ERIC Number: EJ801444
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun-6
Reference Count: N/A
At Yale, an Unlikely Champion for "The Building that Won't Go Away"
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n39 pA19 Jun 2008
It is most surprising that Yale University is spending $126-million to renovate and add to a 1963 Modernist building that almost everyone has hated for decades. Aside from that, the project's champion is a high-society architect whose own career refutes pretty much the whole Modernist design theology. This article talks about the renovation of Yale University's love-to-hate-it Art & Architecture building and the project's unlikely champion, Robert A.M. Stern, who is both Yale's architecture dean and the founder of Robert A.M. Stern Architects. The renovation of the Art & Architecture Building, a landmark of the late-Modernist style known as Brutalism, is still two months from completion, and construction workers and their equipment are still everywhere. Already the interior--cleared of four decades' worth of partitions and clutter--is appealing and in places astonishing. The exterior, with huge new windows almost exactly matching the originals, looks as good as it has since a 1963 "Time" article called it "the most daring contribution" to the superb collection of Modernist buildings that Yale commissioned during the tenure of A. Whitney Griswold, who was president from 1950 to 1963. Mr. Stern, who admits that the Art & Architecture Building "was not beloved by anyone who was not an architecture student or faculty member," nonetheless convinced Yale that it was worth preserving and expanding--or at least, as he says, that "it would be too expensive to tear down." Now he is the building's chief cheerleader. He has staged two invitation-only media events so far, the second just last month. He also seems intent on using the building's high-profile rebirth to draw attention to other important Modernist renovations under way or recently completed at Yale.
Descriptors: Universities, Colleges, School Buildings, Architecture, Administrators, Educational Facilities Improvement
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Connecticut