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The Life of the Buildings

"My buildings are like children. And when the Art and Architecture Building at Yale was burned, I felt that somebody had died. My buildings are very real presences for me, and they change—are changed—and have a life of their own."
Zinsser, John. "Staying Creative; Artistic Passion Is a Lifelong Pursuit - and These Mature Masters Prove the Point. (Otto Luening, Elizabeth Catlett, Paul Rudolph)." 50 Plus 25 (December 1985): 49-55.

On why he maintained a small practice

“Architecture is a personal effort, and the fewer people coming between you and your work the better. This keeps some people from practicing architecture, like the sculptor Nivola [Constantino Nivola, 1911-1988], who says “I cannot stand anybody coming between me and my work.” This is a very real problem, and you can only stretch one man so far. The heart can fall right out of a building during the production of working drawings, and sometimes you would not even recognize your own building unless you followed it through.

On Acquiring Commissions

“I've never known any project that didn't come about circuitously, whether foreign or domestic.”
Rudolph, Paul Marvin, 1918-1997. "Interview with Paul Rudolph." Ed. Robert Bruegmann. Chicago: Department of Architecture, Art Institute of Chicago, February 28, 1986.

From the new book, "Writings on Architecture" speech accepting the Brunner Prize in 1958.


“As an architect, most of my efforts are absorbed in being an administrator, committee man, business man, and consultant—and, by choice, a teacher. Building committees sometimes concern themselves with only these qualities, but actually they are without meaning unless the artist pervades every act.

On the Psychology of Space


On SMTI / UMass Dartmouth


On the Wallace Residence, Athens, AL

"Years ago I designed a house in Alabama based on Greek Revival architecture of the South. I was brought up in that area, I knew it well, and my first memories of architecture were the Greek Revival buildings of the area and the sharecroppers' cottages, both of which intrigued me no end. Both seemed to have a complete validity - in other words, vernacular and so-called high architecture. This house in Alabama has double-story-high porches on four sides, over-scaled columns not based on structural need but on character - yet it's a modern house.

On the Theater in the Creative Arts Center, Colgate University

“The Colgate Theater has some of the features of an Elizabethan theater: four side stages (two levels on each side) and an apron that projects into the audience in a V form. The stage continues in front of the side stages, and along the sides of the audience. It is the level you actually enter on. Part of my notion is that when you enter the theater you are on the stage, and then you go down and take your seats.”
"The Changing Practice: Theaters." Progressive Architecture 46 (October 1965): 160-220.


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