Take a guided tour of the new Mandel Center for the Humanities
Architect Martin Dermady points out principal concepts, functions of the facility
Even on a campus with a wealth of strikingly beautiful modern architecture, the new Mandel Center for the Humanities stands out. The center, which went into use in August and will be formally dedicated Oct. 26, is a stunning combination of high, airy, sun-splashed spaces and rich construction materials and furnishings. Not just physical beauty but a new academic dynamic has been fostered by the $22.5 million Mandel Foundation gift that funded the building.
Already the new center is abuzz with serendipitous exchanges of ideas resulting from the gathering of humanities and social sciences under one roof. "I went upstairs to borrow a book of classical poetry," says Professor of English Ramie Targoff, the director of the center. On the way back down, she says, she talked an idea over with an art historian. "This kind of chance meeting would never have happened before," when the humanities were scattered around the campus, Targoff said.
The four-story center features a 90-seat theater/lecture hall, a 48-seat tiered classroom, two 24-seat seminar rooms, offices and open work stations. A large gathering room leads to an outdoor, planted terrace. On the top floor there is a quiet reading room adjacent to a roof garden. The center also physically links formerly freestanding buildings within the humanities quadrangle and provides greatly improving handicap access to the newly landscaped Mandel Quad, which formerly was known as the North Academic Quad.