Polshek's Kahn Yale Gallery Restoration
by Michael J. Crosbie
The Yale University Art Gallery, designed by Louis Kahn, reopened a few months ago after a three-year restoration and rejuvenation by Polshek Partnership Architects, working with a team of experts in restoration, exhibit design, and other specialties. The result brings the building back very close to the way Kahn envisioned it when it was completed in 1953.
With its exposed cast-in-place concrete triangular ceiling structure, steel and glass window walls, and glowing stainless steel railings, the art gallery is considered the first Modern building on Yale's New Haven, Connecticut campus.
It was also Kahn's first major building and is today considered an early masterpiece in a career that would extend another 20 years. In it, Kahn expressed a reverence for materials, space, and light that he would continue to refine in later buildings.
All buildings change over time, and even masterpieces can get muddled. "Beauty concealed by the progress of the times," is how Richard Levin, Yale's president, described its condition before restoration.
Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...