Art: The Road to Xanadu

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but without the Gothic logic. At best, this building is mere artistic caprice." "What Human Beings Need." But Yamasaki has important support as well as important critics. To Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus and professor emeritus at Harvard's Graduate School of Design, Yamasaki's work may be a bit too playful, "but he is a highly talented man, full of ideas, very able." Pietro Belluschi, dean of M.I.T.'s School of Architecture and Planning, says: "I do not necessarily adhere to all that Yama preaches, but he is not to be devalued at all. We cannot dismiss even his Seattle Fair. It has gaiety and a soaring that appeals to the public." Wallace Harrison praises Yamasaki's "fine sense of plan, of scale and what human beings need in a building," and Los Angeles' William Pereira agrees: "Yamasaki

is concerned with the spirit of the place when he's building it. He struggles to do things to people." Japan's Kenzo Tange even disputes the charge that Yamasaki sacrifices structure for façade, arguing that his "strongest characteristic is his persistent habit of treating his structures themselves as design motifs." It is Yamasaki, naturally, who quibbles with that. Without conceding that serenity and delight could possibly be bad, he feels that in the past he "wasn't discriminating enough about structure. The bones, the basic structure of a building, must be evident, and they must be beautiful. You shouldn't put veils over buildings or barrels around them." At 50, Ya masaki feels that his best work is ahead of him, and most likely it is, for he is a man who criticizes himself constantly and never ceases to learn. Soaring Intimacy. The nearly completed Michigan Consolidated Gas Co. Building's steel structure may wear a coat of marble, but this is only "to be polite" to the marble buildings already existing in Detroit's Civic Center. The elongated hexagons that make up the 4,800 floor-to-ceiling windows are no mere gimmick: they provide a sense of soaring on the outside and a comfortable feeling of intimacy on the inside. From anywhere on a floor, a person can get a clear view, and he can stand right next to a window without that sickening feeling that he will fall out. With Engineer Skilling as his constant consultant, Yamasaki is putting up a gracefully vaulted synagogue in Glencoe, Ill. He has done a master plan for a whole university for Iran, designed an elaborate Japanese Cultural and Trade Center in San Francisco, a dramatic, six-story Northwestern National Life Insurance building for Minneapolis, with 63 quartz-faced columns, each 80 ft. high. Three other projects in the works: > The Behavioral Sciences Building (William James Hall), which will be one of Harvard's first high buildings. To provide maximum interior flexibility for each

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