Letter to the Editor

Better design needed

Professor Emeritus, Cal Poly architecture departmentJuly 7, 2014 

Having lived in San Luis Obispo for 30 years, many of them near student rentals and a fraternity house, I sympathize and support Slack Street resident’s opposition to Cal Poly’s dorm project as detrimental to their neighborhood.

The four-story structures illustrated in architectural renderings are easily mistaken for a high-tech office complex. They are unsympathetic to the scale and character of the Slack Street’s residential neighborhood and the dorms across on Grand Avenue.

An image of one structure facing the interior of the complex illustrates a horizontal slab with rectangular holes punched in flat stucco surfaces, relieved only by a vertical glass tower in the center. In contrast, the rear facades of these structures lack the visual relief of glass towers.

This development is a gateway, giving visitors their first impression of the campus. Ironically, Cal Poly is home to one of the finest architecture programs in the country. Cal Poly has, and can do better.

This university, the students, the residents of Slack Street, and the SLO community deserve architecture that is designed with creative imagination and responsive to its neighbors.

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