Mudd Atrium will be revamped with a new aesthetic, the University announced Wednesday, in order to better serve the science community. The design plans include the installment of brown leather couches, stained glass windows, white floating lanterns and huge-ass portraits of old white men.
Vincent Hilser, chair of the Biology Department, believes that the biology students, faculty and researchers could benefit from some culture.
“All those Westerns and PCRs can be pretty mind-numbing, and we’ve seen the effects in recent years as more undergraduates join research labs,” he said. “I’ve been working with Facilities and the Student Life Office to bring a new, creative energy into the space.”
The Mudd Atrium, which was last renovated in 2013 when the Undergraduate Teaching Labs were built, has served as a social space for students who need to kill time before Cell Bio Lab and a top destination for campus tour groups. However, William Tan, the project manager, says that enough time has passed for another redesign.
“Ideally, we’d like all portraits of historic old white dudes to be 15-20 feet high. Just really freaking huge.” — William Tan, project manager
“What we’re most excited about — what the students are most excited about — is moving the portraits of historic men into the main atrium space,” Tan said. “We’re going to really feature those guys and make sure when people are trying to study they are constantly making accidental eye contact with the old men and being inspired.”
“We may even commission some more,” he added. “Ideally, we’d like all portraits of historic old white dudes to be 15 to 20 feet high. Just really freaking huge.”
Roberto Newcomer, a barista at Mudd’s Daily Grind, said that Mudd has been heading toward the counterculture with the hiring of several new tattooed and bearded baristas this year, and changes are coming to the cafe’s menu.
“We’re planning to stop offering special drinks like Milky Ways or Jitter Machines anymore,” he said. “And the smoothies are definitely gone. Cappuccinos and tiny hot chocolates will be the standard from now on. They may be small in portion and totally overpriced, but at least it’s different.”
Junior Clarissa Fairfield believes that a change in the Mudd Atrium’s overall vibe is long overdue.
“Rocking chairs and high tables have become too mainstream,” she said. “And red is such a bland color — I hope we get some new bright orange chairs.”
Sophomore Janessa Lowell, a Writing Seminars, Film & Media Studies and history of art triple major with a minor in Women, Gender and Sexuality, can never find a chair when she needs one. She believes that transforming Mudd would attract humanities students and aid them in their plight.
“You know, when I’m trying to read about the complexities of estates satire in Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene and analyze the use of violence and addiction in Quentin Tarantino’s films, I really need a quiet space to call my own,” Lowell said.
“There’s something about the smell of brown leather and stained glass windows that universally promotes learning in all types of student.”
Bob Steisman, a construction worker at Hopkins who has worked on numerous projects throughout the years, believes that this will be the biggest undertaking yet and is excited to move forward with the project.
“Well you know, me and my friends, we build paths,” Steisman said. “Path-building is kind of our thing, and Hopkins seems to be really into it. Remember when the Freshman Quad was closed off for the entirety of last fall? And how the quad in front of Shriver is sectioned off too? Yep, that’s us. I’m excited to finally be taking on bigger projects like this.”
Construction on the Mudd Atrium is scheduled to begin this summer and is expected to last through the end of the 2016-17 school year.