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Contemporary Architect Practice, New York, USA

27 Oct 2011

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SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE PRESENTS
GWATHMEY SIEGEL: INSPIRATION AND TRANSFORMATION,
EXAMINING KEY PROJECTS BY THE INFLUENTIAL FIRM

14 Nov 2011 – 27 Jan 2012

The 2011-12 Yale School of Architecture exhibition program continues on November 14, 2011, with Gwathmey Siegel: Inspiration and Transformation. This is the first museum exhibition devoted to the work of Gwathmey Siegel and Associates Architects (Charles Gwathmey `62 M. Arch), which practiced for over forty years and was one of the most influential architecture firms of the modern period.

Early photograph of Charles Gwathmey and Robert Siegel Digital reproduction on paper mounted on foam core Cameron Art Museum:
Charles Gwathmey
image courtesy of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects

With original architectural drawings, sketchbooks, reproduced drawings, models, photographs, and slide shows, Gwathmey Siegel: Inspiration and Transformation examines the close relationship between art and architecture in eight residential and institutional projects designed by the firm.

Gwathmey Residence & Studio, Ground Floor Axonometric, c. 1965 Digital reproduction on mylar, 36 x 36 in. Gwathmey Henderson Architects/Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects:
Charles Gwathmey
photograph : Yale University Library, Manuscripts and Archives

The exhibition was organized by the Cameron Art Museum, in Wilmington, North Carolina, where it was on view in 2009. It was curated by Douglas Sprunt, former adjunct curator of architecture and design at the Cameron. The Yale showing has been organized by Brian Butterfield, director of exhibitions at the School of Architecture.

deMenil Residence, living area, c. 1983 Digital reproduction on paper on board, 18 x 18 in. Cameron Art Museum:
deMenil Residence deMenil Residence
photographs : Norman McGrath

The School of Architecture’s presentation of the exhibition coincides with the arrival of the Gwathmey Siegel and Associates Architects records at Yale University Library’s Department of Manuscripts and Archives, to which they were donated by Charles Gwathmey’s widow, Bette-Ann Gwathmey. There they will join a significant collection of primary source material documenting modern and contemporary architectural practices, including records from the firms of Eero Saarinen, Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo, Cesar Pelli, and Robert A.M. Stern, among others.

Zumikon Residence, living space, 1994 Digital reproduction on paper on board, 18 x 18 in. Cameron Art Museum:
Zumikon Residence
photograph : Richard Bryant

Background

Charles Gwathmey (1938–2009), who was the only child of noted Social Realist painter Robert Gwathmey and photographer Rosalie Hook, spent a year studying architecture under Louis Kahn at the University of Pennsylvania. He then moved to the Yale School of Art and Architecture, where he studied and worked under Paul Rudolph. Following his 1962 graduation from Yale, he was awarded a Fulbright grant to research the work of Le Corbusier in Europe.

Robert Siegel (b. 1939) studied architecture at the Pratt Institute and received a master’s degree in 1963 from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

The two men first met as students in New York City’s High School of Music and Art, and years later reconnected while working in the office of Edward Larrabee Barnes, in New York City. Buoyed by the success of the house and studio Gwathmey designed for his parents in Amagansett, New York, (1965–67) after he left Barnes’s practice, they went on to found their own practice in 1968.

The Exhibition

Gwathmey Siegel: Inspiration and Transformation focuses on five transitional projects:

• the Gwathmey House and Studio, designed by Gwathmey after leaving Edward Larrabee Barnes’s practice, and immediately embraced as an important example of a distinctly American Modernism;

• the de Menil Residence, in East Hampton, New York (1983), in which the relationship of the house to its site—or of object and frame, as the architects stated—is evident throughout, from the way the house was adapted to its long, narrow beachfront site, facing dunes and sea, to the smallest interior detail;

• the Bechtler Residence, in Zumikon, Switzerland (1993), a critical project in the development of Gwathmey Siegel’s practice, and a residence in which the visitor’s first experience is a gallery for the patrons’ extensive art collection;

• Glenstone, Potomac, Maryland (2006), a residence and museum in which art, architecture, and the natural environment join to create an active yet contemplative experience; and

• the renovation and restoration of Yale School of Architecture’s Paul Rudolph Hall (formerly known as the Art + Architecture Building), which restored the integrity and spirit of the building, and the addition to it of the Jeffrey Loria Center for the History of Art (2008), which respects the earlier building while nonetheless asserting its own identity.

Other institutional projects included in the exhibition are the restoration and renovation of Whig Hall, Princeton University (1973); the addition to the Fogg Museum, Harvard University (1991); and the Guggenheim Museum renovation and addition, New York City (1992).

In addition to materials related to specific projects, Gwathmey Siegel: Inspiration and Transformation includes artifacts and documents from the personal collections of the architects. These include such items as Gwathmey’s scrapbook from his family’s tour of Europe, in 1949–50, and his Fulbright Grant notebook, from 1962–63, as well as a selection of his student work—unique to the School of Architecture presentation—that reflects the time he spent at Yale studying under Paul Rudolph. These and other personal materials enhance the exhibition’s focus on the role of artworks in specific projects by revealing some of the broader cultural currents at play in American modernist architecture.

Related Lecture

The exhibition will be accompanied by a lecture by architect, critic, and historian Kenneth Frampton, titled “Gwathmey Siegel: Form and Counterform.” This will be held on Thursday, November 17, at 6:30 pm in the School’s Hastings Hall. It is free and open to the public.

Yale School of Architecture Gallery

The Yale School of Architecture Gallery is on the second floor of Paul Rudolph Hall, located on the corner of York and Chapel Streets (entrance on York), in downtown New Haven. Exhibitions at the Gallery are free and open to the public. Hours are Monday–Friday, 9 am–5 pm; Saturday, 10 am–5 pm. The Gallery is closed on Sunday. For additional public information, visit www.architecture.yale.edu and click on “events.”

Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects – Latest News

USUN Building, New York City, USA
2010
USUN Building interior
photo : Paul Warchol
USUN Building : FAPE American art installation – 23 Jun 2011

New York, NY March 30, 2011 – The Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE) has collaborated with the U.S. Department of State and Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects (GSAA) to select and install a collection of American art that integrates, seamlessly, into the architecture and design of the new U.S. Mission to the United Nations (USUN) in New York City. The twenty-six story Mission opened in August 2010.

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Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects – Latest Design

Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami – MOCA Expansion, FL, USA
2011-
Museum of Contemporary Art Miami
photo : Steven Brooke
Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami

Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects – Key Projects

Astor Place Tower, East Village, Manhattan, USA
2005

Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo State College, USA

Burchfield Penney Art Center
photo : Biff Henrich
Burchfield Penney Art Center

Cleveland State University Student Center, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects with Braun & Steidl Architects
Cleveland State University Building
photo : Brad Feinknopf
Cleveland State University Student Center

Corning Glass Works Building (Corning Glass Center) Renovation
717 Fifth Avenue, Midtown Manhattan, New York
1993-94
This building by Wallace K. Harrison is 109m high; the lobby contains a mural by Josef Albers

Guggenheim Museum Renovation, New York, USA
1992

Museum Of Contemporary Art of North Miami, Florida, USA
1995

Yale Arts Complex – Paul Rudolph Hall at Yale University, USA
2009
Paul Rudolph Hall
photo : Peter Aaron
Paul Rudolph Hall

W Hoboken Hotel, New York, USA
2010
W Hoboken Hotel
photo : Paul Warchol
W Hoboken Hotel – information on W Hoboken Hotel & Residences, W New York-Downtown Hotel & Residences, 400 Fifth Avenue

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Gwathmey Siegel – Practice Information

Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects

Founded in 1968, Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects (GSAA) is a New York-based firm offering master planning, architectural, interior and product design services. Since its inception, Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects has completed over four hundred projects for educational, healthcare, corporate, cultural, government and private clients throughout the United States and abroad. Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects received the prestigious Architecture Firm Award in 1982, from the American Institute of Architects, the highest award bestowed on an architecture firm for consistently producing distinguished architecture. After the death of co-founding partner Charles Gwathmey in August 2009, the firms leadership continues under the direction of co-founding partner Robert Siegel, FAIA, Associate Partners, Gerald Gendreau AIA, Dirk Kramer AIA, Joseph Ruocco, and Senior Associates Steven Forman AIA, Greg Karn and Kang Chang AIA.

Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects office based at Tenth Avenue in Manhattan, New York, USA

Charles Gwathmey was a member of the “New York Five”, famous for purist white neo-Corbusian architecture.

Charles Gwathmey

1938-2009

American architect

born in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Principal at Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects, LLP

Charles Gwathmey passed away on 3 Aug 2009, aged 71.
Reports suggest Charles Gwathmey died of esophageal cancer.

The late Gwathmey Siegel:
Charles Gwathmey
photograph : William Taufic

Charles Gwathmey was a member of the ‘New York Whites’, titled in 1969:
Peter Eisenman
Michael Graves
Charles Gwathmey
John Hejduk
Richard Meier

Education
University of Pennsylvania

Yale School of Architecture – Master of Architecture degree
1962
The William Wirt Winchester Fellowship recipient
Fulbright Grant recipient

Teaching
Davenport Professor
1983 & 1999
Yale – Bishop Professor
1991
Harvard University – Eliot Noyes Visiting Professor
1985

Charles Gwathmey – Awards

American Academy of Arts and Letters – Brunner Prize
1970
American Institute of Architects New York Chapter – Medal of Honor
1983
Yale School of Architecture – Yale Alumni Arts Award
1985
Guild Hall Academy of Arts – Lifetime Achievement Medal in Visual Arts
1988
New York State Society of Architects – Lifetime Achievement Award
1990

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