Paul Rudolph Hall was completed in 1963. The Yale campus also includes buildings by Louis Kahn and Marcel Breuer, and a hockey rink by Eero Saarinen.
The interior and exterior walls of this Brutalist building are made of hammered concrete aggregate, creating an interesting, and oddly soothing, textural pattern. The layout of the rooms, however is a bit choppy and, perhaps due to later renovations, there is a lack of intuitive flow from one space to the next.
George Nelson believed that a space is successful when it's done with love. I don't know if Rudolph's heart was aflutter when designing this building for Yale, but the passion expressed inside its walls makes up for the possible indifference.
The curious appearance of a martini glass on the ledge. Perhaps Nelson, who was a Yale graduate and a fan of martinis, still haunts these halls…
I wish I could say we were seated in Womb Chairs, shown here in the student lounge, but our interest in George Nelson was tested by the brutal seating in Paul Rudolph's Brutalist building. Described beautifully by author Ralph Caplan, who said, "One of the pleasures of speaking at this symposium is that you get a chance to get out of these seats." (You also have to read Ralph, but I'll save that post for another day.)
A gift for you: I found an online version of Nelson's Tomorrow's House through Open Library. Enjoy!