A Future for Seaton Hall // Riley Haney
As we approach the end of the year we also approach the very exciting time of the renovation of the architecture building here on campus, Seaton Hall. It has been in the works for a few years now and is finally being put into action. With the college’s recent purchase of the data center near the airport, the day after commencement the move-out process begins. As exciting as this is for the students and faculty, it’s also extremely stressful. The temporary space is miles away from campus and secluded from anything nearby. Will students have to transport themselves? Will there be a shuttle system? Parking? Workshop space? The questions go on and on. A project within our studio has been solely dedicated to how the studio spaces within the massive building will be organized. This is challenging enough with all of the different opinions of the faculty and students. Some want open spaces for community learning while others want their own space cut off from the rest for complete focus on their own studio.
My opinion is that yes, it is going to be very inconvenient for both faculty and students for a number of years but the end result will be completely worth it. The Seaton Hall we have today, while the students love it for its character and charm, is very outdated. The building itself, while very monumental and consistent with Kansas State’s limestone façade heritage, is littered with single A/C units destroying the mature castle-like style with its grand stair entrance (do you mean the window units?). The studios within Seaton Hall are also not up to par. On multiple occasions students’ work has been damanged by a leaking roof. It’s extremely frustrating to know that the building you’re learning in is working against students due to its physical condition. As with most old buildings on campus, the temperature within Seaton is never comfortable. It gets wildly hot in the summer and bitterly cold in the winter without the ability to be controlled within each space. The studio spaces also need to be larger and more accommodating to the students and faculty. Many studios are packed full of desks leaving a winding pathway for people to circulate throughout the room. Needless to say, the fire marshal is never excited to inspect Seaton Hall,. Luckily, in the Design+Build Studio we built our own desks making us the most organized studio that uses our limited space wisely. (click here for more details on the desks.)
Last but not least, the workshop space is inadequate. While we have a wonderful shop with many tools at our disposal, it could be much more efficient while also being more consolidated. That means having larger spaces for everything from production, to storage, to painting, to welding, sanding, CNC-ing, plasma cutting (the list goes on and on) while not having all of these things being placed throughout Seaton Hall. Right now we have a main shop, a welding shop (“room”), an Interior Architecture production shop, Fabrication room, staining room, Plasma cutting “area”, and an Interior Architecture welding room. It will be amazing and extremely convenient to have all of these things organized and easily accessible by all students.
So yes, this next few years will be exhausting as well as aggravating for students and faculty alike, but they have much to look forward to. All of the students, except next year’s fifth years (sorry guys), need to consider themselves lucky that they will have a new and improved Seaton Hall for their educational experience. No more water-soaked drawings, sauna-like rooms, or weird circulation. Just a much better facility than what the students before them had.
Images courtesy of APDesign
Written by Riley Haney