CUA’s School of Architecture and Planning is the place I spend the most time on campus (yes, even more time than I spend in my own room). I am a sophomore architecture major and here are some of my thoughts on CUArch.
At first glance, one would not think that the Edward M. Crough Center would house CUA’s architecture and planning program. You would be partially correct! Before becoming home to CUArch in 1989, the building was CUA’s gymnasium (before the DuFour Center came along). Once you walk through the pale green doors, you are brought to a world much different than you could have ever anticipated. You are consumed by the smell of freshly cut lumber, the sight of hardworking students, and the sounds of group work and critiques. As you walk through the building, you are able to see the work of the whole spectrum of students, from freshman work to graduate-level work. You are able to witness the juries that students spend all semester preparing for. Then, the farther you venture through Crough, you are engulfed in the students’ studio spaces.
What separates the architecture school from a lot of other schools on CUA’s campus (which is also my favorite part about CUArch) is the studio aspect of it. Everyone enrolled in the school has their own dedicated studio space. This space is to give the students a place to work on projects, showcase their work, and talk to their peers. Studio culture is one of the most unique characteristics of an architecture school. You will never find a time when the school is completely empty. Whether it’s 4PM or 4AM, there will always be someone there just working through the night.
Speaking of how people are always in Crough, one of the best (and worst) things about working in studio is this sense of timelessness. Sure, there are deadlines to be met and cramming to be done, but there is nothing like spending hours and hours working on a model without realizing it. Because of the fact that people are constantly around, you do not realize how late it is. You tell yourself, “I’ll finish this model in a few hours.” All of a sudden, the sun is rising and it’s four hours past the time you thought you would leave. So yes, there is some truth to the stories people hear about never seeing architecture majors. But because of these stories, people outside of the school assume our lives are miserable. Au contraire! Even though we spend almost all of our time in the Crough Center, we love what we do and love what CUArch has to offer us, even if it means an irregular sleep schedule.
– Andrew Santiano
*images belong to CUArch