EVEN AT YALE, RUDOLPH'S LEGACY IS UNDER THREAT
I was alarmed to read in last week's issue that another Paul Rudolph property has bitten the dust and that his Riverview High School is facing a similarly bleak future ('Rudolph legacy under threat', AJ 18.01.07). You may not be aware that his masterpiece, the Art & Architecture (A&A) building at Yale University, is also under threat, though of a subtler kind.
Ostensibly its fortunes are on the up - a full restoration by Gwathmey Siegel is promised, possibly beginning towards the end of next year. This can only be a good thing, right? But part of the deal is that Gwathmey Siegel builds a new History of Art block next door and, from what one can see on the practice's website ( www. gwathmey-siegel. com), the design is only going to compromise the A&A.
The visuals of the new block show it to be too tall, obstructing the view from Rudolph's penthouse, and far too restlessly modelled, when the expressiveness of the Art & Architecture building should be offset by something much more reticent. One could go on. . .
Ironic, isn't it, that even Yale can't get this right?
Don Livingston, Kettering