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.

Unless otherwise noted, all images and drawings are copyright © The Estate of Paul Rudolph and The Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation. Please speak with a representative of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation to get permission to use any drawings or photos. Drawings, sketches and other materials produced by Rudolph’s architectural office at the Library of Congress are maintained there for preservation, but the intellectual property rights belong to the Paul Rudolph Estate 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



Banham, Reyner. Megastructure: Urban Features of the Recent Past. London: Thames and Hudson, 1976. il. pp. 12-13.

“Chronological list of works by Paul Rudolph, 1946-1974.” il., plan. Architecture and Urbanism 49 (January 1975): 163.

Cook, John Wesley. Conversations with Architects. New York: Praeger, 1973. il. pp. 108-112.

“Graphic Arts Center.” il. (pt. col.), plan, sec., elev. Architecture and Urbanism 80 (July 1977): 15, 102-105.

“Hangende garten in New York.” il., plan. Deutsche Bauzeitung 102 (April 1968): 229-234.

Herrera, Phillip. “U.S. architecture: a progress report.” il. Fortune 76 (1 September 1967): 126.

Janke, Rolf. Architectural Models. New York: Architectural Book Publishing, 1978. il. pp. 50-51.

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

“Progetto del graphic arts center a New York.” il., plans. Architettura 14 (August 1968): 320-321.

Rudolph, Paul. The Architecture of Paul Rudolph. Introduction by Sibyl Moholy-Nagy. New York: Praeger, 1970. il., plans, sec. pp. 196-205.

Paul Rudolph, Dessins D’Architecture. Fribourg: Office du Livre, 1974. plan, sec., elev. pp. 66-69.

Scully, Vincent Joseph. American Architecture and Urbanism. New York: Praeger, 1969. il. pp. 146, 149.

Sky, Alison. Unbuilt America: Forgotten Architecture in the United States from Thomas Jefferson to the Space Age. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1976. il., sec. pp. 213-214.

Stern, Robert A.M. New Directions in American Architecture. New York: Braziller, 1969. il. pp. 38-41.

Stern, Robert A.M. New Directions in American Architecture. Revised ed. New York: Braziller, 1977. il. pp. 38-41.