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The Orion

New building aesthetic generates mixed feelings

The+Facewall.+This+piece+contains+over+1000+faces+from+around+the+campus+and+community.+Photo+credit%3A+Sean+Martens
The Facewall. This piece contains over 1000 faces from around the campus and community. Photo credit: Sean Martens

After three years of construction, costing around $42 million, the new Arts and Humanities building is now open. The new 91,000 square foot building contains a recital hall, five lecture halls and plenty of classrooms. Yet, the most common thing noticed by students is the different style.

Senior Marian Becker said she enjoys the glass windows, the artwork and the white boxing gloves piece.

“I think it is architecturally beautiful,” Becker said.

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Photo credit: Sean Martens

Art pieces cover the sides of the building including the most prominent piece, the Facewall by artists Marek Walczak and Wes Heiss.

This piece exhibits iron cutouts of silhouettes attached to the wall facing West 2nd Street. This art piece in particular has attracted a lot of attention because of its uniqueness.

The Facewall even has its own website where you can match names to each silhouette. The artist goes into great depth on the subject on their own website, describing the purpose and how the piece was created.

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Photo credit: Sean Martens

The art was not the only thing students were looking at.

“I think the color is out of place, [the building] doesn’t really go with our theme,” Joaquin Gonzales said when describing what he saw in the building.

His sentiment was echoed by Maren Neff, a Chico State student. She said that it was very nice, but she wasn’t sure it matched the other buildings on campus.

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Photo credit: Sean Martens

The building, with its different colored bricks, large open windows and modern look is an enormous contrast to the nearby structures. It seems to send the message that the school architecture is heading toward a more modern direction, away from the old style. This modern look may become more common as the school does more construction and modernizing in an attempt to improve learning experiences.

Chico State’s older buildings and their style may still hold special value.

“When choosing Chico, the big appeal for me was how pretty it looked,” Neff said. “Like an Ivy League school.”

Thomas Staaden can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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Sean Martens
Sean Martens, Graphic Designer

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