Paul Rudolph (architect)
October 23, 1918|
|Died||August 8, 1997
New York, New York
|Buildings||Yale Art and Architecture Building|
Paul Marvin Rudolph (October 23, 1918 – August 8, 1997) was an American architect and the dean of the Yale School of Architecture for six years, known for use of concrete and highly complex floor plans. His most famous work is the Yale Art and Architecture Building (A&A Building), a spatially complex Brutalist concrete structure.
Early life, education and personal life
Paul Marvin Rudolph was born October 23, 1918 in Elkton, Kentucky. His father was an itinerant Methodist preacher, and through their travels Rudolph was exposed to the architecture of the American south. He also showed early talent at painting and music. Rudolph earned his bachelor's degree in architecture at Auburn University (then known as Alabama Polytechnic Institute) in 1940 and then moved on to the Harvard Graduate School of Design to study with Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius. After three years, he left to serve in the Navy for another three years, returning to Harvard to receive his master's in 1947. Rudolph was known to be gay. He is one of the modernist architecture architects considered part the Sarasota School of Architecture.
He moved to Sarasota, Florida and partnered with Ralph Twitchell for four years until he started his own practice in 1951. Rudolph's Sarasota time is now part of the period labeled Sarasota Modern in his career.
Notable for its appearance in the 1958 book, Masters of Modern Architecture, the W. R. Healy House - nicknamed The Cocoon House - was a one-story Sarasota house built in 1950 on Siesta Key. The roof was concave, in order to allow rainwater to drain off, and was constructed using a built-up spray-on process that Rudolph had seen used to cocoon disused ships during his time in the US Navy (hence, the house's nickname). In addition, Rudolph used jalousie windows, which enabled the characteristic breezes to and from Sarasota Bay to flow into the house. Adaptation to the subtropical climate was central to his designs and Rudolph is considered one of the major architects in what is labeled the Sarasota School of Architecture.
Other Sarasota landmarks by Rudolph include the Sarasota County Riverview High School, built in 1957 as his first large scale project. There was a great deal of controversy in Sarasota, where many members of the community appealed for the retention of the historic building after the decision reached in 2006 by the county school board to demolish the structure. As Charles Gwathmey, the architect overseeing renovation of Art and Architecture Building at Yale, says:
|“||Riverview High School is a fantastic prototype of what today we call green architecture. He was so far ahead of his time, experimenting with sun screens and cross-ventilation. If it's torn down, I feel badly for architecture.||”|
In June 2009, it was demolished.
Paul Rudolph's Florida houses attracted attention in the architectural community and he started receiving commissions for larger works such as the Jewett Art Center at Wellesley College. He took over the helm of the Yale School of Architecture as its dean in 1958, shortly after designing the Yale Art and Architecture Building. That building often is considered his masterpiece. He stayed on at Yale for six years until he returned to private practice. He designed the Temple Street Parking Garage, also in New Haven, in 1962.
One of his most iconic houses, the Milam Residence, was designed and constructed between 1959 and 1961. It still stands today on Florida's eastern coast, outside Jacksonville. Instead of modular construction, Rudolph used concrete blocks to construct this two-storied home for the Milam family. These large blocks provide shade for the windows, allowing the Florida home to be easily cooled. This house's iconic seaside facade of stacked rectangles exemplifies the sculptural nature of Rudolph's work during this period. From inside the structure, Rudolf wanted the inhabitants to locate themselves according to mood, so the large 2-story window in the living room contrasts other areas of the home which feel more cave-like and secluded.
Whilst Dean of Yale Architecture School Rudolph taught Muzharul Islam, Norman Foster and Richard Rogers, all attending the Masters course as scholarship students. Foster in particular has noted the significant influence that Rudolph had upon him. Rudolph was invited to Bangladesh by Muzharul Islam and designed Bangladesh Agricultural University.
In 1958, Rudolph was commissioned to create a master plan for Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama. He also collaborated with graduates of Tuskegee's architecture school on the design of a new chapel building, completed in 1969.
He later designed the Government Service Center in Boston, First Church in Boston, the main campus of University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (originally known as Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute, and later as the Southeastern Massachusetts University), the Jewett Arts Center at Wellesley College, the Endo Pharmaceuticals Building, the Dana Arts Center at Colgate University, and the Burroughs Wellcome headquarters in North Carolina.
While the Brutalist style fell out of favor in the U.S. during the 1970s, Rudolph's work evolved, and became in demand in other countries. Rudolph designed reflective glass office towers in this period, such as the City Center Towers in Fort Worth, which departed from his concrete works. Rudolph continued working on projects in Singapore, where he designed The Concourse office tower with its ribbon windows and interweaving floors, as well as projects in other Asian countries through the last years of his life. His work, the Lippo Centre, completed in 1987, is a landmark in the area near Admiralty Station of MTR in Hong Kong, and a culmination of Rudolph's ideas in reflective glass. In Indonesia Rudolph pieces of art can be found in Jakarta, Wisma Dharmala Sakti, and in Surabaya, Wisma Dharmala Sakti 2.
Paul Rudolph donated his archive, spanning his entire career, to the Library of Congress, as well as all intellectual property rights to the American people. His bequest also helped to establish the Center for Architecture, Design, and Engineering  at the Library of Congress.
The Paul Rudolph Penthouse & Apartments (1977–82), at 23 Beekman Place in Manhattan, was designated a New York City Landmark in 2010.
- Christopher Domin, Joseph King (2005). Paul Rudolph: The Florida Houses. Princeton Architectural Press. p. 26.
- Deyan Sudjic (2010). Norman Foster: A Life in Architecture. Penguin.
- David Colman (October 2011). "Master Builder: Architect Paul Rudolph’s career was as dramatic as his buildings". Elle Decor. "Other issues contributed to Rudolph’s loss of status: the rise of postmodernism, which he hated; the end of enthusiasm for the ambitious government buildings he loved; the fact that he was gay in a predominantly straight industry."
- "Time Is Running Out for a Celebrated Building" by David Hay, page A19, June 21, 2008 The New York Times.
- "Rudolph's Riverview High School Demolished,"  DoCoMoMo (International working party for documentation and conservation of building sites and neighborhoods of the modern movement), July 11, 2009.
- Paul Rudolph Archive. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
- Center for Architecture, Design, and Engineering. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
- Moholy-Nagy, Sibyl (1970). The Architecture of Paul Rudolph. Praeger. ISBN 0-500-09057-2.
- Monk, Tony (1999). The Art and Architecture of Paul Rudolph. Wiley-Academy. ISBN 0-471-99778-1.
- Domin, Christopher; King, Joseph (2005). Paul Rudolph: The Florida Houses. Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 1-56898-551-7.
- De Alba, Roberto (2003). Paul Rudolph: The Late Work. Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 1-56898-401-4.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Paul Rudolph.|
- The Paul Rudolph Foundation - dedicated to furthering the preservation, knowledge and understanding of Paul Rudolph's work.
- Blog of Paul Rudolph related news maintained by the Paul Rudolph Foundation.
- The Art & Architecture of Paul Rudolph - a Flickr group dedicated to Paul Rudolph's buildings - over 3,600 images from around the world
- The Paul Rudolph and His Architecture Web Site
- Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago
- Paul Rudolph at greatbuildings.com
- Paul Rudolph at arbitat.com
- A Road Trip Back to The Future"; The New York Times: account by architecture critic of visits to Rudolph buildings within a day's drive of New York area.
- Rethinking Preservation: A Case for Paul Rudolph's BCBS Building
- Yale University School of Architecture