Yale Art + Architecture Building / Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects

© Peter Aaron/Esto

Yale University’s Rudolph Building – formerly known as the Art and Architecture Building – was designed in 1963 by the modern master and then chair of the School of Architecture, Paul Rudolph. It is considered one of his most important works and was recently completely renovated and expanded, restoring the structure to its original 1963 intention and providing space for the History of Art department.

Architect: Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects
Location: New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Mechanical Engineer: Altieri Sebor Wieber
Cost Estimating: Faithful & Gould
Specifications: Construction Specifications
Acoustics/AV/Telecommunications: Harvey Marshall Berling Associates
Building Code: Bruce Spiewak, AIA
Elevators: VDA
Landscape: Semmens Associates
Preservation: ; Hoffmann Architects (Partner-in-Charge: Russell Sanders; Project Architect: Kevin Magness)
Lighting: HDLC
Security: Ducibella Venter & Santore
Exterior Diagnostics/Design: Hoffmann Architects (Partner-in-Charge: Russell Sanders; Project Architect: Kevin Magness)
Exterior Wall Consultant: Gordon H. Smith Corporation
Furnishings: Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects with Newman
Architects, LLC (Associate Principal: Gwen Wood Emery; Junior Designer: Jessica Alpert)
Environmental Consultant: Atelier Ten
Civil Engineer: BVH Integrated Services
General Contractor: Turner Construction Company
Photographs: Courtesy of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects, Peter Aaron/Esto

© Peter Aaron/Esto

The 114,000 sqf Brutalist building, which is constructed of cast-in-place concrete, has a total of 37 different levels on nine floors, two below grade, and is a cornerstone of Yale’s vibrant arts campus. As a result of a 1996 planning study, Yale University decided to undertake the exterior and interior renovation of the structure along with the addition of a seven-story History of Art Building that allows for an expanded Art and Architecture Library, classrooms, seminar rooms, lecture halls, faculty offices, lounge, and public café. The architects designed the project to qualify for a rating.


The design results from the integration of programmatic, structural and mechanical needs. It includes the restoration of exterior walls; the installation of historically correct windows; and upgrades to all building facilities including the exhibition gallery, jury and studio spaces; study areas; and administrative and faculty offices. It also introduces new lighting and furnishings throughout and brings the structure into compliance with current building and fire code regulations.


The new 87,000 sqf Jeffrey H. Loria Center for the History of Art, while an addition, is designed to present its own iconic presence in the overall composition. Its main volume is clad in limestone and zinc panels, with the intersections to the Rudolph Building rendered in glass and aluminum panels, thus reinforcing both the integration and articulation of the two structures.

© Peter Aaron/Esto

This extraordinary project represents the culmination of Charles Gwathmey’s forty-five year relationship with the university’s School of Architecture. Paul Rudolph was its chairman during Mr. Gwathmey’s studies and also became his mentor.

© Peter Aaron/Esto
© Peter Aaron/Esto
© Peter Aaron/Esto

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Cite: "Yale Art + Architecture Building / Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects" 01 Apr 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=123171>
  • rodger

    the greatness of rudolph’s building is plain to see next to the booming monotony and mediocre talent of gwathmey’s addition. its sad enough gwathmey was selected for the guggenheim addition, now to add cultural insult to another great landmark, he delivers this piece of flaccid wetness! someone please take a gun and put and end to this abominable practice.

    • Eric

      If you’re going to criticize his work, it’s probably best not to joke about taking a gun to him. Gwathmey already died from cancer in 2009.

    • IZYKS

      Not only is your reference to taking a gun to Gwathmey’s practice tasteless, but your clear misuse of the adjectives “booming,” “mediocre,” and “flaccid” reveals your inability to even effectively support your viewpoint.
      Now, on the whole, I agree that Gwathmey’s addition pales in comparison to the Rudolph building — at the same time, however, it’s important to note what an excellent job Gwathmey did in the restoration, and what a difficult job designing such an addition is as well. Gwathmey may have made mistakes, but he did do good work in his time.