Originally built in 1870, the Richardson Olmsted Complex served as an insane asylum in Buffalo, New York. It was designed by famous American architect Henry Hobson Richardson, and the surrounding landscape was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. From these two architects came the insane asylum’s name. The complex features a central administrative building with five wards flanked on each side for a total of eleven structures. The design of the campus feature Richardson’s famous Romanesque styling. Buildings are built from red bricks and include large towers that incorporate a vertical driven design. Retired from its original purpose, the Richardson Olmsted Complex is now a National Historic Landmark.
Trinity Church is located along the Back Bay of Boston, Massachusetts. The Church dates back almost 150 years. Trinity Church began construction in June of 1872 after its previous site was burned down in the Great Boston Fire. Designed by Henry Hobson Richardson, Trinity Church was one of his first major designs that ignited the architect’s popularity. The church features Richardsonian Romanesque styling. This is characterized by its clay roofs, stone building material, grand arches, and large tower. Trinity Church is often listed as one of the most important American architectural designs. Its beauty and attraction comes from the cohesiveness of its many design features coming together as one.
This is a church… Let me repeat that, this is a church! I absolutely love when architects challenge the status quo of traditional style especially when its a church. A very good example of this is Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. But the difference between Gaudi’s work and Aalto’s is that if you walk up do the Sagrada Familia you don’t wonder “what on earth could that be”, you immediately know that it is a church. Hell from miles away you know it’s a church! It want’s you to know what it is and what it stands for. The Stephanuskirche takes a different approach; a subtle approach. Like what I would deem as a good person regardless of belief is someone who keeps their religion to themselves. I wont judge you, you don’t judge me, I won’t push my beliefs on you, in return you do the same. That’s the vibe I get when I look at this building. Come to me if you want me. Come inside and discover who I am and what I stand for.
The Bavinger House in Norman, Oklahoma looked beautiful. It was built by Bruce Goff in 1955 and considered an example of organic architecture. From my understanding, organic architecture gives the appearance of being scavenged; building out of spare parts found lying around. To me, The Bacinger House looks like a pirate ship. The spiraling epicenter gives the impression of a mast, and the various ropes keep it all together. The quartz embedded into the rock does seem organic, but it also unmistakably locates this building to Oklahoma. Honestly, this may be tied for my favorite Goff building out all he has ever done.
The Bachman House confuses me. It was designed by architect Bruce Goff between 1947 and 1948. Well, the house was actually built in 1889 and redesigned by him for a recording engineer. It is a very unusual building. This is the building that allows me to see more of Goff’s design sensibilities than any other I have examined. It’s a building that looks sharp—mean, almost—with its tall brick walls and steel slabs. But the way that the second story all leads up to a single angle looks really pleasing. It’s also the first of two buildings by Bruce Goff that remind me of a pirate ship.
The Hopewell Baptist Church is another of Bruce Goff’s works that I have personally visited. It was built in Edmond, Oklahoma in 1950. This building seems to blend Stereotypical Native American Symbols with common buildings sensibilities from modern Oklahoma. It’s in the shape of a tepee, yet each of the supports are named for the 12 Apostles. It’s odd to apply Christian mythos to Native American symbols. The whole building seems done on a frugal budget, and it isn’t very pleasant to look at.
The Pavilion for Japanese Art found in Los Angeles was constructed in 1978. It was one the last buildings designed by Bruce Goff, and it was only completed after his death by architect Bart Prince. The Pavilion for Japanese Art is easily my favorite of Goff’s works still standing. I love all of the edges and the central spiral stair case. This is a build that knows how to use its space, unlike the Riverside Studio in Tulsa. The flora that cover up entire walls disguises the slightly stiff shape enough to give it a more unique form. I enjoy how the stairs and the ramp cross over each other. All the different lines of the building intersect in very unique ways.
I made this point during my presentation and the more I look at modern and minimalist architecture the more the idea solidifies in my mind. I made the point that almost every piece of architecture of this style that you look at it features white and lightly stained wood… It looks good don’t get me wrong but metal is also a minimalist material, so is rock and glass… It all comes from the earth and can have as minimal of processing as wood can if not less… white is minimal yes because it’s devoid of color but other colors could be arguably minimal as well. So why white and light stained wood? I don’t know someone smarter than me would have to figure it out but doesn’t it look good!? This building was created for an art dealer and has a striking resemblance to one of the houses Frank Lloyd Wright built. The one now located in Arkansas as a show piece.
The Riverside Studio was built in Tulsa in 1928, a year before the Boston Avenue Methodist Church. It was designed by architect Bruce Goff for a singular person, a music teacher by the name of Patti Adams Shriner. It’s fascinating that it was originally built as home, even with a large studio. My initial impression is that it’s a church of some kind. The material and make appear to be adobe. I enjoy the windows that stack diagonally, and give the impression of stairs. Ultimately, I think it’s kind of ugly because of how boxy the shape is. The roof is too flat and the walls are too straight.
is located in downtown Tulsa. It was completed in the late 1920’s, and is one of the most prominent examples for Art Deco by architect, Bruce Goff. I enjoy the stretched out quality of the building with the tall spires, and three stories of windows stacked on top of one another. It seems very much like a building from the 2013 film, The Great Gatsby. It belongs in the roaring 20’s. I actually visited this building almost a decade ago. I remember being enchanted by it as if I were looking at a castle. Particularly the tower that reaches past 200 feet.