Bunshaft, Gordon

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Added by Liz Waytkus, last update: October 14, 2011, 10:18 pm

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Exterior view, source: Keller, John; Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Construction Photographs, May 1961-Sept. 1963, date: June 1963
Location
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
United States
41° 18' 41.49" N, 72° 55' 37.7004" W
Identity of Building / Site
Primary classification: Education (EDC)
Secondary classification:
Federal, State, or Local Designation(s) and Date(s):
History of Building/Site
Original Brief:

In March 1959, Yale library head James T. Babb and brothers (and Yale Alumni) Edwin and Frederick Beinecke began discussions about construction of a new space to house Yale's growing collection of rare books, which were then located in Sterling Memorial Library. The Beinecke Family financed the project as a gift to the university. The new building would need to provide protection for the rare books, many of which where in very fragile condition; exist as a state-of-the-art research facility for scholars; and to be physically striking, as if to visually convey the importance of its holdings. In October 1959, after much discussion over the choice of architect, Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was chosen. Bunshaft designed a two-component, 88,347-square-foot building: A six-story above-ground structure, a fully open space with an interior enclosed-glass temperature-controlled tower to house 160,000 books; and a below-ground area containing stacks, office space, classrooms, a study area, and a garden courtyard designed by Isamu Noguchi. Daylight is broadcast in through a grid of Vermont Montclair Danby marble panes that glow at night from interior illumination. The building’s dimensions are mathematically proportioned: it is twice the width of its height and three times as long. Construction began in early 1960. Fuller Construction managed the project. The Beinecke family has never revealed the cost. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library was dedicated on October 11, 1963. Its holdings include maps and letters from the Lewis and Clark exhibition; documents from Boccacio, Wordsworth, Joseph Conrad, and Gertrude Stein; and a 15th-century Gutenberg Bible, one of only 48 known copies still in existence.

Dates: Commission / Completion:October 1959/October 1963
Architectural and other Designer(s): Architect: Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Sculpture Garden: Isamu Noguchi; Structural Engineer: Paul Weidlinger; Mechanical Engineers: Jaros, Baum, & Bolles; Contractor: George A. Fuller.
Others associated with Building/Site: Partner in Charge of Coordination: David H. Hughes; Design Assistant: Sherwod A. Smith; Job Captain: Morris Zelkowitz; Interior Design: Davis. B. Allen; Lighting: Edison Price.
Significant Alteration(s) with Date(s): Roof Replacement and Maintenance (1982, 1994, 2008): The original roof was completely replaced in 1982. Flashing repairs were made in 1994. The 1982 roof was completely replaced in fall 2008. This project enabled the replacement of the interior mezzanine ceiling lighting fixtures and ceiling tiles. Exterior Glass Window Maintenance (1992 & 2004): The entire marble courtyard glass window wall was removed, reflashed, cleaned, reglazed, and placed back into the courtyard. In 2004 the plaza-level window wall was also treated and laminated safety glass was installed. Elevator Replacement and Installation (1996 & 1998): The 1963 elevator and casing were replaced in 1996 and a new elevator installed in the West wing in 1998. Plumbing Renovation (1999): the toilet facilities were completely renovated in 1999. Modern Retrofit (1990s – Dec. 2000): Gregg Wies & Gardner Architects designed a renovation plan for Beinecke to implement state-of-the-art technologies. The general contractor was Leach Building (later the Pike Company). Included in the scope of the project were reconstruction and refurnishing of all office spaces and service areas, conversion of 50,000 square feet of fixed stacks to compact shelving, new multi-purpose classrooms and electronic media facilities, and rewiring for computer networks, security, and fire protection systems. Plaza Retrofit (May 2004-2005): In May 2005 work began on a major plaza-level waterproofing retrofit. Project used 22 miles of 1-inch glycol/water tubing to aid in winter snowmelt water control. New Haven's Buckingham Routh Company handled the mechanical systems and the Pike Company of Kensington, CT, was the general contractor. The architect for the project was Rich Charney. The retrofit was completed in 2005 and its implementation resulted in a new winter visual: low-hovering fog, the result of snow melting before it hits the plaza.
Current Use: The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library continues to serve the purpose for which it was designed. The library has six major collections: the General Collection of Early Books and Manuscripts, the General Collection of Modern Books and Manuscripts, the Collection of American Literature, the Collection of Western Americana, the German Literature Collection, and the Osborn Collection of English Literary and Historical Manuscripts. The Beinecke’s current holdings include more than 500,000 volumes and several million manuscripts. It is one of the largest facilities in the world specifically dedicated to housing rare books. The library also hosts and sponsors many lectures, readings, and exhibitions.
Current Condition: Due to diligent maintenance and upgrades over the past three decades, the building is in good functional form. However the building’s envelope—specifically the marble and granite—are in need of repair and possible replacement. Forty five years have passed since the building was constructed and the marble panels are exhibiting deterioration caused by a number of factors: defects in the marble, temperature and humidity fluctuations that have caused the marble to cave in and out each season, and possible pressure variations from the original installation. A study has shown that thirty-five of the 250 marble panels exhibit cracks. A decade-long study is underway to track changes and growth in these cracks. The thirty-five known cracks were filled with a Jahn mortar in 2007 and have been regularly monitored since.
General Description:

Bunshaft designed the Beinecke as a two-component structure on a 200’-0” x 350’-0” site plan. The largest and most visible component is the six-story above-ground structure (86'-0” x 130'-0” x 58'-0”), which is a fully open space containing an interior glass-curtain-wall enclosed temperature-controlled tower (35'-0” x 60'-0”) to house books. The smaller component is a below-ground research center that contains stacks, office space, classrooms, a study area, and a garden courtyard designed by Isamu Noguchi. The library’s total square footage is 88,347. The roof of the subterranean area serves as the plaza, which is a central social landmark on the Yale campus. The above-ground structure sits in the heart of the Yale campus and can best be described as a giant marble cube. It is a stark contrast to the older surrounding buildings that are more evocative of collegiate scholarship. Many have described the Beinecke as a “jewel box,” which is not surprising given the warm glow the illuminated marble exudes after the sun has set. The original interior appointments were lush and dark: bronze, black leather upholstery, wood paneling, teak tables and desks, carpeted and granite floors. The mid-1990s retrofit replaced much of the textiled elements with more contemporary furnishings and materials. The sculpture garden, which was sunk into the center of the plaza, contains three large marble sculptures from Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi. The three sculptures are in the shapes of a pyramid, a globe, and a cube.

Construction Period:

The above-ground structure is built with Vierendeel welded steel tapered-cross trusses into which a grid of 1 1/4-inch-thick Vermont Montclair Danby marble panes have been fit. Each façade consists of a single steel truss (four total). Each truss bears its own weight plus some of the roof load; this weight is transferred through reinforced steel girders to the corner columns. The roof is steel-framed and steel-decked. The weight of the building is supported by four bronze-covered pin joints on granite-covered reinforced concrete corner columns. The columns extend fifty feet below grade to bedrock. The interior core also bears some of the weight of the roof. All columns, walls, and floors are reinforced concrete. The exterior steel is clad in granite while the interior frame is clad in precast stone and granite. Because the weight of the building is focused into the four corner columns the plaza level and entry area provide a seamless circulation plane.

Original Physical Context:

The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library sits prominently and visibly in the center of the Yale University campus. It is a “new” building nestled among the old, which is an apt juxtaposition given that the library’s holdings are some of the oldest texts in existence. While different in style than the surrounding buildings, the library is similar in proportion ad scale. Across the plaza (known as both Beinecke Plaza and Hewitt Quadrangle) are Commons, Memorial Hall, and Woolsey Hall, a Beaux-Arts Carrere and Hastings complex that houses an auditorium, dining hall, and administrative offices; and Woodbridge Hall, where the office of the president is located. To the south of the Beinecke, across Wall Street, sits medieval-inspired Berkeley College, and just west of Berkeley is Sterling Memorial Library, a granite gothic structure that was the previous home for the university’s rare book and manuscript collection. Immediately west of the Beinecke is Yale Law School, which features a complex of Gothic buildings built with brick and limestone. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library is not the only modern building on the Yale campus, but it is the most prominent and centrally located. The other modern buildings are located closer to the campus periphery. These include the Art and Architecture Building, designed by Paul Rudolph (who was the dean of the architecture school at the time) and completed in 1963, the same year as the Beinecke; the Yale Art Gallery, designed by Louis Kahn and built in 1953 (the building underwent a complete renovation in 2006 by Polshek Partnership Architects); and several buildings by Eero Saarinen, including Ezra Stiles and Morse Colleges and the Ingalls Ice Rink.

Evaluation
Technical Evaluation:

Much of Yale’s collection of rare literature is very fragile. Though known for his glass-and-steel curtain wall designs, Bunshaft knew that windows would be a risky inclusion and necessitate careful design planning. The decision to grid the façade in large marble panes was borne out of the need for muted light that would not put the building’s contents at risk. Bunshaft initially planned for onyx panels but when not enough material could be located the choice was made to include Vermont marble, sliced into 1-1/4”-thick panels. Acknowledged marble-curtain-wall influences include the north-transept Portail des Libraries at the Rouen Cathedral, and the Tokapi Palace in Istanbul. The pin-joint columns and resulting circulation area give the illusion that the Beinecke is “floating,” implying that the structure is far less hefty than in reality.

Social:

The construction of the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library marked a radical shift in architectural aesthetic of the Yale University campus. Whereas most of Yale’s buildings are styled in the collegiate Gothic formula of college campuses nationwide, the Beinecke is an exciting cubic surprise. Its benefactors sought to build a structure that befit its contents—something rare and special and wholly unique. In the landscape of the Yale campus, this goal was reached. In the context of the modern movement, this building exists as a successful example of blending new with old, and function with aesthetic.

Cultural & Aesthetic:
Bunshaft is quoted as describing the building as the following: “What it is is a huge vault, a secure place with tremendous humidity and temperature control and stacking of books. In addition to that, there’s some offices for curators, there’s a reading room for a few scholars, and some exhibit space for little books and stuff.” This modest description of some of the building’s features shows that Bunshaft was mindful of the building’s intended function. Many of his design decisions were informed by this awareness; the marble panels (which were originally intended to be onyx but not enough material was available) were a substitute for windows, a complex design element that would protect the rare books from damaging sunlight while still allowing light to penetrate the interior. The enclosed glass tower in the interior’s core would allow for isolated temperature and humidity control where it was needed most. And the vast, six-story open interior space struck an immediate and profound impression on any first-time visitor: this was no ordinary building, just as its contents were similarly rare. Understandably, the library was met with equal favor and disdain. Time has won over the Beinecke’s critics, and today the library is one of Yale’s most beloved and iconic buildings.
Historical:

In June, 1967 Skidmore, Owings & Merrill receive five AIA "Honor Awards" including one for Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. (The other four SOM buildings out of 20 awards total include: Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Kamuela, Hawaii; Vannevar Bush Center for Materials Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts; National Headquarters, American Republic Insurance Company, Des Moines, Iowa; and Office Building and Residence, Banque Lambert, Brussels, Belgium.) The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library has become so loved by the Yale community that the university’s imprint published a book—The Beinecke Library of Yale University—in 2003 in honor of the library’s fortieth anniversary, filled with essay contributions from employees past and present.

General Assessment:
The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library is a shining architectural specimen of the modern movement. Bunshaft’s simple design shifted the aesthetic of Yale’s central corridor while also setting engineering precedents that went far beyond the campus confines. It was also a departure from Bunshaft’s glass curtain wall designs, effectively marking a new era of the architect’s work. It is a visually bold and architecturally important building that is well used, well-known, well cared for, all hallmarks of successful architecture.
Documentation
Text references:

Adams, Nicholas. Skidmore, Owings and Merrill : SOM Since 1936. New York: Phaidon Press, 2007, 1904313557.
Architecture of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, 1950–1962. New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1963.
"The 1967 Honor Awards." AIA Journal 47 (1967): 44–64.
Parks, Steven (ed.) The Beinecke Library of Yale University. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003, 0845731505.
Krinsky, Carol Herselle. Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Cambridge, MA: the MIT Press, 1988, 0262111306.
"Rare Book Library." Architecture International 1 (1965): 88–95.
"Rare Book Library at Yale Dedicated." Architectural Record 134 (1963): 12–13.
Reese, Ilse M., and James T. Burns Jr. "The Opposites: Expressionism and Formalism at Yale." Progressive Architecture 45 (1964): 130–33.
Rotella, Katie. "Radiant Innovations." Plumbing & Mechanical 23 (2005): 43+.
"Yale Rare Book and Manuscript Library." Progressive Architecture 45 (1964): 130–33.

Authoring
Recorder/Date: March 2009
Additional Images
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Interior view of glass stack tower and books from mezzanine, Source: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Construction Photographs, May 1961-Sept. 1963, date: unknown

Pepsi-Cola Corporation World Headquarters

Added by intern_test, last update: November 14, 2011, 7:30 pm

Pepsi-Cola Corporation World Headquarters
View of southwest corner, source: Maurizio Mucciola, www.flickr.com/photos/maurizio_mwg/2327007328/ , date: July, 2007
Location
500 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022
United States
40° 45' 47.7144" N, 73° 58' 13.908" W
Identity of Building / Site
Primary classification: Commercial (COM)
Secondary classification:
Federal, State, or Local Designation(s) and Date(s):

New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission: June 20, 1995

History of Building/Site
Original Brief:

When Alfred N. Steele left Coca-Cola Company to become the Board Chairman and chief executive officer of Pepsi-Cola, sales grew fast. The company decided to build an office building, not only to be its World Headquarter, but to be its asset. Robert W. Cutler, a SOM architect who knew Alfred Steele, successfully obtained the commission of designing the Pepsi-Cola World Headquarters office building. (Krinsky 65) In addition to the offices, the Pepsi-Cola World Headquarters Building original had a health club and service area in the basement, a ground lobby for a reception and a gallery for travelling exhibitions. The eleventh floor also had a pantry and a lounge.

Dates: Commission / Completion:Project Approval: October 24, 1957 (e) / Start of site work: October 7, 1958 (e) / Inauguration: April 25, 1959 (e) / Opening Ceremony: February 1, 1960 (e)
Architectural and other Designer(s): Architects: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (partner in charge: Robert W. Cutler; project manager: Albert Kennerly; design partner: Gordon Bunshaft; senior designer for project: Natalie de Blois); Interior Designers: SOM; Structural Engineers: Severud-Elstad-Krueger Associates; Acoustical Engineers: Bolt Beranek & Newman; Mechanical and electrical Engineers: Slocum and Fuller; General Contractor: George A. Fuller Company
Others associated with Building/Site: Original Owner: Pepsi-Cola Inc.; Second Owner: Olivetti Underwood Corp.; Third Owner: Peter Kalikow; Fourth Owner: Securities Groups; Current Owner: Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States and Tishman Speyer Properties.
Significant Alteration(s) with Date(s):
Current Use: The ground-floor was separated into two parts. The front part, facing the Park Avenue, now is TD Bank branch. The rear became an entrance of the rest of the building. The building now is still for commercial use, although the later building, 500 Park Tower, on its west side on 59th Street, which has a cantilever tower above it, is a mix-used building.
Current Condition: In 1980, James Stewart Polshek and Partners was commissioned to design the interior of Securities Groups Corporate Offices in the 10th and 11th floor of Pepsi-Cola Building, in the mean time, they were also in charge of the restoration of this building, which was owned by the Securities Groups Corporate that time(Polshek 45-46). The building is still in a good condition.
General Description:

Located on a 100’ X 125’ lot on the southwest corner of Park Avenue and 59th Street, the silver aluminum and glass façade of the Pepsi-Cola Building seems to be a symmetric rectangular 10-story office building, which is separated from its neighbor. Actually, this 13-story building is adjacent to the masonry building by its recessed L-shaped, black-granite-clad service core. Its visually clean-cut look earned high praise.
On the south side, the service core is recessed 15’ from its building line, which creates a visual separation. The opposite side, in order to comply with the zoning regulation of New York City, is set back 20’ from the building line. The glass wall of the ground floor on the east and north sides are also recessed with two piers in the exterior on the east side. Viewed from the Park Avenue, the 9-story curtain wall seems only supported by these two piers. Especially, the northeastern view of this building at night is like “an elegant box of glass and aluminum, floating on piers (Goldberger 154).”
The 13-story building contains the ground floor, divided by a large scale glass wall into an interior lobby for reception and exhibition use, and an exterior plaza; 9-stories of office space with the curtain wall, and the recessed penthouses, including the eleventh floor, which is set back the same distance as the ground floor for a boardroom and the remaining floors, further recessed, which were originally used for machinery. Being the largest part of the façade, the curtain walls, with polished gray-green plate glass windows, set within anodized aluminum frames, are divided into 5-bay on Park Avenue façade and 9-bay on 59th Street façade by I-shaped mullions. The proportion of the curtain wall, which is created by the aluminum and glass, is also considered to be one of the aesthetic reasons that makes this building so respected.
The interior of the ground floor was designed to be a reception and a gallery for travelling exhibitions. For an exhibition space, the recessed lights were used in the ceiling of the ground floor (In the current interior, these lights cannot be seen, but the recessed lights can be seen on the exterior ceiling of the ground floor). Because all the services were laid in the service core of the south and west end, the interior of the office floor are flexible and subdividable. The only restrain of the interior is the interruption of the 8 columns; even the partitions of offices were also movable. Partitions were designed to have glazed strips on top, which allowed natural light from the large size glass of the northern and eastern side to penetrate into the office cubes. The windows, viewed separated by the aluminum frame from the outside, are almost as high as the floor. The vertical blinds, which looked like high-quality mullions, were suggested to be designed intentionally. The exterior and the interior, which was also designed by SOM, show the modern aesthetic.

Construction Period:

The Pepsi-Cola Building is supported by 10 steel columns and reinforced concrete floor slabs. The steel columns, which are concrete fireproofed, were bolted together by the high-tensile strength bolting method, which was a new method in 1950s. The curtain wall is also considered as a technical innovation. In the book “Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill”, Carol Krinsky states, “The polished plate glass was made in the largest panes then obtainable, 9’x13’ and only 1/2” thick. The glass was cushioned by neoprene glazing strips, then sealed and secured with mastic to keep the joints between the glass and aluminum watertight without using heavy surrounding frames. The spandrels are made of encaustic-etched and anodized aluminum sheet a quarter-inch thick. Polished aluminum mullions… add a bright vertical accent to the horizontally emphatic design of the office stories (66).” The innovation of the curtain wall is not only a new technique, but a new way to create the exterior appearance.

Original Physical Context:

Located on the southwest corner of Park Avenue and 59th Street, the Pepsi-Cola Building was distinguished from its neighbors, a 20-story neo-Renaissance apartment to the south and the Nassau Hotel (originally the Hotel Roland, F. W. Fisher, 1897) to the west. Because the need of space of the Pepsi-Cola officers was relatively smaller, the height of the building would conflict with its neighbors. However, its modern appearance is still very different. The solutions of the problems were to set back the building line from the west side, and to cover the recessed wall with black-granite to the southern building. By this kind of design strategy, the building was considered as “respectful of the street and of the scale of its neighbors (Goldberger 154).”

Evaluation
Technical Evaluation:

As Gordon Bunshaft claims,”Even since we started doing skin walls, our effort was to make the metal as thin as possible. An ideal glass wall is one with no metal, but you needed the metal then because you had to make the wall strong to take the wind load, and you had to seal it properly. But we made this one as simple as possible at the time (Krinsky 66),” the innovation of curtain wall of this building is considered, not only in the progress of materials, but also in the progress of the construction method.
The materials used in this building, including the large, thin glass plate and the thin aluminum sheet, call people’s attention to this building. However, its construction details also were noticed by people. For instance, the German periodical “Bauen + Wohnen” introduced this building with the design sheet of curtain wall, in Oct., 1962. The curtain walls were highly praised for its elegance; but, the details of them were also worth to notice.
As Gordon Bunshaft claims,”Even since we started doing skin walls, our effort was to make the metal as thin as possible. An ideal glass wall is one with no metal, but you needed the metal then because you had to make the wall strong to take the wind load, and you had to seal it properly. But we made this one as simple as possible at the time (Krinsky 66),” the innovation of curtain wall of this building is considered, not only in the progress of materials, but also in the progress of the construction method.
The materials used in this building, including the large, thin glass plate and the thin aluminum sheet, call people’s attention to this building. However, its construction details also were noticed by people. For instance, the German periodical “Bauen + Wohnen” introduced this building with the design sheet of curtain wall, in Oct., 1962. The curtain walls were highly praised for its elegance; but, the details of them were also worth to notice.

Social:

Related to the famous SOM and the Pritzker Prize Winner, Gordon Bunshaft, the reputation of these people often makes people ignore other participators, especially a female architect after World War II. But it is undeniable that Natalie de Blois, the senior designer assigned to Gordon Bunshaft by SOM, was responsible for many details of this project, as well as other famous projects of SOM, including the Terrace Plaza Hotel of 1948 in Cincinnati, the Lever House of 1952 and the Union Carbide Building of 1960, both in New York. Her ability of being a senior designer was praised by others in SOM. The founder of SOM, Nathaniel Owings, described Natalie de Blois in his autobiography: “Her mind and hands worked marvels in design—and only she and God would ever know just how many great solutions, with the imprimatur of one of the male heroes of SOM, owed much more to her than was attributed by either SOM or the client.( qtd. in Paine 112).”
For a divorced working mother who raised four boys on her own, which was not popular in that period, Natalie de Blois was quite about her job in her early career life. But in 70’s, she began to write about the prejudices faced by female architects. (Paine 114). In 1974, having joined SOM in 1944 but having experienced thirty years of “working in others’ shadows” as a senior designer, de Blois left SOM. After that, she joined the Houston firm of Neuhaus & Taylor, and became a professor at the University of Texas in Austin.
Being a female architect and a working single mother, Natalie de Blois went from being a silent employee to an active member of the American Institute of Architect’s Task Force on Women; her story is inspiring to other female architects or working mothers. While planning Pepsi-Cola Building, Gordon Bunshaft was busy doing other project; this project was the best example of her design work in SOM.

Cultural & Aesthetic:
“The modernism exemplified by the Pepsi-Cola Building is that of the second wave of the International Style which flourished in this country in the post-World War II period (Landmark Preservation Commission 3).” The fact that this building is an International Style building is easy to tell from its structure, which is supported by the columns and floor, and its modular space. Although the building is asymmetrical, the intention to make the building visual symmetric is consistent with International Style. As it was described as "An elegant box of glass and aluminum, floating on piers but respectful of the street and of the scale of its neighbors. Like the Seagram Building, it is a jewel of metal and glass ..., one of the few instances of modern commercial architecture in New York succeeding at what it set out to do — create an elegant, refined, and civilized environment that would enrich the city at large (Goldberger 154-155)." One of the reasons that this building was praised form architects, critics and writes is the intention to be an modern building, but not produce conflict with its neighbors. This intention makes this building play an interesting role in its style.
Historical:

The Pepsi-Cola Building has been praised highly and widely since its completion. The building was awarded the “Building of the Year” by Municipal Art Society of New York in 1960, the same year of its completion. In 1961, one year after its completion, the American Institute of Architects gave it the “First Honor Award.” The third award this building received was the first City Club’s Albert S. Bard prize of Excellence in urban architecture.
Despite these awards for this building, Gordon Bunshaft, the design partner, was also famous. He was honored by several awards and medals, including the Brunner Prize of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1995, and its Gold Medal in 1984, and the Medal of Honor from the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The most famous honor he received was the Pritzker Prize, in 1988.
Bunshaft was influenced by the International Style and Mies van der Rohe’s buildings, and there are some Miesian elements found in this building. However, many buildings designed by Bunshaft also have the same elements. But the Pepsi-Cola Building, which is only 13-story high, is the only building which was designed in a small scale in New York City. As Sydney LeBlanc said in her book, “In contrast to the gargantuan office towers in the International Style, the Pepsi-Cola Building is comprehensible in size and scale, and perhaps this is why its subtle refinements make a stronger impression (109).”
Although it was praised for its small scale, ironically, the expansion tower next to this building is a 40-story high-rise building. The architect James S. Polshek continued the context of this building by giving the new building a metal-and-glass appearance. However, the small scale of the Pepsi-Cola Building was not the trend of office building design. The praises its earned still cannot change the investors’ mind.

General Assessment:
The Pepsi-Cola Building was seemed to be an International Style building. Furthermore, there are some elements that can distinguish its style more precisely?it is a Miesian style. The sleek curtain walls and thin vertical mullions are considered as Miesian elements. However, Bunshaft claims, “I don’t think that is necessarily Miesian: skin and bones. Mies, in my opinion…was really trying to enrich. He was making a statement which represented to me the essence of what America, the great steel country, should express. So he was not being a detail man trying to get a minimum; he was being a poet (qtd in. Krinsky 67).” Although he was influenced by Mies van der Rohe ,in this building, Bunshaft showed the different ideas, which were not found in his other design, of course, differed from Mies van der Rohe too.
Documentation
Text references:

Goldberger, Paul. The City Observed, New York: A Guide to the Architecture of Manhattan. New York: Random House, 1979. Print.
Krinsky, Carol H. Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. New York, N.Y: Architectural History Foundation, 1988. Print.
Landmarks Preservation Commission. "(Former) Pepsi-Cola Building (Now ABN-Amro Bank Building)." New York: Landmarks Preservation Commission. Jun. 1995.
LeBlanc, Sydney. 20th-century American Architecture: A Traveler's Guide to 220 Key Buildings. New York: Whitney Library of Design, 1996. Print.
Paine, Judith."Natalie de Blois." Women in American Architecture: A Historic and Contemporary Perspective : a Publication and Exhibition Organized by the Architectural League of New York Through Its Archive of Women in Architecture. Ed. Susana Torre. New York: Whitney Library of Design, 1977. Print.

Authoring
Recorder/Date: Ching-Hsuan Kuei
Additional Images
Pepsi-Cola Corporation World Headquarters
Floor Plan and Elevation, Source: Bauen + Wohnen, date: October, 1962
Pepsi-Cola Corporation World Headquarters
Elevation, Source: Bauen + Wohnen, date: October, 1962

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Added by IAvramides, last update: October 14, 2011, 10:03 pm

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Exterior view , source: Wikimedia Commons, date: 2007
Location
Independence Avenue at Seventh Street SW
Washington, D.C., DC 20013
United States
38° 53' 15.27" N, 77° 1' 18.8724" W
Identity of Building / Site
Primary classification: Recreation (REC)
Secondary classification: Public Services (PBS)
Federal, State, or Local Designation(s) and Date(s):
History of Building/Site
Original Brief:

The building was designed to house the Smithsonian Institution’s new contemporary art collection. Both the museum building and the collection were gifts of Joseph Hirshhorn, a uranium and mining magnate. In 1964 Sidney Dillon Ripley, the secretary of the Smithsonian, contacted Hirshhorn in order to encourage him to bequeath his collection of contemporary art to the Smithsonian (Hyams, 142). Hirshhorn’s attorney contacted Ripley and expressed Hirshhorn’s desire to have the museum named after him in order to donate his collection. Ripley agreed and continued to pursue the issue with Hirshhorn (Hyams, 142-43). On May 17, 1965, Hirshhorn expressed his terms, including that the collection be housed in a modern museum on the Mall to be named after him in perpetuity (Hyams, 144). On May 17, 1966 a proposed bill stipulated that Hirshhorn’s gift be accepted (Hyams, 153). It sparked controversy in Congress: “The museum site was contested, its name opposed, its donor disparaged, its sponsor investigated, appropriations delayed” (Hyams, 155). By September the bill had passed, including a construction budget of $15 million (Hyams, 157).

Dates: Commission / Completion:Gordon Bunshaft was announced as the architect of the museum building in January 1967. The design was unveiled (Kammen, 265) and groundbreaking took place (Hyams, 163) in 1969. In 1971, amid heavy criticism of the plan to lay the sculpture garden across the Mall Bunshaft modified his original design, shifting the garden’s orientation and location (Hyams, 176). The original design had also been modified so that Roman travertine on the exterior would be replaced with granite-chip concrete (Hyams, 167). The building opened in 1974 (Hyams, 183-84).
Architectural and other Designer(s): Gordon Bunshaft (Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill). Other works include Lever House (New York, NY, 1952), Beinecke Rare Books Library (New Haven, CT, 1963), and the Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum (Austin, TX, 1971).
Others associated with Building/Site: Nathaniel Owings (an early design by Owings was unappreciated by Joseph Hirshhorn and this may have led to Bunshaft’s involvement)
Significant Alteration(s) with Date(s): Between 1979 and 1981 the Sculpture Garden was renovated and redesigned by Lester Collins, who created more intimate spaces and replaced pebbles with lawns, trees, and bushes (Fletcher, 25). Between 1991 and 1993 the Hirshhorn Plaza was renovated and redesigned by James Urban, who added areas of grass and trees (Fletcher, 28).
Current Use: The building is home to the Smithsonian Institution’s contemporary art collections.
Current Condition: No indications of lacking state of repair.
General Description:

The building is a three-story tall cylindrical concrete building raised fourteen feet on four massive pylons with a circular open court (Hyams, 183-84). The skin of the cylinder does not open to the exterior but for a single elongated balcony overlooking the Mall. Windows open in the interior towards the courtyard. The two floors containing the galleries consist of an inner and an outer ring separated by curved wall partitions so that paintings and sculpture may be exhibited separately. The inner and outer perimeters of the hollow cylinder are slightly eccentric – by only four feet.

Construction Period:

The building was constructed using 14'-0" x 7'-0" precast concrete panels (White).

Original Physical Context:

The building sits on the National Mall and forms part of the collection of buildings of the Smithsonian Institution.

Evaluation
Technical Evaluation:

The building made use of 14'-0" x 7'-0" precast concrete panels (White). These had a granite-chip finish (Hyams, 167).

Social:

The prospect of the erection of a modernist building on the Mall became the cause of intense controversy. Earlier (1939) the Smithsonian Institution had sponsored a design competition for a museum of contemporary art won by Eliel and Eero Saarinen and J. Robert F. Swanson, but the project was never built. The donor’s insistence on a building bearing his name in perpetuity led to further controversy. A 1970 column in the Washington Post wondered how a building “intended to memorialize a stock manipulator and convicted money smuggler” was “accorded an honored spot on Washington’s historic Mall” (Anderson). For the construction of the Hirshhorn Museum, the Army Medical Museum was demolished, after the National Park Service clarified that National Historic Landmark status was accorded only to the collections, and not the building (Hyams, 157).

Cultural & Aesthetic:
With the presentation of Bunshaft’s design of the museum “all hell broke loose,” and reporters “outdid one another in making fun of the circular design” (Kammen, 265). Ada Louise Huxtable focused on its scale and monumentality and called it “the largest marble doughnut in the world.” (“Marble Home Seen as a Realization of American Dream”). Unease at the building’s modern design persisted even after it opened. In a 1974 review in the Washington Post it was described as “an unabashed manifesto of the architecture of our time – the best and the worst of it” (Von Eckardt). This very mixed review concluded that although one could admire the building, one would “hardly love it.” It has been often compared to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, even though the rotunda of the 1959 building is small enough to fit inside the Hirshhorn’s courtyard.
Historical:

The building is the first manifestation of the U.S. government’s desire to develop a contemporary art collection for display on the Mall (Krinsky, 251). It represents the culmination of Joseph Hirshhorn’s patronage of twentieth century art.

General Assessment:
The Hirshhorn Museum is a fine late modernist building with a design and construction history that speaks about the acceptance of modernist architecture in America.
Documentation
Text references:

Anderson, Jack. “Mall Memorial to Hirshhorn Probed.” Washington Post, Times Herald 11 April 1970, C11.
Fletcher, Valerie J. A Garden for Art: Outdoor Sculpture at the Hirshhorn Museum. Washington, D.C.: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in association with Thames and Hudson, 1998.
Hyams, Barry. Hirshhorn, Medici from Brooklyn: A Biography. New York: Dutton, 1979.
Kammen, Michael G. Visual Shock: A History of Art Controversies in American Culture. New York: Knopf, 2006.
Krinsky, Carol Herselle. Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. New York: Architectural History Foundation, 1988.
Von Eckardt, Wolfgang. “Hirshhorn Enclave: You May Admire It, But You’ll Hardly Love It.” Washington Post 28 September 1974: B1+.
White, Jean M. “Museum of the Future.” Washington Post 15 April 1973: M1+.

Authoring
Recorder/Date: Ioannis Avramides, March 2009
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