A student hall from hell hath no windows to distract from study and sleep | Rowan Moore

Nearly 5,000 unlucky souls in California are expected to cram into a building where most rooms have no natural light Sometimes, an idea seems so transparently and hyperbolically awful that you wonder if there is some secret brilliance to it. Such is the one for Munger Hall, the plan to build a dormitory at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where 94% of the 4,500 students will live in rooms without windows. Glowing screens that mimic sunlight are promised instead. Some contrarian minds have tried to justify it, not least Charlie Munger, the 97-year-old billionaire who is the building’s donor and designer. He has compared the rooms to the berths inside cruise ships, a view that seems to ignore the difference between a short holiday, where your windowless cabin might be compensated for by the tropical paradises you visit, and an academic year. Continue reading...

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