Sunday, April 17, 2011

Trip to the Anchor Center

Our trip to the anchor center was truly a very moving and inspiring tour of the center and having the opportunity to speak with the architect allowed me see the building in a whole different light. Upon first entering the center the space seemed like any other preschool, it was new modern and full of light. But after hearing from the architect and experiencing going through the center with her, my perception of the architecture and space completely changed.

One of the things that surprised me the most was all the little details that I hadn’t noticed at all, but are actually the huge defining details and factors for those that have blindness. A few of theses details included the rumble strips at the car entrance to the center, the groves in the cement leading up the then entrance and the subtle changes in light on the interior. Everything in the interior was taken with such care that one can see the incredible the amount of work, research and dedication that went into every corner, window and floor in the center.

It was great being able to speak to the architect because she was so honest and insightful about her own work. She pointed out the aspects of the building that didn’t quite live up to how she intended them to, or the little things that fell short of her expectations. But she also discussed the huge success of the center! Light was a huge domineering force within the entire space, from the creation of the pods to the widows and juxtaposition of light and dark contrast. It’s so important for the children to feel comfortable in a new school environment and to learn effectively how to get around in a world built for those that have full vision and this center provides them with the tools to grow and feel comfortable.

Going through the whole center once again reaffirmed my findings about how little we do interact with every part of our environments. It’s only when one of our senses goes missing or greatly depleted that we realize all the little and big things we must have to take into consideration, but don’t normally. We can learn so much from those different from ourselves and those that approach and experience the world different than the way we do. We need to begin to take the ideas of space and architecture beyond just the visual aesthetics, but also play into the other sensory relationship we have. The world and space is up for all kinds of interpretations from our sensory experiences and we should take the ideas executed within the Anchor Center and apply them to all parts of life.

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