PaperCity Magazine

September 2019- Fort Worth

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75 I n the 1970s, fashion designer Halston hosted infamous parties at his Manhattan townhouse for a Studio 54 crowd that included Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, Liza Minnelli, and Jacqueline Onassis. Designed by architect Paul Rudolph in 1966, the glamorous four-story residence — dubbed 101 after its address on East 63rd Street — was the ultimate party pad. It was also classic Rudolph, with a complex layout of terraced levels, floating staircases, and catwalks. After Halston's death in 1990, the townhouse changed hands twice, then went on the market in 2011, where it languished for almost a decade without a buyer. Rudolph, who was once one of the most acclaimed and influential architects of the 1960s, had fallen out of fashion. Even Halston's cachet, it seemed, couldn't regenerate interest in the architect's work. Around the country, many of Rudolph's once prized Brutalist buildings were either falling into neglect or facing the wrecking ball. T here was a time, however, when America couldn't get enough of Rudolph's work. A student of Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius at Harvard University, Rudolph quickly made a name for himself in the '40s and '50s designing modernist beach houses along Florida's central west coast. A pioneer in the architecture movement known as Sarasota Modern, Rudolph designed noteworthy houses, schools, and other buildings with open plans, walls of glass, and cantilevered overhangs. He was a genius at manipulating space and light, and experimented with reinforced concrete, a material he used throughout his career. By the 1960s, Time magazine had lauded Rudolph as an "architectural wunderkind" whose work had already eclipsed Mies van der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Le Corbusier. At Yale University, where he was the chairman of the department of architecture from 1958 to 1964, Rudolph turned the school into one of the most important places to study architecture in the world. (Two of his students, Norman Foster and Richard Rogers, went on to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize.) His design for Yale's Art & Architecture Building put Brutalism on the map in the United States, with heavy blocks of textured concrete masterfully juxtaposed with glass and steel. The building's remarkable open- plan interiors featured multiple levels and his signature play of light and shadows. At first celebrated for its forward design, the building was later vilified as an example of Brutalism's soulless and hulking nature. A mysterious fire destroyed much of it in 1969, presaging a backlash against Brutalism — and Rudolph — that lasted for decades. Almost 40 years lapsed before the Yale building was finally restored in 2008 to its original design; it has since been renamed Rudolph Hall. Today, renewed interest in Brutalism has put the spotlight on Rudolph once again. Architectural Digest and The New York Times marked his 100th birthday last year with articles touting his legacy. (Rudolph, who spent his last decades designing skyscrapers in Asia, Sid W. Richardson Physical Sciences Building at TCU, designed in 1966. ARCHITECT PAUL RUDOLPH'S EXTRAORDINARY DESIGNS ARE BACK IN THE ZEITGEIST, THANKS TO TASTEMAKER TOM FORD AND A NEWFOUND INTEREST IN BRUTALISM. OF ALL HIS WORK, SOME OF RUDOLPH'S BEST RESIDE IN FORT WORTH, INCLUDING A RARELY SEEN WESTOVER HILLS HOUSE ORIGINALLY DESIGNED IN 1970 FOR ANNE AND SID BASS. Paul Rudolph designing his famous 1953 Umbrella house. COURTESY OF SARASOTA ARCHITECTURAL FOUNDATION

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