibit Opens

The Libraries’ fall 2005 exhibit, Under Construction Indefinitely: Forty Years of Designing UCI, highlights the planning and design of the UC Irvine campus and its architectural evolution over four decades. The exhibit showcases the development of UCI’s built environment, beginning with architect and master planner William Pereira’s initial concept for the campus and continuing through the explosive growth that continues in 2005.

UCI’s buildings represent three major architectural styles of the 20th century: Brutalism, Postmodernism, and Contextualism. Each era is representative of the perspective of a particular UCI campus architect and the years during which he or she led the design of buildings on campus. Other notable architects whose works are represented at UCI include Frank Gehry, James Stirling, Robert Venturi, Charles Moore, and Robert Stern.

The exhibit begins by examining the acquisition of land from The Irvine Company and the initial planning of the campus in the early 1960s. On display are a reproduction of one of the original deeds by which The Irvine Company transferred land to the University of California, a photograph of President Lyndon B. Johnson at the dedication of the site, an artist’s rendering of Aldrich Park, and a poster depicting a proposed bell tower that was never built.

Next, the exhibit focuses on the academic program that was created concurrently with physical construction of the campus, with the result that the physical and academic plans parallel each other to a certain extent. UCI’s master plan was created by collaboration between then-UC President Clark Kerr and campus architect William L. Pereira. Kerr suggested that the campus have a circular layout, and Pereira expanded on this idea as he incorporated the academic units. The exhibit includes copies of the original academic program and the first long-range development plan, both of which addressed the physical and academic structures of the university.

The architectural diversity represented among the academic schools and other units is also revealed via photographs, building footprints, artists’ renderings, and a variety of publications that demonstrate the ways in which campus architectural and academic planning are intertwined.

Under Construction Indefinitely will be on view in the Reynolds Gallery of Langson Library through April 2006. It was curated by UCI Historical Records Project Archivist Rachel Sandoval, Assistant University Archivist Anne Mar, and Spencer Olin, Emeritus Professor of History and Edward A. Dickson Emeritus Professor.

For more information, please contact Jackie Dooley (jmdooley@uci.edu or x44935).

 

 

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