Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Around Aberdeen: Outside the Hideous Glass Cube

A couple of years ago, the University of Aberdeen demolished the Queen Mother Library in order to build their new and improved library. The weekend I arrived, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was in Aberdeen to dedicate the library, which is named after Sir Duncan Rice, the former Principal of the University of Aberdeen. Unfortunately, I was asleep after something like twenty-six hours of air travel at the time, so I didn't get to see the Queen.

As some of you may remember from my departure pictures, I've provided my own name to the Sir Duncan Rice Library: I call it the "Hideous Glass Cube", because it's a giant cube of glass, and it's truly hideous. CN Sister calls it the Borg Cube, which seems reasonable enough.

I've studied in the Hideous Glass Cube a couple of times, but I prefer to study in the SOC. The Hideous Glass Cube's hours tend to be less accommodating than the SOC's as well - at one point, I got in there at about 7:40 PM, attempted to start reading, and then they announced over the 1MC that the library would be closing at 8:00 PM. What kind of self-respecting university library closes at 8:00 PM? I think it was a Friday, too. Come on, 10:00 PM, at least.

Anyway, as you can see from the picture on my earlier post, the Hideous Glass Cube sort of dominates the Aberdeen skyline, as long as you're up high enough that it's not blocked by buildings (most of the buildings in town are only three stories, but that's further complicated by hills and depressions). That eyesore is visible from all around the city, and particularly from the sea and air. I saw the Hideous Glass Cube when I was leaving for Orkney, and I saw it again when I was flying back from Orkney. I have to say, the campus library on my campus back in the States was gorgeous, but the Hideous Glass Cube is... Well... Hideous.

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