Tag Archives: architecture


Arts + Architecture Students Team Up to Build New Arts Facilities Themselves

 After years of empty promises, USF students start digging on their own.

Art + Architecture students were caught dirty handed on Friday morning as they were carrying bricks and shovels and digging through the ground inside  XARTS with the hopes of creating a sunroof for their underground co-op.

USF students and faculty were aware of suspicious activity after cafeteria food and toilet paper rolls from bathrooms around campus started to disappear.

“USF has been promising a new arts building for years. It’s time we took matter into our own hands. Literally. We’re artists. Our hands are our tools.” said Henri Cubism, 5th year Fine Arts student.

Last year, USF promised to construct a brand new arts space but funding has gone towards the new sports and business facilities instead.

Architecture and community design students also drew the blueprint for the new building.

Entrance to the construction site requires a secret identification code that you have to draw before entering, restricting it only to XARTS students and faculty.

“To get in, you have to know how to draw a perfect circle without using a compass,” Cubism said. “Good luck, English lit students,”

Building plans include bigger classrooms, a lounge, a fireplace, wooden desks, a bathroom with showers, a jacuzzi, a built-in kitchen, futons, and a fully stocked fridge for those all-nighters.

Construction is scheduled to begin at 10p.m. on April 1. Students of the Art + Architecture major are inviting everyone to join.

BYOB (Bring Your Own Bricks!)

DISCLAIMER: This piece was printed as part of The Foghorn’s April Fool’s Day issue on April 1st, 2014. This article is intended to be satirical.


Hanoch Piven spoke to USF students on Feb. 4, and showed some of his collage portraits, including this one of Moses with matzo bread as his beard. (Photo Courtesy of Courtesy of PAULA BIRNBAUM)

“Hi, My Name is Hanoch Piven and I Play With Objects”

A portrait of a man with a banana peel for a nose, and another of a man with twigs as hair are one of the many collages that uses objects to portray people in the exhibit “The Whimsical World of Hanoch Piven.” The work of the Israeli artist famous for these caricatures is currently on display at the Jewish Community Center until April 30.

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P. Ladies

SF Architecture: Where Modern Meets the Past

1198 Fulton shows a multi-textured facade that is typically seen on corner lots of SF. (Photo: Danielle Maingot)

1198 Fulton shows a multi-textured facade that is typically seen on corner lots of SF.
(Photo: Danielle Maingot)

Thousands of homes were built in San Francisco thanks to the abundance of coastal redwoods that contributed to the mass production of timber. These homes were built cheaper due to the local wood supply, but strong, as the redwood was ideal in resisting rot and termites and is an easy material to use.  Following the 1906 earthquake, however, many homes were lost in the Great Fire except for the homes surrounding the Haight District – some of which include original homes dating back to the Victorian era (1825 – 1901).

During the reign of Britain’s Queen Victoria, many architectural styles were popularized in the United States. In turn, what evolved was an architectural style loosely based on medieval styles with multi-textured or multi-colored walls, steeply-pitched roofs and asymmetrical facades. The combination of several other architectural styles such as Stick-Eastlake and Queen Anne collectively make up what is now known as “Victorian.” The inspiration in building these beautiful homes came from nature, history, geometry, and of course, one’s personal preference. It wasn’t until after the Civil War that the style became more elaborate due to the influence of the Industrial


The Stick-Easlake style can be seen on 1382 Hayes. (Photo: Danielle Maingot)

1382  Hayes

The Stick-Eastlake houses are known for the long, thin pieces of wood called ‘sticks’ placed on the surface of the home. These ‘sticks’ are meant to be decorative and expressive of the wood frame structure. The style was primarily ornamental and applied to the already well-established row house prototype. The façade is usually dominated with the two story rectilinear bay window with detailed rooflines that have truss work.

‘Painted Ladies’  & 1198 Fulton 

The Queen Anne style was well-suited to large lots and was very popular in semi-rural areas, however, San Francisco took to the style quickly implementing it to the standard 25’ wide urban lot. The Queen Anne is principally about asymmetry, picturesque massing, variety of color, multi-textured façades, steeply pitched roofs with cutaway bay windows and stained glass. Despite the cramped conditions of San Francisco this style took over the corner lots that generally doubled in width.


710 Ashbury  

710 Ashbury is home to the band the ‘Grateful Dead’ (1966-1968). During this time was the famous drug bust in 1967 and of course, the Summer of Love.

Beware Billy Goats Gruff! Under the old Bay Bridge now lives a great ugly troll, but don’t worry, it’s there to keep travelers safe. 
(Photo: Courtesy of California Department of Transportation)

What Will Become of the Bay Bridge Troll?

As the excitement around the opening of the Bay Bridge’s new east span abates, new concerns about safety are surfacing. As a rule, I am suspicious of heroes, but the Bay Bridge troll is an arresting figure. While the origins of the Bay Bridge troll are up for discussion, legend has it that the troll mysteriously appeared as a fixture on the bridge in the aftermath of the 1989 earthquake to keep travelers crossing the Bay Bridge safe.

Demure, the Bay Bridge troll didn’t seek the spotlight for his heroism. Instead, his 18 inch indomitable frame remained quietly esconded above pier E-9, with the fates of countless travelers and the weight of the entire bridge perched on his angular shoulders.  That is, until recently.

The publicity surrounding the newly completed construction of the Bay Bridge has garnered the troll quite a bit of attention as concerned citizens wonder if their hero will be destroyed along with the old bridge.

According to recent reports, the Bay Bridge troll was removed from his position on the old bridge and is now in a secure, albeit undisclosed, location. While this news is comforting, it doesn’t assuage the concerns that many residents of San Francisco have voiced about venturing across the bridge without the mystical protection the troll provided.

Who will protect the countless motorists commuting in and out of the city? What will become of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge Troll? Rumors are already circulating that, in the interest of public safety, a new troll will assume his role as the sole protector of the bridge. As for the old troll, his legacy will live on and his heroism will not be forgotten.

Lo Schiavo Building Complete

New Building on the Block: After six years Lo Schiavo Science is complete

Orientation day brought about a great transformation to the USF campus, this year — and no,  we aren’t talking about the freshmen! Ah yes, while the university welcomed new and first year students for orientation this past Saturday, August 17, the day also marked the opening of the John Lo Schiavo, S.J. Center for Science and Innovation building, a five-story academic center in the heart of lower campus.

Lo Schiavo Science, as the building is officially known in shorthand, has been under construction since 2007 and cost a total of 54 million dollars to complete, according to Anne-Marie Devine, Senior President of Media Relations.


(Left to right) St. Ignatius Institute students Elizabeth Walton, Kerry Phan, Kyle Hunt, Clare Sorensen, Brianna Nieves and Erika Cruz convene on the new plaza outside Lo Schiavo Science to reflect on their morning spent pruning and beautifying trees in the city through the group Friends of the Urban Forest.

Geared towards science majors, the academic hub is approximately 60,000 gross square feet and includes 11 labs and six classrooms that “allow students to learn in an up-to-date science facility that serves as an educational tool both inside and outside,” said Kristy Vivas, project manager. According to Vivas, the average size of the classrooms ranges from a 16 seat wet lab — where chemicals, drugs, and other biological matter are handled — to a 47 seat lecture classroom on the main floor of the building.

With the potential to house nearly 500 students at any given time, Lo Schiavo Science is certain to play a role in campus life — even for non-science majors. Centrally located in between the University Center (UC), the Harney Science Center, and Gleeson Library, the new building is a “thoroughly student-centered facility,” said Rev. Stephen Privett, S.J., university president. “The facility is not just for science students — it will house core courses and provide outstanding ‘hang-out’ space throughout the building,” said Fr. Privett.  Indeed, in addition to classrooms, Lo Schiavo Science also offers study spaces, a two-tiered plaza, and an indoor and outdoor fireplace.

Rhetoric professor Rick Roberts highlights the importance of this extra space in recalling the volume

Inside Lo Schiavo Science on the first floor (Photo by Allison Fazio)

Inside Lo Schiavo Science on the first floor (Photo by Allison Fazio)

war that occurred between the two main television areas of UC 1st floor, last October 22, when both the final 2012 presidential debate between Obama and Romney and the World Series deciding Giants game aired at the same time. “It will be great to have quieter spots to hang out in between classes,” said senior communications major Maude Ballinger. Ballinger said she is particularly excited to welcome the new building, since she has been affected by its construction her entire time on campus. Though construction did take around six years, Roberts thinks that Lo Schiavo Science was worth the wait: “There are generations of students who had to put up with constant construction without reaping any of the benefits, but this — this is good for the whole campus.”

It’s especially good for science. Roberts, who graduated from USF in 1986, spent two years studying biology down in Harney. “The bio labs there look exactly like they did in the 80’s, so the new facilities are really exciting for science teachers and students,” he said. Especially impressive are the fume hoods, installed in the labs, said Roberts. The glass-protected “hoods” allow students to work with toxic chemicals by filtering the fumes through negative pressure — a technology that Roberts experienced in organic chemistry class in Harney, years ago, though, there were only two per classroom. In just one lab room in Lo Schiavo Science, there are 11.

But don’t get too antsy, science majors; according to biology professor Jennifer Dever, there will be no organic chemistry in the Lo Schiavo labs this fall, due to a functional error with the fume hoods. “The only thing wrong with the building is the hoods,” said Dever, who attributes the error to misplaced sinks within the hoods. The successes seem to outweigh the failures, however, as Dever points out the perks of her new conservational biology class in room 303. “Many lecture rooms in Harney had the projector screens come down over the whiteboards so that you could only write on one at a time, but here you can do both at the same time and it’s fabulous,” she said. This particular classroom on the third floor has two computer screens on either side of the whiteboard. Teacher perks extend to students, as well, as Dever will now be able to make video recordings of her lectures, as opposed to just audio, something senior bio major Staci Hoell thinks could have really helped her prepare for organic chemistry exams her sophomore year.

Inside Lo Schiavo Science on the first floor (Photo by Allison Fazio)

Inside Lo Schiavo Science on the first floor (Photo by Allison Fazio)

Despite the mishap, there is still a new microbiology, general biology and molecular biology lab that are ready for use. “New labs and lecture halls are critical to the success of the sciences,” said Dever. “There are some functional issues, but nothing major, and as a science teacher, I am very happy with the building. And you know, whenever you build something new, you gotta break it in.”

Breaking it in is precisely what students and faculty appear to be doing. Days before the official start to the academic semester, the Lo Schiavo building was already brimming with life. On Friday afternoon, several students and their families explored the new building, as construction workers continued to put on the finishing touches. Out on the plaza, there was a student-run freshman orientation for the St. Ignatius Institute, a distinctively Jesuit campus learning community, and on Saturday, move-in day, a lively performance from the members of Voices, a university choir group.

The curiosity surrounding the building might be due to the dramatic change it has created on campus, at least visually, since students last saw construction at the end of spring semester. “Since May, we have completed the site work, landscape installation, installation of two fireplaces and all finishes in the building,” said Vivas. This includes placing artwork, classroom technology, and furniture, as well, she said. Most notably, however, is the lack of cranes, noise, and of course, the big, green wall — an endearingly bizarre construction divider in the middle of lower campus commonly known to play music from its speakers at early hours of the morning and house a vertical garden of various potted plants. Senior communications major JT Talarman remembers the wall fondly: “The green wall was very cultured when it came to playing tunes — one moment it could be playing the Star Wars Anthem and the next, Backstreet Boys. It kept me on my toes.” Other soundtracks of the big, green wall included classical music, instrumental Beatles, and birds chirping. The music and potted plants have since been replaced with the distinct glass walls of Lo Schiavo Science, which have sparked another area of interest. “It’s such futuristic architecture; It’s inspiring!” said senior Wesley Baker, a business administration student. “Have you seen the building? It dips underground!” said Baker, referring to the exposed two-story lower level of the building. “That’ll be the main spot on campus,” he added, assuredly.

Father Privett seems to think so, as well: “The two-tiered plaza provides students social space that is environmentally responsible and conducive to the gatherings and conversations that are central to a college education. I strongly [urge] every student to “come and see” — you are going to love this incredible new facility, not matter your major.”

To learn more about the John Lo Schiavo, S.J. Center for Science and Innovation, visit the official USF website at: http://www.usfca.edu/loschiavo/

Photo by Matt Miller