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    (Original post by Lawliettt)

    Are engineering buildings ugly too?
    Yes, but they have more excuse.

    I posted the really ugly Oxofrd engineering building earlier in the thread.

    Engineering students and researchers do use equipment and do practicals.

    There are questions of floor loadings, height clearances, lifting points, elf n'safety increasing since the buildings were built, cooling plant.

    Many of them were built in the 1960s but most of them have gained barnacles by way of pipes, ducts and vents.
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    (Original post by Stéphane)
    Have you also noticed how French unis are practically free and give basically everyone access to some of the greatest specialists in their fields? L'université Paris 4, for instance, is among the top 100 for humanities worldwide. Paris 1's philosophy department is considered one of the best in the world. All that for free.

    Don't get me wrong, I know there's a lot of not-so-great things about French universities, but don't diss just because of the looks and 'campus experience' thing. Holding a degree from la Sorbonne is probably one of the reasons why I was accepted for a PhD at a Russell Group uni, which I might not be able to go to should I not get funding.
    Professors are not better in the UK, but as far as I know, 3 hours lectures in 300+ theatres are not as prevalent as in French unis.

    The main problem is the rest: no student bar, no society, no bank, no shop, no restaurant, no museum, the library closed on Sunday and Saturday evening and after 19:00 during the week, ugly buildings, terrible and catastrophic administration, under-qualified staff, terrible internet system and website, poor communication, no recruiting fair, etc.

    World rankings focus on research output; student experience is not considered. So the Sorbonne could be 1st in the world, I wouldn't change my statement.
    I would have preferred to pay as much as them, and have a real university experience.
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    (Original post by chazwomaq)
    Cambridge. From this:



    to this:



    It's not a university building, but it was designed by members of the Architecture department.
    Have you seen all of Churchill college? It's revolting.
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    I've found one!

    A drop dead gorgeous mathematics department in the UK.

    Greenwich's maths department is in Queen Mary Court at the Old Royal Naval College (back left in the picture)



    Whether this is anything to do with the Dept of Mathematics being part of the Faculty of Architecture, Computing and the Humanities, I do not know, There aren't many university faculties that are responsible for tuition in all of maths, law and professional dance
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    (Original post by thehistorybore)
    Have you seen all of Churchill college? It's revolting.
    It's my favourite college! D: I stayed there for a week and thought it was awesome...
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    Maths in Holland (University of Groningen):



    Look at the bike racks...
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    (Original post by Josb)
    Professors are not better in the UK, but as far as I know, 3 hours lectures in 300+ theatres are not as prevalent as in French unis.

    The main problem is the rest: no student bar, no society, no bank, no shop, no restaurant, no museum, the library closed on Sunday and Saturday evening and after 19:00 during the week, ugly buildings, terrible and catastrophic administration, under-qualified staff, terrible internet system and website, poor communication, no recruiting fair, etc.

    World rankings focus on research output; student experience is not considered. So the Sorbonne could be 1st in the world, I wouldn't change my statement.
    I would have preferred to pay as much as them, and have a real university experience.
    I do enjoy not being in debt though. Not sure the student experience's worth so many k€. Plus Paris is still student's favorite destination worldwide.

    French universities just don't have that campus feel which would definitely be a plus, I agree with you on that. But given all the pros, I'm not sure you cons weigh as much as you'd think. I realise how much this means to you but that is just not everyone's opinion.

    As much as I'm aware of all the dysfunctions, especially the terrible working conditions for professors (no office, extreme difficulty achieving a decent position, lack of recognition in general) and undergraduates (overcrowded theatres and the likes), the fact that it's free never ceases to amaze me. I got to chat and actually work with some of the greatest European philosophers out there, not because I'm a genius but because I had made it to the master's degree (didn't do my undegraduate degree at uni though).

    Anywho, looks like they're building this 'Condorcet Campus' just outside of Paris though. Maybe you'll find it to match your expectations about university experience?
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Maths in Holland (University of Groningen):



    Look at the bike racks...
    That's what happened to the V1 launch sites then
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Maths in Holland (University of Groningen):

    Spoiler:
    Show


    Look at the bike racks...
    That's not too bad! I'm studying mathematics at Utrecht University and this is what we have:

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    Warwick uni is pretty ugly
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    A lot of the "ugliness" is simply because unis expanded rapidly in the 60s/70s and the prevailing architectural style then was Brutalist. More recent developments may be non-traditional but at least they generally look pretty good.

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    (Original post by Stéphane)
    I do enjoy not being in debt though. Not sure the student experience's worth so many k€. Plus Paris is still student's favorite destination worldwide.

    French universities just don't have that campus feel which would definitely be a plus, I agree with you on that. But given all the pros, I'm not sure you cons weigh as much as you'd think. I realise how much this means to you but that is just not everyone's opinion.

    As much as I'm aware of all the dysfunctions, especially the terrible working conditions for professors (no office, extreme difficulty achieving a decent position, lack of recognition in general) and undergraduates (overcrowded theatres and the likes), the fact that it's free never ceases to amaze me. I got to chat and actually work with some of the greatest European philosophers out there, not because I'm a genius but because I had made it to the master's degree (didn't do my undegraduate degree at uni though).

    Anywho, looks like they're building this 'Condorcet Campus' just outside of Paris though. Maybe you'll find it to match your expectations about university experience?
    I'm not an expert on French unis, but I did Erasmus at one and that uni was terrible. But to be honest, all you're going to uni for is a piece of paper at the end of it so I'd rather get it free than have to pay. The societies etc are a nice bonus, but not worth paying thousands of pounds for. Plus you pay for them independently anyway; societies at British unis aren't free.
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    (Original post by callum_law)
    And the 15 times you visited the place granted you the opportunity to meet most people or get a sense of what most people think about the place? That way you phrased that claim really only made sense if you lived there. It's not a big deal; I was just explaining why the misunderstanding occurred.
    Just to wade in with my 2 cents on the matter, as someone who's lived in Cardiff for 18 months (university). The main building aside, which I'm in , the university isn't very pretty no, but the city is really nice. Bute Park, Roath park, the castle, the bay are all beautiful places. Also there isn't many better places to watch sport live or in a pub.

    Like previous posters have said, the atmosphere is excellent and the people are fantastic. University location is perfect as well.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    A lot of the "ugliness" is simply because unis expanded rapidly in the 60s/70s and the prevailing architectural style then was Brutalist. More recent developments may be non-traditional but at least they generally look pretty good.

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    I think there was another reason as well. University funding for capital projects was tightly controlled by the University Grants Committee on a project by project basis. Very few university buildings were built by the best brutalist architects and those generally had other funding sources. Effectively, most university buildings were pretty cheapjack.
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    Even TCD has its share of ugliness.



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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    I think there was another reason as well. University funding for capital projects was tightly controlled by the University Grants Committee on a project by project basis. Very few university buildings were built by the best brutalist architects and those generally had other funding sources. Effectively, most university buildings were pretty cheapjack.
    I refer you back to Christ's Typewriter, and National Theatre, architect

    Lasdun was a pretty significant architect.

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    (Original post by jneill)
    I refer you back to Christ's Typewriter, and National Theatre, architect

    Lasdun was a pretty significant architect.

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    Jacobsen's St Catz at Oxford is another.

    The UGC provided very little cash to St Catz. I do not know about Christs.

    The Florey at Queen's which was designed by a young James Stirling ran out of cash. In the recent brief for the refurb it was said: "the original, available technology did not resolve practical issues concerning comfort and use."

    In a sense Oxbridge is always exceptional because of its ability to tap into private funds. All those 1960s blocks at civic universities have not stood the test of time compared with many municipal cultural facilities of that day that were built to a higher spec.

    There was a sea change in the 1990s and since then for the most part build quality has risen. That was coupled with new funding regimes for universities and a reinvigorating of private philanthropy.

    The Said at Oxford has probably the best build quality of any University as opposed to college building since the St Cross Building and both were the product of a single generous donor rather than public funds or an appeal.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    In a sense Oxbridge is always exceptional because of its ability to tap into private funds. All those 1960s blocks at civic universities have not stood the test of time compared with many municipal cultural facilities of that day that were built to a higher spec.
    Ok but I think pretty much all the brutalist buildings everywhere (not just university commissions) have had to have significant refurbishment programs subsequently (or should have!). The National Theatre (to stay with Lasdun) has just had an £80 million refurb...

    But I think we are agreed, builds in the 90s onwards are usually pretty good. After all, it doesn't nescesarily cost more to design and execute a good building than a bad one.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    That's what happened to the V1 launch sites then
    :rofl:

    It's actually the building of the Biology and Life Sciences dept and featured on a university challenge question on modernism recently. :yep:

    Personally I find it splendid.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Ok but I think pretty much all the brutalist buildings everywhere (not just university commissions) have had to have significant refurbishment programs subsequently (or should have!). The National Theatre (to stay with Lasdun) has just had an £80 million refurb...

    But I think we are agreed, builds in the 90s onwards are usually pretty good. After all, it doesn't nescesarily cost more to design and execute a good building than a bad one.
    And it's still ugly! :lol: Or it would be if they hadn't added loads of nice lighting to soften it.

    It's very strange inside in the private areas where the staff and actors work, I've been in there as I have a friend who is an actress and she worked there for a while. It's full of very narrow, claustrophic corridors, tunnels and staircases, bewildering to navigate and bits of ceiling falling in, piles of what look like rubble, etc. :sad:
 
 
 
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