I first learned about Preston Scott Cohen’s work when I read about the Goodman House, a simple and elegant operation of a concrete shell housing an ancient Dutch barn frame. But after further investigation, I was surprised to see a constant spatial and formal research of his work, that we have witnessed in the latest three public buildings from his office and featured on ArchDaily.
On one side we have the Nanjing Performing Arts Center, a curved roof related to the surroundings with a tower that anchors the project on the extended landscape. Also in China, the Taiyuan Museum (under construction) continues the geometric explorations with a tessellated surface that wraps a series of different spaces which alternate with courtyards that maintain a relation with the exterior.
When we visited Preston in Boston for this interview we had the chance to see a preview of his latest work, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (also shown during construction at AD), recently completed and now in final preparations to receive the art pieces and finally be open to the public. The exterior geometry of the building has a dynamic look, due to the changing shadows, while the interior features a careful use of natural light in the exhibitions spaces thanks to a lightfall that crosses the building.
Preston is also the Chair of the Department of Architecture of Harvard GSD, a role that allowed us to talk about the challenges of architectural education.