Gary Brewer has sent two photographs of the work to date on the two new residential colleges at Yale, Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray. They are exquisite, to quote Elizabeth Moule’s assessment in an email to the TradArch listserv. Also to the list, Helen Gordon writes: “These sturdy, architecturally stunning and perfectly lovable buildings will endure through the ages.” She adds, “The low maintenance alone, compared to the usual high maintenance of signature modern buildings, will easily repay any up-front expenses due to excellent detailing and craftsmanship.”
These two photographs must do for now until Gary (who designed RAMSA’s Jonathan Nelson Fitness Center but was not involved at Yale) sends more photos, or indicates where I can get more. But wait! I checked on Yale’s website and there is a package that offers more photos, elevations, before-and-after shots and original project renderings, plus the rendering of a bird’s eye overview of the project. To show some detail work, I have added some of this down below the second of the two photographs from Gary.
Visiting the Yale campus last year after construction had been under way for maybe a year or two, I posted many shots of the work to date in “Work on new Yale campus.” Then your investigative pundit, wandering around near dusk, was unable to breach the security fencing. Perhaps next time I visit I will be able to invade the place as if I were an actual student – hordes of whom are vying to get in for next spring. Then you will see some shots!
Bob Stern, RAMSA and their architects for this project deserve a huge round of applause for the quality of their work on this project – appreciation of which, from this corner, will not end here.
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How ultra-modern an idea it is to honor the architecture of the past. Stunning… Hopefully it will become all the rage..
Yes, Nancy, how progressive to build in ways that people like! An exciting idea! Actually, until 1950 or so nobody minded demolitions that much because it was assumed that replacements would be superior. With the onset of modern architecture, that complacency went the way of the dodo, and historic preservation transformed swiftly from a hobby to a mass movement. And so here we are today, hopefully seeing the pendulum swing back to architecture and cities that are beautiful and humane.
An argument I hear very often is that classical architecture is way too expensive. This assumption is simply false. The first example above, a new university in Richmond, USA, costed 360 millions Swedish kroner to finished. The new Swedish school below costs more than the double!
I’m not so sure whether either type of architecture is, per square foot, more or less expensive. Architecture of high quality is relatively expensive compared to architecture of low quality, whether it is traditional or modern. But traditional architecture lasts longer, is more sustainable, is more beautiful, is easier to use as building blocks for a beautiful city and other places, is for all these reasons more utilitarian, and thus is preferred by most people to modern architecture. So obviously trad is intrinsically less expensive than mod.
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