tomorrow morning, Merkin Muffley are I heading to new haven for the day with our 20th century architecture class to see two Louis Kahn buildings, a Paul Rudolph building, and a Gordon Bunshaft building. i'm eager to hear what my professor has to say about each of these buildings-he is an architecture critic for the Dallas Morning News with an infectious passion for architecture and a degree from Harvard GSD.
i'll let you know which of these buildings ends up being my favorite: if i had to guess right now i'd probably go with Kahn's Center for British Art (#2 below). while the Bunshaft building (#4) design looks magnificent and other wordly, i'm a sucker for good windows. i also like the tetrahedral ceiling in the University Art Gallery (#1). will update this post tomorrow evening and let you know.
here's what we're seeing
1. Yale University Art Gallery by Louis Kahn: restored in 2007, this building was Kahn's first major commission and first masterpiece. the building is constructed from brick, concrete, glass, and steel and the most public facade of the building is windowless. at the time of it's construction in 1953, most of Yale's buildings adhered to neo-Gothic style. Kahn's building was revolutionary not only in its aesthetics but it's electrical and ventilation systems that are concealed within hollow concrete tetrahedrons in appear to float in the ceiling.
2. Center for British Art by Louis Kahn: this was Kahn's final work and was completed after his death in 1974. the facade of this four-story geometric building is made out of matte steel and reflective glass (photos rarely capture the steel aesthetic so I'm especially pumped to see this in person). the interior of the building is constructed out of white oak, travertine marble, and Belgian linen and was designed around two courtyards . each room in the museum is illuminated by natural light from the ceiling and artificial lighting is only used on dark days and evenings. (brilliant, Kahn!) it was the first museum in USA to incorporate retail shops into it's design.