Rudolph Hall Weather Report: A Psycho-Architectural Survey
M.Arch I, 2019
January 10, 2019
6TH FLOOR BRIDGE: 81°F / 28°C
PRESSURE: 35.03 inHg
The bridge has no mercy. You suffer an oppressive heat as the bridge elevates you towards the radiating vents in the drop ceiling. The concrete that surrounds you makes sure this air remains uncirculated and stale. As one of the unlucky residents of the windowless bridge on the 6th floor, you are deprived of natural daylight, but spoiled with an overabundance of heat. During the first few months of one’s stay, Rudolph incubates within you a burning passion for knowledge and creativity. As if reciprocating this manic energy, Rudolph turns up its temperature on you as stakes get higher and deadlines approach. As your schedule continues at its frantic first semester pace, caffeine intake skyrockets, sleep plummets, and you wonder what happens when this fiery perseverance that keeps you going eventually burns you out.
6th FLOOR PIT: 88°F / 31°C
(FEELS LIKE 97°F / 36°C)
As you stand in the center of it all, stumbling through your final presentation, you grow hot in embarrassment and fervor. Your “review outfit,” a tasteful blazer with a sweater underneath, only exacerbates the situation. When the jury finishes roasting you over an open flame, you turn to your neighbor and ask if they are hot, or if it’s just you. They answer yes, but whether due to nerves overstimulated by scalding black coffee or the literal temperature of the pit, you cannot be sure.
5th FLOOR ABOVE PIT: 70°F / 21°C
WIND: NE 10 MPH
In your second year, your class first complains about the low ceilings. You scoff. You are an alumnus of the bridge, and a low ceiling has never contained your boundless energy. You notice with growing fear the metal vents above your desk, a reminder of last year’s temperature-induced trauma. You wait uneasily for the bombardment to resume again. But when the heat finally turns on, it comes in a much gentler form. Your proximity to the low ceiling is a slight annoyance, as you feel a constant warm draft tickling the hairs on your forearm. Yet, while your peers sitting near the windows don scarves, Yale hoodies, and blankets, you feel content under Rudolph’s hot breath. As you begin to wrestle with DIVA in Environmental Design, you realize that you are being forced to learn the importance of environmental conditioning by suffering the consequences of this building’s volatile weather. Reyner Banham rolls over; a well-tempered environment this is not.
5TH FLOOR BATHROOMS: 70°F / 21°C
AIR QUALITY INDEX: 115; UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS
The vestiges of your first year caffeine habit sends you off to the bathrooms, where you encounter increasingly hazardous conditions as final deadlines approach. You first endure the burnt plastic smell generated by an army of overworked Ultimaker 2s on either side of you. Then, turning the corner, you are embraced by the noxious odor of spray paint wafting from an inadequate ventilation booth. You cough twice. As you push open the bathroom door, the air becomes even less fit to breathe. You long for those luxurious visits to the private bathrooms in the 4th and 5th floor Loria offices, but the secret is out, and those days are long gone.
4TH FLOOR WEST BRIDGE: 61°F / 16°C
FORECAST: 14°F / -10°C
In your third year, burning passions cool down. In first year, you used to do everything without question, but now you are wisened enough to question everything you do. You become skeptical of your overworked lifestyle in architecture school and begin to imagine what your life could be like on the outside. As you gaze through the expansive windows on the 4th floor, you are faced with the chilling reality of leaving Rudolph’s warm embrace (which is, admittedly, way too warm sometimes) and stepping out into the cold. To prepare you for this transition, Rudolph graciously weans you off of its heat. That familiar drop ceiling becomes ever so distant as you are plunged into a triple height space and left to fend the cold on your own. Only a single sheet of glass separates you from the harsh New Haven winter. You shiver, as if each gust of wind breaks through this weak thermal barrier to chill your bones.
EAST STAIRWELL, BETWEEN 3RD AND 4TH FLOORS: 57°F / 14°C
VISIBILITY: 15 FT
When a single cough or sneeze reverberates throughout an entire school, when you can hear a sneeze and identify its owner by its characteristics (quick and to the point, piercingly high-pitched, or explosively booming), you are more than aware that there is no privacy within these bush-hammered walls. But there remains a space for seclusion, contemplation, or private conversation. Rudolph’s concrete stairwell insulates you from studio noise and cell service, but not from the outside cold. The unconditioned chill is only matched by the temperament of the sullen lovers you pass by on the way up. Otherwise an intimate alcove for couples to speak in hushed tones, the stairwell can also be an awkward encounter for an unwitting third-wheel passerby. You just wanted to get some exercise, but you unknowingly interrupt a couple’s private quarrel as you enter the stair. The slam of the door indicates to the couple that their privacy has been breached. Seated on the paprika upholstered bench, they stare at you silently as you attempt to innocuously shuffle past.
LORIA B51: 83°F / 28°C
Within a vestigial afterthought of Rudolph’s less glamorous appendage, an endless supply of heat is delivered from an unknowable source. The air becomes suffocating as 52 students are packed into this small room for their final required class at Yale. As students shed their winter coats and sweaters for t-shirts and tank tops to bear the upcoming two-hour session, you realize with dread that you did not wear your “Pro Prac outfit” today. As you sweat out your career anxieties, faculty hotshot Phil Bernstein stirs the class with blazing truths about your future profession.
7th FLOOR TERRACE: 17°F / -8°C
A rare breath of fresh air. At first you long for the days when 6-on-7 will return here and be freed from the confines of the back pit. But after only five minutes outside, you freeze your ass off and suddenly remember why you never leave this building.