Welcome to the Archives of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation. The purpose of this online database is to function as a tool for scholars, students, architects, preservationists, journalists and other interested parties. The archive consists of photographs, slides, articles and publications from Rudolph’s lifetime; physical drawings and models; personal photos and memorabilia; and contemporary photographs and articles.

Image rights are the responsibility of the user. Unless otherwise noted, images should be credited to the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation. Please speak with a representative of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation before publishing photographs. Drawings, sketches and other materials at the Library of Congress are in the public domain, however the digital scan or photograph of the item still belongs to its creator. The copyright of any other items remains with the estate of Paul Rudolph and Ernst Wagner, founder of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation.

Graphic Arts Center.jpg

Address: Pier 25, Hudson River Park
City: New York
State: New York
Zip Code: 10013
Nation: United States
Google Maps Address: 40.72039, -74.01231

Type: Housing
Status: Project

Date(s): 1967
Site Area:
Floor Area:
Floors (Above Ground):
Building Cost:

Architect: Paul Rudolph
Associate Architect: 


Graphic Arts Center

The project, as described in an undated description by Paul Rudolph:

The proposals for the Graphic Arts Center are based on the concept of the megastructure, or the idea that many functions can be served in a single large building complex. In this case there are facilities for industry (lithography, legal and financial printers); office space; 4,000 apartments of varying kinds; elementary schools, kindergartens; play spaces at grade, as well as on platforms in the sky; community center; restaurants; commercial shopping; gardens and recreational space; and parking-trucking access incorporating portions of the West Side Highway. In other words, it is a city within a city. The idea of a megastructure is different from the idea of building an apartment house, industrial and office space, schools and restaurants. Rather, it is the intent to build all of these multiple functions in one complex.

The apartment houses are, perhaps, conceptually the most interesting, since they propose to utilize techniques developed by the mobile house industry (this industry now accounts for one out of five new housing starts in the United States and the graph is steadily going upward). These units would hang from trusses supported on masts which contain elevator and stair cores, plus vertical lines of utilities. By arranging the mobile house units in “log cabin” fashion, the roof for one becomes the terrace for the one above.

The scale of the megastructure is broken down into more comprehensible units by the utilization of the large scale, three-dimensional prefabricated element. The concept of “stacked homes” rather than huge, package-like buildings with people stuffed into them, is one way to humanize our apartment buildings, which become ever-increasing in size.

Megastructures are beginning to take form. The first step is always the building of throughways, but increasingly now air rights and under-road bed building rights will be utilized. The proposed Graphic Arts Center is a true megastructure integrating New York’s West Side Highway: parking and unloading facilities; office structures; apartments; six floors of loft-type space at the base forming a manmade, terraced hill; schools; recreation center; marina; and connecting boardwalks bordering the Hudson River. Suspended prefabricated three-dimensional units form apartments clinging to fire towers which serve both the apartments and the flexible floor space of the office structures. Elevator and stair cores support cantilevered trusses every tenth floor from which the apartments are hung. The roof of one apartment forms a terrace for the one above, and public spaces (kindergartens, elementary schools, service, commercial facilities and recreation areas) are placed every tenth floor under the cantilevered trusses.
— Paul Rudolph in Moholy-Nagy, Sibyl, and Gerhard Schwab. The Architecture of Paul Rudolph. New York: Praeger, 1970. P. 196

DRAWINGS - Design Drawings / Renderings

DRAWINGS - Construction Drawings

DRAWINGS - Shop Drawings

PHOTOS - Project Model

PHOTOS - During Construction

PHOTOS - Completed Project

PHOTOS - Current Conditions



“Paul Rudolph’s Graphic Arts Center.” Architectural Record 143 (April 1968): 137-146.