In 1997 I was invited to make a project directly addressing architect Paul Rudolph’s Yale School of Art and Architecture building.
This building is an emblem of controversial design. Completed in the late 60s, the building met with immediate protest. It was constructed in a style that represents the apex of “brutalist” modernism at a moment of radical social, political, and aesthetic re-evaluation. Born a monument to outmoded values, and criticized as inappropriately designed for its purpose, the building has survived arson attempts and the addition of many elements intended to make it’s spaces more habitable.
I chose to highlight the additional elements in the central gallery space, making them more noticeable to the audience through our familiarity with the cinematic paradigm. My Intervention was the installation of a mirrored baffle along the entire length of the window (upper right). During the course of a day, a refocused beam of light projects across the room scanning its surfaces as the sun passes over. This alteration highlights the contrast between Rudolph’s bush hammered concrete and the white walls that have been added over time, partitioning and enclosing the space.
Paul Rudolph designed The Yale School of Art and Architecture around the first floor gallery. He saw this space as the “hearth”, the spiritual and social center of the building.