The Atlantic describes Lau’s architecture as “soul-crushing”
Lau looks so bad, you don’t even need to pull an all-nighter in there to feel depressed about it. At least, that’s what The Atlantic‘s recent architecture analysis article says about the brutalist library before going on to explain that new science suggests that architecture might affect the human brain.
The article is framed by a recount of that awkward moment during every Georgetown campus tour when the tour guide has to address Lau.
“Lauinger Library was designed to be a modern abstraction of Healy Hall”: a sentence that inevitably trails off with an apologetic shrug, inviting the crowd to arrive at their own conclusions about how well it turned out. Much of the student population would likely agree that the library’s menacing figure on the quad is nothing short of soul-crushing.
The study, conducted by Julio Bermudez at Catholic University, involved scanning subjects’ brains while showing them images of “contemplative” and “non-contemplative” architectural designs.
Looking at contemplative architecture produced a meditation-like effect in the brain, and Bermudez concludes that being surrounded by contemplative architecture may bring some of the health benefits of meditation.
Lau definitely doesn’t do that. Personally, Vox looks at it and just remembers trying to learn how benzene rings work.
Photo: Vox Populi