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Is Charles Gwathmey’s Addition to Yale’s Iconic Art and Architecture Building a Big, Awful Mess?


According to the Hartford Courant‘s Philip Langdon, Robert A.M. Stern‘s favorite thing on Yale‘s campus, Paul Rudolph‘s 1963 Art and Architecture building, now has a very unattractive symbiote. It’s the recently opened Jeffrey Loria Center for the History of Art, which was designed by Charles Gwathmey, and clings to the side of Rudolph’s classic building. While he likes Gwathmey’s work in helping to restore the Art and Architecture building, Langdon doesn’t have many positives to say about the brand new Center, claiming it’s a bunch of miscellaneous ideas all thrown into one pile:

The main problem of Loria is that it’s a jumble. Gwathmey chose an ungainly assortment of shapes for the building and compounded the offense by selecting a clashing array of windows: vertical, horizontal, single sheets of glass, divided glass, curved glass, straight glass, canted glass. They’re a hodgepodge.

And that’s just one thing he doesn’t like. It goes so far that he even begins to worry about the very health of the school itself:

As the scope of this debacle sinks in, one can only hope that Yale Architecture School, from which Gwathmey sprang, will do some soul-searching about how it trains its graduates. This latest performance is so embarrassing, it brings the value of the architecture school itself into question.

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