Art: Too Much Form, Too Little Function?

It was hailed as an architectural masterpiece when it opened in 1963, yet today Architect Paul Rudolph's prize-winning School of Art and Architecture Building at Yale University stands half empty and virtually unrestored, although nine months have passed since it was gutted by fire. The cause of the fire has never been determined, but the reason for the long delay in rebuilding is clear: students and teachers feel that the building simply did not work.

As director of the school, Rudolph presumably knew better than anyone else what sort of building was needed. And many praised its boldly massed forms, rough concrete...