Rudolph's LOMEX project featured in new Renderings

View from a terrace in the high-rises. Image: Lasse Lyhne-Hansen

View from a terrace in the high-rises. Image: Lasse Lyhne-Hansen

Paul Rudolph’s Lower Manhattan Expressway project (LOMEX) has been digitally recreated by Danish designer Lasse Lyhne-Hansen. As featured on design websites Archdaily and Designboom, the work was created to celebrate Paul Rudolph’s 100th birthday.

Rudolph’s proposal for the Lower Manhattan Expressway. Image: Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation

Rudolph’s proposal for the Lower Manhattan Expressway. Image: Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation

Robert Moses originally conceived of the Lower Manhattan Expressway project in 1941 and given the authorization to proceed in 1960. After numerous protests, including notable figures such as Jane Jacobs, the project which was to be an elevated highway was replaced by a sunken highway with adjacent parks and housing.

Then, writes Phil Patton in the Architects Newspaper:

In 1967 the Ford Foundation, whose new head was McGeorge Bundy (formerly National Security Advisor during escalation in Vietnam), asked Rudolph—known for large-scale projects—to imagine a development that ameliorated the impact of the highway. He proposed topping the sunken freeway with a series of residential structures, parking, and plazas, with people-mover pods and elevators to subways. The shapes of the buildings echoed the Williamsburg and Manhattan bridges, and also recalled Hugh Ferriss’ ideas of bridge/buildings from 1929. Rudolph’s idea was organizing a new city core around modes of movement.

“This plan, unlike most, does not propose to tear down everything in sight; it suggests that we tear down as little as possible,” Rudolph said about the project at the time.

Rather than challenging the need for a massive highway that would have destroyed most of SoHo and Tribecca, Rudolph believed architecture could make the most of the given situation.

Rudolph’s original section perspective. Image: Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation

Rudolph’s original section perspective. Image: Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation

In 1971, the project was ended by Governor Nelson Rockefeller.

Decades later, a similar scale project - the 'Big Dig' in Boston - would install the 1.5 mile-long Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway series of parks and public spaces above its new underground highways.

To see more renderings of what might have become of New York, click the links below:

Celebrate your (or someone else's...) Inner Brutalist this holiday season

Photo: Jonathan Thai & Mike Yim of Aggregate Watches

Photo: Jonathan Thai & Mike Yim of Aggregate Watches

Are you a fan of Brutalism (and who isn’t, really?) Looking for a cool gift for yourself or a friend that shows your love of all things concrete? Introducing the Masonic - the first watch to feature a lightweight concrete dial and bezel.

Launched in August of 2017, the watch is the centerpiece of a kickstarter campaign setup by Aggregate Watches. Designers Jonathan Thai & Mike Yim joined Hendson Lin and Alexandra Burton to start the campaign. According to the kickstarter site:

Aggregate was conceived from the idea of experimenting with concrete in unconventional ways. We believed that we could create beautiful products using concrete, re-imagined in a different context.

The honest design approach is the best approach, where the material and form serve to captivate the audience. Concrete is the medium, and the medium is the message. The design is concrete, in its raw form.

The concrete used in ‘The Masonic’ is a special, proprietary cement blend that we have developed, so we can manufacture the components of the watch to be both lightweight and durable for daily wear.

Photo: Jonathan Thai & Mike Yim of Aggregate Watches

Photo: Jonathan Thai & Mike Yim of Aggregate Watches

The watches are now available at Aggregate’s website in 6 colors: Gravel Gray, Oat Brown, Charcoal Black, Pacific Navy, Bay Brown, and Rose Gold.

Paul Rudolph celebrated in Architectural Digest

Pool with slatted wood “umbrella” canopy, Rudolph’s Umbrella House. Photo: Anton Grassl

Pool with slatted wood “umbrella” canopy, Rudolph’s Umbrella House. Photo: Anton Grassl

Paul Rudolph’s Centennial and the upcoming SarasotaMOD Weekend in November are featured in the latest online version of Architectural Digest. The article features photos of Rudolph’s Sarasota High School, Healy Guest House and the Umbrella (Hiss) Residence. We couldn’t agree more with the article’s conclusion:

A century after his birth, Rudolph is finally getting his full due for the residences he designed in Florida.
— Architectural Digest

Paul Goldberger to deliver keynote at Sarasota's MODweek

Photo:

Harold Bubil writes in the Herald Tribune, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Paul Goldberger will deliver the keynote address titled “The Rudolph Legacy” at the upcoming Sarasota MOD Weekend architecture festival on November 9-11.

Mr. Goldberger has spoken before at Modulightor about Rudolph’s work, and also in the 1984 documentary “Spaces: The Architecture of Paul Rudolph”. He also led a panel discussion about Rudolph at the Rededication of Rudolph Hall at Yale and wrote numerous articles about Rudolph for the New York Times.

Mr. Goldberger will deliver the keynote address at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at Holley Hall in the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. For more information about the upcoming MOD Weekend festival, go to the Sarasota Architectural Foundation’s website here: sarasotaarchitecturalfoundation.org and sarasotamod.com

PRHF celebrates Paul Rudolph with the Library of Congress

Kelvin Dickinson, President and Eduardo Alfonso, Exhibition Coordinator of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation with Liz Waytkus, Executive Director of Docomomo US visiting the Paul Rudolph collection at the Library of Congress

Kelvin Dickinson, President and Eduardo Alfonso, Exhibition Coordinator of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation with Liz Waytkus, Executive Director of Docomomo US visiting the Paul Rudolph collection at the Library of Congress

Members of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation traveled on Friday to attend a day-long Paul Rudolph Centenary Symposium about Paul Rudolph’s life and work at the James Madison building of the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.

Photo: Kelvin Dickinson, Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation

Photo: Kelvin Dickinson, Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation

The event featured numerous speakers including former Dean of the Yale School Architecture Robert A.M. Stern, members of the Library of Congress Center for Architecture, Design, and Engineering in the Prints & Photographs Division and architects who had renovated or built additions to significant Rudolph buildings.

The highlight of the event was the chance to view original materials from the collection, including a special surprise by Mari Nakahara, Curator of Architecture, Design & Engineering of the original model of the Modulightor Building facade which is the headquarters of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation.



10 Years Later: The Yale School of Architecture & what might have been

Model of Richard Meier’s proposed addition to the Yale School of Architecture.  Renderings: Richard Meier & Partners Architects, Model Photography: Jock Pottle

Model of Richard Meier’s proposed addition to the Yale School of Architecture.
Renderings: Richard Meier & Partners Architects, Model Photography: Jock Pottle

As a result of a 1996 planning study, Yale University decided to undertake the exterior and interior renovation of Paul Rudolph’s iconic Yale School of Architecture building along with a seven-story addition.

A number of proposals were generated from well-known architects such as Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Richard Meier, and Beyer Blinder Belle. Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman Architects were finally awarded the $126 million project which included renovation of Rudolph’s original 116,000 sf building along with a 87,000 sf addition to be known as the Jeffrey H. Loria Center for the History of Art. The project was completed in 2008 and won many awards including the AIA NY State - Award of Excellence for Historic Preservation in 2009.

Rudolph meets Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman Architects Photo: Kelvin Dickinson, Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation

Rudolph meets Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman Architects
Photo: Kelvin Dickinson, Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation

To see what might have been, Richard Meier & Partners Architects has a page on their website that describes their original 2001 - 2004 proposal:


The proposed new building for the Department of the History of Art and for an expanded Arts Library is located adjacent to the Art and Architecture Building by Paul Rudolph of 1963. The two will be closely interconnected, and this integration reflects the time-honored interaction between the arts and architecture. Encompassing a total gross area of some 175,000 square feet, the new building rises seven floors above the street and has two levels below grade, following the sectional precedent of the Rudolph building.

A top-lit atrium, which accommodates the main reading room of the expanded Arts Library, connects the two buildings. It occupies a void adjacent to the existing structure, which Rudolph had envisioned as a courtyard in the potential expansion of his building. While the principal entrance is located in the new building, the original entry into the Rudolph building will be maintained with direct access into the original northeastern stair/elevator tower or indirect access up the adjacent grand staircase.

The ground floor is mainly given over to the reference library, but it also provides an auxiliary semi-public element, a small exhibition space and a café close to the main entrance. There are two lecture halls in the lowest level of the new building, which, together with Hastings Hall in the basement of the Rudolph building, constitute the new lecture complex.

The new building juxtaposes a small number of enclosed volumes – faculty offices and seminar rooms – with expansive spaces mostly clad in either translucent or transparent glass. In contrast to the “corduroy” concrete of the Rudolph building, the curtain walls and glass roofs of the new building act as membranes filtering natural light into the structure and creating a variety of light conditions according to the time of day and the season.

To see more of the proposal by Richard Meier & Partners Architects, click on one of the images below:

Celebrating Paul Rudolph on National Bath Day

October 7th is known officially as 'National Bathtub Day' to commemorate the introduction of the bathtub in England in 1828.

Paul Rudolph's contribution to the history of the bathtub may be best remembered as the Lucite tub that looked down into the kitchen at his residence at 23 Beekman Place.

What's not as well known is Rudolph's design for two bathrooms that appear in the book 'Sensuous Spaces' by Sivon Reznikoff.

According to Reznikoff::

In the mid-1970’s Paul Rudolph, the world renown architect, was commissioned to design a futurist bath. Recognizing the difference in bathing rituals performed by men and women, combined with the belief that we all need some time alone, he set out to design two baths that are now considered classics of sensuality.

Womens Bathroom.jpg

The bath designed for the female involved a very complex use of space. A gentle downward sloping floor simulates a natural outdoor setting complete with a running stream. Water is continually recycled through aluminum pipes embedded into an earth-colored carpet. The natural landscape concept is enhanced by the addition of smooth rocks and soft sponges strategically positioned to allow contact with bare feet. The low partition in the center of the room shields the bidet. A skylight centered within a copper dome allows a restful golden glow to wash the entire space. The large luxuriant tub and a screen for viewing films placed nearby produce an irresistible setting for relaxation. A contoured reclining lounge attached to the wall provides a place to read or enjoy the sun lamps installed above. Circular storage containers are placed along one wall and on another end a makeup counter was surrounded with small round mirrored disks that simulate a sparkling water surface.

Photo: Tom Yee

Photo: Tom Yee

Photo: Tom Yee

Photo: Tom Yee

For the man’s bathroom design, Reznikoff continues:

Mens Bathroom.jpg

Although the bath designed for the male was organic in form, it did not attempt to simulate the romantic natural setting provided for the female. The large skylight highlights the circular trapeze exercise bars placed directly under the dome. Copper sheeting is used both in the dome and throughout the space. A raised platform that runs along one wall contains the tub and also houses recessed storage.

Lights concealed in the bottom of a circular pit built into the center of the floor are reflected in the soft copper color of the walls and ceilings. Intended to simulate the warmth of glowing coals in an open campfire, it provides an inviting place to relax. When the pit was not in use it was covered with an exercise pad.

Photo: Tom Yee

Photo: Tom Yee

Photo: Tom Yee

Photo: Tom Yee

Paul Rudolph: The Personal Laboratory Opens at Modulightor

Thank you everyone for making the Opening Reception of our exhibition 'Paul Rudolph: The Personal Laboratory' a great success! For more information about the exhibition, follow this link: https://www.paulrudolphheritagefoundation.org/centennial-exhibition/

Rudolph replica rises in Palm Springs

Photo: Peter Blackburn

Photo: Peter Blackburn

A full-scale replica of Paul Rudolph's iconic Walker Guest House is being constructed in Palm Springs California as a special project of Palm Springs Modern Committee in partnership with Sarasota Architectural Foundation.

Photo: Peter Blackburn

Photo: Peter Blackburn

Thank you to Peter Blackburn for giving us permission to share his photos while he is directing the installation!

For more information, visit the Palm Springs Modern Committee's website here: https://psmodcom.org/walker-guest-house-replica/

Center for Architecture students visit the Foundation

Students attending the Center for Architecture’s pre-college program visit the Modulightor Building and sketch some interior and exterior views. Continuing Paul Rudolph’s tradition of gathering students to experience, discuss and sketch this unique work.

Thank you Tim Hayduk of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation for the great photos!

Foundation welcomes Center for Architecture high school students

Students from the Center for Architecture.  Photo: Tim Hayduk

Students from the Center for Architecture. Photo: Tim Hayduk

Center for Architecture high school studio class visits the Modulightor Building.