Yale History of Art Building

Extension to Yale University’s iconic Art and Architecture Building.

Built in 1963, Paul Rudolph’s Art and Architecture Building is home to the Yale University’s School of Architecture in New Haven, Connecticut. The school has since outgrown the building, which was altered after a fire in 1969, losing many of its original features.

A Modern Icon.

Designed by architect Paul Rudolph, the Art and Architecture Building is a famous Brutalist structure with ribbed cast-in-place concrete creating monumental volumes and interlocking spaces to anchor a key corner site.

The dramatic massing reveals forgotten imprints of craftsmanship and sensitivity – the vertical, ribbed texture on the building’s surface was obtained by pouring concrete into handcrafted timber formwork, which were then stripped away, and the concrete edges were hand-hammered to expose the aggregate underneath.

Going Forward.

As part of the building’s major renovation programme, the Art and Architecture Building will be restored to the original design envisioned by the architect. It will also be adjoined by expanded facilities and the History of Art department in a brand new extension, the History of Art Building.

Lightness, Progress, Flexiblity.

Studio Yat’s design rediscovers the forgotten elements that form an integral part of the original building – scaffolding and timber formwork. Representing lightness, progress and flexibility, they were crafted individually and put together to form an intricate assembly. This produced a negative image of the Art and Architecture Building, essentially an inverted image of the original structure.

Craftsmanship Matters.

To re-establish this hidden relationship, the History of Art Building takes shape from a finely crafted laminated structural timber frame. Laminated timber is an extremely versatile material, and a high degree of uniformity can be obtained with very little waste.

Same but different, a luminous combination.

The simple, logical geometry allows flexible floor arrangements and creates luminous, open spaces for the new extension. The result? The two buildings are completely different from each other but they naturally belong together. They don’t just work together, they enhance each other.

This 8,000m² new addition provides a flexible structure with an expanded Art and Architecture Library, classrooms, seminar rooms, lecture halls, faculty offices, study spaces, an auditorium and a café.



Location: New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Construction Value: £37,000,000 ($60,000,000)

Gross Area: 8,000m²

Client: Yale University

Type: Education

Status: Proposal