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Back when I was still waiting for my freshman year to begin, I remember getting really excited once I started thinking about which departments are located where. I anticipated spending a lot of time with the Physics and Cinema and Media Studies departments, so it was exciting that not only did the CAMS department have a relatively new home in the Weitz Center for Creativity (it was built in 2011), but also that the Physics department would soon inhabit the upcoming Integrated Science Facility!

Now called Anderson Hall, the building opened at the beginning of my sophomore year, and now I’m taking Atomic and Nuclear Physics in it. Now to be honest, I think I’m pretty easily impressed with campus architecture, because I haven’t yet visited a school that I didn’t find beautiful. However, I’ve always found Carleton particularly gorgeous (especially the rural, natural vibe suffused through even the most developed portions of campus), and Anderson Hall is no exception. I love its combination of old and new styles: it looks both like a natural extension of adjacent Huling and Olin halls, and also an evolution into a more modern look.

A view of Anderson Hall and adjacent Hulings Hall
See what I mean?

Furthermore, the interior is surprisingly transparent — literally. Most classrooms and labs are open to public view behind all-glass walls, which creates an open, immersive environment. Even when I’m not in class, I find myself spending time in Anderson Hall, mainly to study (oh yeah, the place also has a couple fantastic study rooms), because I enjoy being surrounded by sights of Science And Learning In Action.

Upon further research, this characteristic turns out to be intentional: the heavy use of glass is informed not only by a desire to affirm interdisciplinary collaboration and curiosity, but also by the science of learning itself. As it turns out, improved access to daylight apparently boosts learning speed by 26 percent!

As if that weren’t enough, Anderson Hall somehow doesn’t increase Carleton’s overall energy consumption — an incredible accomplishment I can’t quite wrap my head around. But it makes me so proud to go to a school with such a real, responsible dedication to sustainability, especially because I think I someday want to go into sustainable / renewable energy engineering — my school is my own role model!

There’s not much else I can say about this new part of Carleton’s facilities that hasn’t already been covered by the school’s various releases, so I’m going to dedicate the rest of this post to some pretty pictures I’ve taken over the past few weeks of my new favorite hall on campus.

Gaze upon its majesty!

A view of the area surrounding Anderson Hall
The surrounding area is beautiful too
A view of Anderson Hall's entrance
Here’s the entrance!
A view of Anderson Hall's surrounding area from outside
Even once you’re inside, you feel like you’re outside
A view of Anderson Hall's staircase from the first floor
Now we’re inside…
A view of Anderson Hall's ceiling from below
…so look up!
A view of an Anderson Hall study room
Here’s one of those Amazing Study Rooms I was talking about
A view of Anderson Hall's top floor
Now we’re at the top floor…
Anderson Hall's staircase, from above
…so look down!


Check out the new Evelyn Anderson Science Building below in a virtual tour! Launch Evelyn Anderson Science Building Virtual Tour

Lucas just entered his sophomore year at Carleton, bringing with him a passion for all things nerdy and a talent for overthinking and awkwardness (and self-deprecation). He hails from Pasadena, California, and yes, he realizes it gets cold out here. He currently sees himself majoring in Physics, although he hopes to explore Cinema and Media Studies, Chemistry, Economics, and Computer Science (among many other subjects) as well. He misses his bearded dragon. Meet the other bloggers!