As one of their final assignments for the school year, one class of Texas Tech architecture students was given the task of constructing replicas of old downtown Lubbock.
The class was divided up into five design teams, each one responsible for assembling one or more classic Lubbock buildings such as the Pioneer hotel, Mast-White House, and others.
“I like to emphasize in my design class ‘service-learning’ instead of just doing an abstract project in the studio,” said Dr. Louis Mills, a professor of Landscape Architecture at Texas Tech University, who led the project.
He shared it was something most of the students hadn’t done before, and was impressed with their finished products.
“It was sort of pushing them outside of their comfort level and I think they survived fine.”
Students were at first nervous to begin the project, but now say they are thankful to have been put up to the challenge.
‘We went to the architecture building and saw some of the models they had and I didn’t think we were capable of making something that intricate and detailed,” shared Natalie Campbell, a TTU senior. “But once I saw how to do it, I started envisioning it a little bit more, and once I saw one I could really picture it being a lot more detailed and really looking like the real thing.”
“We had no idea of what to expect. It was a really great experience for us so we all just kind of dove right into it,” said Hector Aguirre, a senior TTU student on the project. “I can’t even count the hours we put into these projects, but it all worked out really well.”
The students had to work with a variety of complex tools and instruments to make certain that measurements were precise, ranging from advanced computer programs, laser cutters and then, of course, some old-fashioned glue. The students recognize that while it was a course project, they know they will be able to take away what they learned and apply it to the “real world.”
“I really like the end product and getting to see all the little details and things and getting to put those together and really see something come to life,” said Campbell. “So it would be really interesting to get to do that with like one of my own designs in the future. I definitely want to incorporate this into my own portfolio so that professionally, they can at least see that ‘you’re capable of it,'” said Campbell.
The replicas will now have a permanent home in the American Wind Power Museum, and will play a role in the newest 33,000 sq. foot addition to the museum, “The Wind Energy Experience.”
The new exhibit, which is set to open on June 22 this summer, will house a large replica of the West Texas scenery from the early 1900s. 4,000 feet of mini train tracks will run through the exhibit. The students’ buildings will earn a spot in the exhibit where Lubbock is supposed to be in the replica.
“We’re just really excited about everything that’s coming together,” said Tonya Meadows, the director of marketing at the American Wind Power Center.
Although it is bittersweet for the students to part ways with the projects they had spent the last six weeks of the semester on, they say they are proud to see they will have a permanent place in town for everyone to see and appreciate.
“It’s kind of hard to let go of it, but knowing that it’s going to be here we’re super proud of our names getting to be here, having a piece in a permanent structure here. That’s kind of exciting,” said Campbell.
“The fact that these are going to be put up in a museum, I think that I enjoy that more. I’m glad that someone else is getting to use it,” said Aguirre,