Trinity vs. Temple : Inner City Universities

After my first day of class, as I was wandering lost in the midst of Dublin, I stumbled across an old set of buildings.  Not sure as to what it was, curiosity got the best of me, and I was forced to investigate.  It turns out that this campus was Trinity College.  Traveling from Temple University, which is also an inner-city school, Trinity College provided many similarities and differences to what I experience daily.

Built between 1755 and 1759, Trinity College is a prime example of Georgian architecture.  The buildings are made of stone and are situated in a square around a bright green lawn.  The Georgian architecture at Trinity College uses gray rock, and symmetrical lines.  Panel front doors were centered and often topped with rectangular windows and surrounded by elaborate decoration.  Larger windows were used on the lower floors, with the smaller ones at top.  They are arranged with about 5 across the floor of the building.  Smaller windows have 6 panes while the larger have either 9 or 12.

Most of these buildings were built by Sir William Chambers, who was the architect for George III.  Two of the most prominent buildings are the library, which holds the Book of Kells, and the chapel, which is the only chapel in the Irish Republic that is shared by all Irish denominations.  They surround the Campanile, which is better known to us Temple students as the bell tower.    Upon doing some research, I found that the court was arranged by Thomas Nevile in the early 17th century, and has retained its same look today.

While walking through the area, I felt calm.  While it is constantly filled with people, if one would walk through, it would not feel hectic.  Finding an open space like this in a city like Dublin would have been previously unheard of in my mind.  Coming from a city like Philadelphia, this area is a nice change of pace.  Our city has no open spaces on a college campus; instead all of the buildings are crowded together.  This could also be because of the difference in student population.  Temple is home to about 38,000 students, while Trinity students total to just under 18,000 students.

As I left Trinity College, I found myself wishing that Temple University would be more architecturally similar to Trinity College. I definitely prefer the Georgian architecture and the open calm to the mish-mash style of buildings and hectic nature of Temple.   However, in my mind, Temple would not work if it were just in one style of architecture.  The variety of architectural styles represent the variety of students you can find there. While they do share some similar characteristics, both Temple & Trinity work architecturally for the area they are located in.  I guess this experience can only lead me to appreciate the buildings at Temple more, once we get back to Philadelphia.