This week Golden Words attempted to track down the architects of the ILC in an effort to ascertain who is responsible for the mystery behind the room numbering. Renowned throughout the faculty for making no sense, either from a birdseye view or whilst walking about the building, we sought to find a meaning hidden in the madness.
Our search began with the architect, a certain Cornelius “Pan” Troglodyte, who graduated from the Simian School of Architecture in 1972, with a speciality in Bamboo and Organic Materials construction. His wikipedia page told us that he specializes in post-modern architecture and that his buildings are renowned for being “daring in their simplicity” and “oddly suited to ape-sized creatures”, often noted for incorporating odd gymnastic-like features into his constructions, such as monkey bars, straw floors, and large trees that in a 1998 conference he said were “perfect to just laze around and eat fleas out of each other’s hair” The original floor plans for the Integrated Learning Centre included a giant tree in the place of the second floor computer lab, which was eventually dissuaded from the final 2004 construction by one of the key structural engineers for the project, Dr. Rufus “Spot” Canis who said that he would be confused as to where along the massive arboreal fixture he would be able to pee.
Their design process was certainly an original one. In an interview with Animal Architects Weekly the two said they often opted to inspire their designs by “lapping up half a dog bowl of whiskey and seeing where we went from there.” While it certainly was unorthodox, you cannot argue with the results as their building went on to win awards for being one of the most environmentally friendly buildings in Canada. On these accolades, the designers are coy: Mr. Troglodyte even went on record saying that he had initially pictured the Living Wall that centrepieces the building being a replacement for every single stairway. He however revised his ideas when faced with the prospect that the extremely elderly and incredibly young might be unable to readily climb from floor to floor and he wouldn’t want a building for silverbacks only. Similarly, Dr. Canis originally had envisioned the building’s washrooms to be more energy efficient by just replacing urinals and toilets with yellow fire hydrants and small patches of grass respectively, an exciting carbon neutral solution which unfortunately was too far ahead of it’s time to be implemented.
Finally, after trawling through countless editions of the Simian Professionals, The Apeconomist, and The New Barker, a yellowed June 31st copy of The Chimp and Mail, 2007 gave us insight into the most head-scratching element of the Faculty of Applied Science’s most prized building. “Well, the idea actually came to me while I was in the washroom of all places.” Dr. Cornelius said, “I was doing my business onto that day’s copy of the Journal, when I reached down and was struck by the urge to fling my feces around the room, as we are all apt to do. I had a blueprint of the building on display and after I calmed down my poop-flinging frenzy, I noticed I had hit the blueprint in a very particular order. Maybe it was just the rum talking, but I thought to myself, why should numbering be ordered? Aren’t we just giving ourselves into chaos? Isn’t shitflinging a kind of So I called up Rufus and he loved the idea of the rooms being labelled in the order I lobbed my excrement at it.” The plan was approved and the iconic, shitflingingly crazy system we have today was carved in stone.
Readers, there have been times when I’ve wandered three times up and down the ILC, wondering if room 124 even exists, before checking the building plan and noticing someone stopped being able to count at 122 and remembered again sometime around 127. While I’m sure at least some of you noticed during the course of the article that this was written as fiction, but I implore all of you to honestly answer this question…
Given the current configuration, does it seem more likely that a professional architect and his team (of probably twenty or thirty university educated people) looked at the numbers and decided “Good job team” … Or does it look like the work of someone who commissioned a drunken ape to fling shit at a blueprint of the building?
I rest my case.