Friday, October 1, 2010

Walking Tour: Cambridge Past and Present (Part 2)

On a bridge above the Cam River.
Punting is outrageously popular in England since it's about the only way you can float along the Cam without grounding on the riverbed in select places. Think Venetian gondolas and you get the idea of how the propulsion system works. My audio commentary provided this remark: "please restrain from reaching down and plucking a pole from the hands of a punter. It's very naughty [pronounced "NAHW-tee"], and you shouldn't do it." Right - duly noted. Moving on...

Stop #5: Jerwood Library

Alright, finally the more modern architecture in England - 1999, to be exact.

Old buildings lining the street and part of the new building.
New building on the end.
Say what?

The new building looks just like the old ones. Well, maybe except for the windows.

Answer: it was designed that way. Jerwood Library was built as an addition to Trinity College, and the architects intentionally preserved the original style in their design. Hm. I have learned that there is a lot of skill involved with seamlessly blending old and new buildings together, so I applaud the architects for a job well done. Onward!

Random students playing a sport (?) on college grounds. It wasn't frisbee or football (so no OSU alums I guess), but there was much clumsy hefting and tossing back and forth - quite entertaining. Maybe pre-season training or something...

Stop #6: Clare College Fellows Garden

Well, I attempted to stop at the Clare College Fellows Garden. The college and gardens were closed to visitors due to recent rains making the ground wet and mushy, and since it has been raining this morning as well I don't think they are open today either. Unfortunately, the next time they open is in March, so I shall have to return then.

So I took pictures of cows instead.

Oh yes.

Just wait.

Stop #7: The Backs

The west side of the Cam is termed "The Backs" because many colleges line the east side of the river and have grounds that extend over to the west side. Thus, the west side contains the "backs" of the colleges. Also, the greens are very luscious so someone lets cows graze. I don't know who, but it makes for an interesting picture.

Note for my mother: there are stupid unreachable branches to get in the way of pictures even in England...
For my grandfather who raises cows.
Stop #8: Sidgwick Site

Modern architecture that actually looks modern! This site is a collection of faculty buildings, and I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. I love the older architecture in England, but these were some of my favorite buildings on the tour. The raised faculty building (below) was the first one constructed. The original designers had planned for an entire SITE of ugly concrete structures on stumpy legs, but only this one was ever completed. I believe their sense of style was heavily influenced by the world wars they had recently experienced, and perhaps they thought that working in a fortress-looking thing would be comforting.
Raised Faculty Building, holding several different departments.
The other sort-of eyesore is the Faculty of English building, for reasons you can probably deduce.

Faculty of English Building. A rather unique and somewhat ugly shade of pink/salmon. Not my favorite building.
Faculty of Law building - my favorite. Looks like it could be the engineering building.
 However, this is why it is NOT the engineering building: engineers would have had an acoustics specialist on the building team.
After the building was opened, the atrium effectively turned into an amplifying chamber since it is four stories tall with plenty of glass.


Did no one think about that?

So for problem mitigation, there is a sign requesting you make as little noise as possible. Hokay.

Faculty of History. Beautiful building with its own host of problems: boiling in the summer, freezing in the winter. Once again: did no one think of this?

Criminology Building. Nothing special about this one except that it's really new.


  1. The sport that was being played could have been Rugby. And you made Nicole extremely jealous with all of your pictures.

  2. haha awww! Tell Nicole if she likes one of them I can send the .jpg to her. And the sport might have been rugby, but there were women on the field I think. It was probably just catch or something simple like that...