Page D1.1 . 29 June 2005                     
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    After Air Base Action

    by Michael J. Crosbie

    The new student union at the Arizona State University's East Campus in Mesa provides the centerpiece to a positive outcome of a military base closing. The campus is located on a former U.S. Air Force base, and this new building, designed by Gould Evans Associates in Phoenix, is a creative interpretation of making a place in the desert.

    This building owes nothing to the traditional, heavy, adobe architecture of the southwestern United States. If anything, it responds to an entirely different vernacular — that of the campus's former function as an air base. The student union appears to have just landed, its outdoor rooms and glass walls protected from the sun by corrugated sheet-metal shades that hover around it like airplane wings.

    These wings are held in place high above the outdoor rooms by tall, steel-section armatures that rise above the building like empty billboards or rectangular trusses. They extend to the south and blossom with colorful vertical banners that identify the student union and the activities it holds. The form of these armatures is echoed in the warm brown perforated-metal screen wall that wraps the building on its west, north, and east sides.   >>>

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    New student union at the Arizona State University's East Campus, by Gould Evans Associates.
    Photo: Mark Boisclair

    ArchWeek Image

    Outdoor rooms are protected from the hot Arizona climate.
    Photo: Mark Boisclair

     

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