DOCOMOMO US/New England 2010 Tour
DOCOMOMO US Tour Day 2010
Brandeis University & Wellesley College:
A Modern Campus and Modern Interventions on a Collegiate Gothic Campus
DOCOMOMO US/New England
October 16, 2010
The tour will begin at 9:30 in Cambridge at the Alewife T Station, where we will gather in cars to make our way first to Wellesley and then to Brandeis, where we will be able to stop for lunch, with transportation then back to Cambridge, arriving at about 2:00.
Institutions of higher learning have often been incubators for new movements in architecture and planning, and this was particularly true in the Greater Boston area in the immediate post-war era. Past docomomo tours have visited Harvard and MIT, institutions that have some of the earliest and most important examples of modernism in the country, but they were by no means alone in promulgating the modern movement, and architecture of the first rank, in this region.
In 1947 Brandeis University was founded as an institution that though backed by Jewish funding focused on bringing an ecumenical spirit to learning, with strong emphasis in the arts, humanities and sciences. The original master plan for Brandeis was developed by Eero Saarinen (there is one Saarinen residence hall), and though little of this was realized, it set the tone for creating an informal but coherent campus on a rocky, difficult site. Following Saarinen’s work, Harrison and Abramovitz were retained to complete and build out the master plan, and many of the foundation buildings of the university bear their signature. Over the years Hugh Stubbins also contributed a number of buildings, and more recently architects such as Graham Gund, Kyu Sung Woo, Charles Rose, Payette Associates and Kallman and McKinnell have made significant contributions to the campus. The tour will focus on the campus design and the building exteriors, with stops in the three Harrison and Abramovitz Chapels and the Charles Rose designed Schapiro Campus Center.
Wellesley College is one of the most beautiful campuses in America. The design grows out of an early 20th century master plan and numerous buildings by Ralph Adams Cram and Charles Klauder, though it has also given us some internationally known works of modernism. The earliest of these is a 1950 residential complex by Coolidge Shepley Bulfinch and Abbot that showcases the kind of modern vernacular they developed for their Lamont Library at Harvard of 1949. The next and most famous of these is Paul Rudolph’s Jewett Art Center of 1958 that extends and interprets the Collegiate Gothic buildings to which it connects in a delicate but thoroughly modern fashion. A further extension of this complex, Raphael Moneo’s Davis Art Museum of 1992, completes this complex. The tour will also visit the 1974 Science Center (with 1990 addition) by Perry Dean Stahl and Rogers, a quintessential “Machine in the Garden” that was heralded as America’s answer to the Pompidou Center at its opening. We will also see the recently completed Wang Campus Center by Mack Scoggin and Merrill Elam. The tour will be led by Wellesley professor emeritus John Rhodes, an expert on the history of the campus, and will include visiting the interiors of Jewett and the Science Center.
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