The Architecture of UT Dallas
The University of Texas at Dallas, or UT Dallas, is a college located in Richardson, Texas, several miles north of Dallas proper. (Why they don’t call it UT Richardson is a mystery to me. I guess it doesn’t have the same ring.) Though it was founded in 1961, the university has grown by leaps and bounds in the last decade. This makes UT Dallas a very good place to see some of the current trends in architecture. I went there one sunny afternoon to see the campus for myself.
Unlike other colleges in the region, such as SMU or TCU, UT Dallas has a very mid-century modern style to its architecture, with many post-modern elements. The campus is centered around an enormous pergola that helps provide shade on hot Texas days. This a new feature, added around the time that my sister graduated from UT Dallas. Before that, it was just an empty concrete area, reminiscent of the Brutalist architecture era of the 1970s and 1980s. Having seen the campus before and after, I can tell you that it is a great improvement.
Versus My Alma Mater
The other feature that surprised me were the painted boulders out in the courtyard. My alma mater, Michigan State University, also has such a rock, though ours has been around for many years. Unlike Michigan State, UT Dallas is much more of a “commuter campus”, though that seems to be changing as the university grows in size and prestige. It will be interesting to see what the campus will look like in 20 years or so. I bet it’ll be nice.