Ephemeral Arches

A student of the program Gothic Constructions passes under wooden arch set on top of the Red Square hill. The arch was one of seven constructed by the students and placed in different locales around campus for the week. — Shauna Bittle photo

Greeners may have noticed several new structures this week as arches sprang up around campus seemingly overnight. Visitors to the library have the option of walking around, or passing through, a peaked arch set with mirrors, while another arch inspired by Mayan design holds a commanding perch on the Red Square hill. Others sit in less visited spots, waiting to be discovered.

This week we were delighted to discover the story behind the mystery as we found the program Gothic Constructions touring the structures for critique. Faculty Anthony Tindill and Trevor Speller divided the students into seven groups to construct the arches, which served as physical manifestations of the students’ studies this year. The program combines architecture and literature studies, and students either used literature as the inspiration for their projects, or found ways to incorporate text directly into their structures by carving words or adorning them with pages of books.

They won’t be up for long, so please visit and contemplate the program’s work. We hope that you take the challenge to find all seven and enjoy both the hunt and the journey. (Hint: when is the last time you made it out to the Evergreen beach?)

Gothic Constructions students and faculty meet on the roof of the library building to critique an arch at the top of the Clock Tower stairs. The white arch adorned with patterns of string was inspired by stained glass. — Shauna Bittle photo.

A student reads from the Necronomicon as the class pauses to critique his group arch in the forest. The arch is adorned with a spider-like god, and held together with an elaborate web. — Shauna Bittle photo

The Evergreen Beach is home to the furthest of Gothic Constructions’ seven arches. This one is made of driftwood with the word “temporary” carved into one of the pieces. — Andrew Jeffers photo

Members of the program Gothic Constructions meet as a group to critique the seven student-made arches displayed around campus. The program, which is team taught by Trevor Speller and Anthony Tindill, combines literature studies with architecture and design. — Shauna Bittle photo