“Modernist castle soars anew, but its neighbor falls flat”

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Not only has Gwathmey beautifully buffed the building’s Brutalist exterior. He has recovered and revealed dramatic interior spaces that were all but invisible to me and many others 25 years ago. The project sends the broader message that even the most severely troubled landmarks of mid-20th Century modernism can be made livable again—and our culture would be poorer without them.

Those virtues are almost enough to make up for a lame new building that adjoins the A&A and, on a practical level, has done much to spur its revival. Called the Jeffrey H. Loria Center for the History of Art and designed by Gwathmey, the seven-story structure is clunky and clumsily detailed, a major missed opportunity.

Gwathmey faithfully tries to echo Rudolph’s stirring spaces and does produce some fine moments, such as the library’s “Great Hall,” a multi-level atrium where students hang out in bright orange Eerook Saarinen-designed Womb chairs. But the whole is less than the sum of its parts.

At Yale, Rudolph’s modernist castle soars anew, but its neighbor falls flat Blair Kamin Chicago Tribune 11/7/08

Posted by Chris

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