By Grace Mahony
Images by Lily Miles
From Greco-Roman archways to modern abstracts, Central Bucks schools have created the perfect balance of new and old. Before you even walk in the doors, you have already learned to remember the past and embrace the future because when mixed together, they can create something extraordinary.
If you are a student at Tohickon Middle School, every morning you are greeted by an abstract arch with obvious Greco-Roman roots. The architectural arch itself is a Roman invention from around 2000 BC, when its original purpose was to make stronger bridges in the Roman Empire. However, Tohickon has used it to create a domed marquee over its student entrance. It was then modernized by adding geometric rectangles. This style fits the decontrsuctivism style of architecture, which encourages freedom from the more functional aspects of architecture shown in the intersecting rectangles that don’t necessarily serve a functional purpose. If you look slightly to the left, you will see an extravagant example of modern glasswork: a bold glass stairwell. Since the beginning of the 21st century, glass wall paneling has become a common embellishment in many new pieces of architecture, like the new Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
If you are a student at Tamanend Middle School, you have seen the school’s main entrance. This entrance is a semi-circle wall lined with brick pillars. In modern architecture, circles are a common geometric base due to their lack of previous ridged corners and aesthetic appeal. The brick pillars, however, have roots as far back as the ancient Greeks, where similar pillars (or columns) were used to hold up ceilings while increasing their overall expandable potential.
If you are a student at Central Bucks West High School, you go to a school with a very college-esque campus and building. The green roof of the clock tower is a blatant romanesque revival architecture piece that can be commonly found in Italian architecture. There are also many Greek columns found at most entrances, like at the previously mentioned Tamanend Middle School. The high school building also actively demonstrates the brutalist style with its series of three protruding concrete structures that frame various doors to the right of the grand courtyard.
Each Central Bucks School is different, but all have modern, historic and international architecture inspirations. It is a perfect metaphor for what goes on inside the stunning buildings’ walls.
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