Its pretty common knowledge that Waterloo doesn’t have the most gorgeous campus around. That being said, I think it is far from ugly on the whole. I’m currently sitting on the fourth floor of Environment 3, and it’s a pretty gorgeous view.
Many people attribute ‘old’ with gorgeous. Well folks, the university is only 57 years old. So our architecture is from no later than 57 years ago, which means you probably won’t be seeing any castles around. Waterloo’s architecture is in that mid-point where it’s not in style anymore, but it’s not so old that it’s ‘traditional’ or ‘rustic’, or what have you.
That being said, I’m no preacher to the look. I think Waterloo could be doing a much better job than they currently are. and It comes down to small things. For example, the signs they put up for their buildings. They just blow $150 million on E5, and the sign for is is made of corrugated plastic. SERIOUSLY?! This goes for all the other signs on campus that are florescant-lit plexiglass with sans-serif font painted on them. It’s cheap, doesn’t look good to begin with, and breaks easily. Why not blow another couple grand (recall the building cost 150 MILLION DOLLARS) and get brass letters that you can mount on the building. It looks timeless, lasts forever, and leaves a great first impression, even if the building isn’t fantastic.
Second is groundskeeping. Simple things like keeping edges cut nice, using brick instead of pavement for paths: these are all things I noticed that were done very well at schools I visited down in the states. These are the things that you notice when you do a tour and have a big impact on one’s first impressions of the school.
And don’t even get me started about the ‘look’ they were going for with E5 and E6. Those building make me angry from both the inside and the outside. Dieter Rams would cry.
Waterloo really needs is a good photo shoot. There are tons of gorgeous places on campus, and they should be highlighted accordingly.
I realize this post was a compositional mess, but I Just had to brain dump.