Architecture at UCSB: Kohn Hall Descriptive Essay by Jay Writtings LLC

Architecture at UCSB: Kohn Hall
Discusses the architecture of Kohn Hall which houses the Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
# 119795 | 811 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on May 25, 2010 in Architecture (Buildings) , Art (General)

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This paper discusses how the architect Michael Grave (the designer of Kohl Hall at UCSB) was able to create a building which accommodates its occupants to a much higher degree of environmental incorporation than many of the other buildings on the campus and thus creates what the author argues is one of the universities best efforts to realize the potential of it's ideal beach side location.

From the Paper:

"The most notable feature of the selected site is its location along Lagoon Road, which fronts the Pacific Ocean. It is not so much the view, but the "human response, organic and social necessities, which can be gratified on or through this site," that Graves responds to. This effect is most remarkable in the two rotundas located at the easternmost ends of the building. Take for example the rotunda added as part of the 2004 expansion. Here, the walls seem to dissolve into thin air as they are replaced by large circular windows (Fig. 1). This grants the occupant outlook onto the ocean. According to Charles Moore, "[t]he power of outlook is enhanced if some elements in the foreground, like the window itself, serve as abridge between the near and the distant." Michael Graves seems to agree on this point. When he was requested by David Gross, the director of the institute, to have the new room recreate the feeling of being outside "Graves told Gross that if he wanted to feel that he was outside, he should go outside. Buildings should frame the views." This framing, rather than complete removal of the solid wall invites the scenery into the room, and gives the occupant the feeling that there is little separation between him and the landscape that seems to stretch on endlessly, while still providing a feeling of shelter and a frame of reference."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Moore, Charles, Gerald Allen, and Donlyn Lyndon. The Place of Houses. Berkley, Los Angeles, London: University of CAlifonia Press, 1974
  • Neutra, Richard. Mystery and Realities of the Site. Scarsdale, New York: Morgan& Morgan, 1951.
  • Michael Graves and Associates. 24 Oct. 2005
  • "New Kohn Hall Proves Whole Can Be More Than Sum Of Old and New Parts." Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics. University of California, Santa Barbara. 24 Oct. 2005 <>
  • Figure1: UCSB Physics. Dept. of Physics, UCSB. 31 Oct. 2005 <>

Cite this Descriptive Essay:

APA Format

Architecture at UCSB: Kohn Hall (2010, May 25) Retrieved July 02, 2022, from

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