Students’ residence St. Edward’s | The Plan
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Students’ residence St. Edward’s

Alejandro Aravena

St. Edward’s University is visible from the highway that links Austin-Bergstrom International Airport with the Texas State Capitol and the scatter of towers that mark Downtown Austin. The university occupies a crest in Austin’s natural topography and is identifiable by its red roofs and by the yellow masonry walls that appear to grow from the ground. As with many colleges in America there is a peculiar if not artificial homogeneity about the place. Then you notice the four-story edifice to the east of campus, a monolith with slit windows and chamfered flanks. As you approach, swatches of red reveal themselves to be glazed inner walls. The structure is in fact several buildings organized about a chasm-like patio skinned in slim and sheer glass panels.
These panels bring an unexpected sensory elegance to St. Edward’s. The building mass bifurcates along the east/west axis, framing a...

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