“Designing within this villagelike concept, we could achieve a tranquil, unified environment into which the students could withdraw to find a life complete and balanced and still related to the outside world.”
It’s the tilt of the earth on its axis, but it’s also the pitch of every roof at CTSFW. (Even the Chapel follows this rule, though the angles are inverted to emphasize the vertical.)
That’s the number of architectural curves on campus. The first (and only original) is on the top of the canopy at the entrance to Kramer Chapel. The second is on the lower level of the Wayne and Barbara Kroemer Library Complex and provides a smooth flow from the services area into the study and stack areas. The Kramer Chapel curve was designed to follow the arc of a pendulum. It expresses the force of the weight of the Chapel above.
That’s the building block of campus. Every building is designed around 5 foot, 4 inch modules, giving a natural flow and symmetry to the diverse pieces of campus. Interestingly, this wasn’t originally part of the vision for campus, but was discovered by Glen Paulson, the local architectual lead for the original construction. By constructing the campus around that building block, Paulson and Saarinen have given us a campus without boundaries, where separate buildings form a unified, flowing whole.
That’s the direction of every single roofline on campus. Saarinen said, “By running all the roofs in one direction, the total order which one desires seemed to come about.”
“In a village of the North European type, the chapel is placed in the center, on the highest spot, an all-important symbol around which the other buildings are grouped.”