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PART ONE PRESIDING CHAIRMAN John Knox Shear Editor-in-Chief, Architectural Record Architectural Design M R . S H E A :R: This is the conference ~ have been awaiting for a long time, ever since ~ first heard that it was being planned. T am sure most of you fee] as r ~0. We have a lot to learn here. Mr. Richard M. Bennett, our first speaker, is a practicing architect of dis- tinction and a member of the firm of LoebI, SchIossman 8: Bennett of Chi- cago. He has taught and written on architecture. Currently he is repre- senting architecture on a committee advising the State Department on its foreign building operations. He is a Fellow and former member of the Board of Directors of the American institute of Architects and has re- ceived much praise and several awards for his distinguished work in resi- clential. commercial, religious, and public buildings. 5
The Aesthetic Demands of Contemporary Architecture Upon Masonry MY FIRST introduction to masonry construc- tion goes back a long, Tong time in 1ny ~nem- or~. -\s a very little boy, I watcl~ec) my grand- fatl~er builcT a brick garage. This even in an , , c' ~ _ _ . . v ~ a age once place Pliers people still lead barns ancT stables. 'Garage" was a new word in our language then. Our garage was quite modern, too it hac] a flat roof, a poured concrete ~door, and an asymmetric elevation and plan to accommodate on one side a work bench for Hi ost continuous mechanical repairs ancT maintenance. I believe the neighbors thought this unfamiliar structure extremely ugly. My grandmother had made no .~r~ n cafe tlo Or retire sonic ~Tea.-s l:efore, but this oicI Nan really quit he just helped people build _ _ j = ~ A .L At_ Richard M. Bennett Loebl. SchlossmarL & Bennett' Chicago, III. for joy instead building as an years ago, and stone, well laid of wood, and it . . . . . ~ of money. He llad learned apprentice, nearly a hundred he learned to love a piece of brick, a straight "rained piece is probably his influence wl~icl~ Is Den~na no being lien today. J J And, I alp glad to lee here will: you to carry on, if I can, his attitude that a brick is more than a bricl:, a stone more than a stone, a build- ing more than just a structure when man builds and selects with tile objectives of beauty and a sense of rightness wl~icl1 transcend what we arbitrarily call utilitarian concerns. Allis is glut the title of 1ny assignment here really means when it saves "belle Aesthetic Den~ancTs or Gary ~rcnItecture upon Masonry." never , tilings ' ~' ~ ' 7
That word Aesthetics is a license that allows for some of the loosest talking and writing men do, and it is only the realization that ~ cannot cover the ground thoroughly anyhow that al- Tows one to fee] no strange in any own simplified, arbitrary approach. The dictionary is a good starting point. The root of our worst aesthetics is "esthesia" which means the ability to feel. The word aesthetic itself Scans "sensitive to art and beauty." :[t connotes cliscrin~ination, judgment-above all, the rejection of those things which clo not measure up to certain purely personal stancl- ards. Son~eLow, this accepted clefinition of the word "aesthetic" doesn't seem to Nile to have enough scope for a survey of today's use, and tomorrow's role, for a great historic buiTd- ing material. So, let us get back to the root of things anc! agree that what we are really after is what a designer of a building is interested in when he seeks to negate a building beautiful; or, in other words, make those who see his buiTclings have feelings of beauty. The designer is (and per- haps we are coining a wordy an aesthesiast- one who makes people have feelings just the opposite of an anesthetist. Whether the de- signer's endeavors are judged beautiful often varies with tinge anct place. Anc! this is the most important point: different designers see their goals in different ways; do so with great conviction; and are supported by able critics and aestheticians in their differences. The inevitable result is that today's obviously beau- tifu] building is son~etin~es ton~orrow's awk- ward relic, and sometimes toclay's unnoticed solution is ton~orrow's beloved heirloom. Today the architectural scene is, as always, rich with two broach trends classic and ro- n~antic. Always the classic is cool, impersonal, clisciplinec] and balanced. Mies van de Robe is this generation's great classicist classicist and progressive. For it must always be remem- bered that his work is original, but within a 8 framework of greatness, for classicism does not mean sterility. For this audience, his insistence on nothing less than perfect craftsmanship widen it conies to masonry, shouIc! not be news when you ren~en~ber his first training was as a stonemason. In the City of Chicago, running bond, seven courses of bricks lengthways and the next end side to, is aIn~ost stancIarcT. It was almost startling when Mies used n~eticu- lous Fiendish bond in his first buildings at Illinois Institute of Technology. People flail dismissed, even forgotten, the snore co~n~?li- catec! brick textures. His reintroduction of increased bonding was doubly interesting since his bricks were used, usually, only in curtain walls. The reason, of course, is that in con- trast to the running bond the snore over-all, uniform pattern made a texture that stayed where it was put within his usual frame of steel. While Mies' preoccupation with the exploi- tation of steel and glass conies first to Final, it must never be forgotten that he is really con- cerned with fine, meticulous cletailing, and the proper use of materials. Brick, in his vocabu- lary, takes a proper place with all fine materials, such as n~arble, bronze, wooLl, aTu~ninun~. A most don~inant figure in the influence of con- ten~porary architecture by exan~ple, as well as a teacher, the trend established by Mies and his group creates a Pendant for bricks of greater uniformity and precision, both for size as well as for color and texture. It is significant that his students' early design exercises are based on the brick as a n~oduTe- and their first houses are designed so that the length of other materials is detern~ine(1 by a multiple of existing brick masonry units. In dran~atic contrast to Mies, and in many ways stan(ling all alone Frank Lloyd Wright is, without a doubt, the arch-ro~nantic of our age. Throughout his long life, he has been fascinated with expanding the possibilities of masonry construction. It is hard to think of
Photo: Eel a Stoller CHAPEL' MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY Eero Saarinen, architect 9
anyone who has clone more in the way of ex- perimenting witl1 prefabricated, precast units, both as structural components anc! as breath- taking essays in applier] pattern ancI texture. Ale, of course, leas many followers kilo carry on these interests. If we try to discover the principle unclerlying the hancITing of masonry, as shown in Wright-influencecT work, we'd fincl, as lie puts it, an interest in the ' nature of the material" as a total possibility. N\Tith llinl, masonry is nape pri~nariT,v to work to voice things up. Stucco; of his plans shows that in his greatest work, masonry is cTisposec! in the buiTcling so that one can feet the compressive forces concentrated in the solicT ~nasonrv; masses, using ancT expressing other materials to take tile tensile ancT bencTing forces of the builcling. The romanticist is snore apt to be interested in the incliviclual, unique architectural solution and the inctiviclual brick uncleri~urnecT, over- burnecT, oversized, and unclersizecl. All arcLi- tects, however, ~ believe, will become more and more interested in the complete wall, one which uses the sane material inside and out. Concern with the integrity of tile way tl~e reality bchinc} tee surface appearance is a real aesthetic matter ancT very important in the de- velop~nent of new masonry forms. It is be- yoncT the scope of this paper to discuss the merits of modular units, to examine composite materials clesignec! to be light, to have greater insulating value, to be of sizes 1nore easily placect, ant! the like. The exciting possibilities of masonry elements for sun shades, grilles and other functional forms; color glazes; all await further exploitation by designers. All these present aesthetic problems but their so- lution lies within Else same principles that Lola for present ~nasonr,~ uses. Currently, the trencT in architecture scenes to lean mostly toward the classic Mies, but T believe that the inevitable swing of the penciu- lum towarc! the freer, romantic trencT is not far 18 away;. LeCorbusier's latest church seems to defy all Isis writings of the last thirty years in its heavily over-emphasizec] stuccoed ~nasonrv ~ J walls, bizarre roof and emphatically arbitrary winclow placement. The straight lines of steel ancT economically forn~ecl concrete of his theo- ries are forgotten in his obvious delight in masses ancT shapes that can most logical!;; be cliscoverecT in masonry. Such deviation toward a highly incliviclual solution by one known for his previous emphasis on a "machine" age can- not help but exert a strong romantic influence on many young men. Two well-publicized projects Philip John- son's own house ancT Saarinen's M.~.T. Chapel ancT AucTitorinn~ are nest interesting because alley both clen~onstrate the two-siclecI interests of so notary of tociay's architects. The precise steel-and-glass main structure of Jol~nsons Lomb is contrasted with his brick, solicI-wallecT neighboring guest house. In similar vein, Saar- inen's eggshell-thick plastic-coverecT concrete cloned with walls of alu~ninu~n and glass is l~al- ancec: against a cylinder of brick wI~ich en- closes one of the most inspiring chapels of our tinge. Much of tile success of the chapel, as well as some of the interior brickwork beneath the auclitoriu~n cTome, results frown the search for ancT selection of bricks Title inherent in- cTivicluality and variety in size and color, ancT a mortar color that blencTs the diversity of tl~e :Lnits into a unity of the whole wall to achieve a satisfaction oracle snore thrilling because of its apparently artless subtlety. The architect as aesthesiast-neater of peo- ple to feel leas become the concern of Walter Gropius of late. This early writings were in~port- ant for Blair pioneer expression of the possibili- ties ancT inevitableness of machine production in building anc! its resulting uncompromising precision. Writing of Lois recent trip to Japan, one senses a greater affection perhaps for nat- ural material, and certainly brick is a natural material and a 1nachine-age product, too. This
secants to suggest a coining greater interest in the incliviclual, unique manifestation of vari- etv,war~nti~, and richness of clepth associated with natural masonry. Plot long ago' it was con non to hear so- callecT acivancec] architects ancT critics predict the encT of out-~noclec] heavy ~nasonr,v. Some of their criticisms were correct, anc] in steel ancT concrete frame construction the masonry cur- tain wall is being usecT less ancT less. AncT this is reasonable since the nature of the material is inappropriate. But brick is appropriate, ancT, as fares one can see aheacT, will always be appro- priate in many places. As contemporary; design clevelops, it will be strange if masonry does not become even snore lovecI as we learn where it is most appropriate. The greatest mistake of our time seems to Nile to be the search for the "all' solution whether it is all glass, all aTu~ni- nu~, ail steel, or even all brick. A buiTcling can be co~nparecT to biological construction; ancI, who wouIcT think of an only all-gristIe, an only all-fat, or only alI-bone girl? NYhat cloes this short ancl over-si~nplifiec] little survey suggest? It seems to Nile the most important point is that cliEerent architects can use the saline unit with different objectives. Let Nile illustrate by comparing architecture with another art the stage. The great Raclio City; Music Hall lines up scores of girls, picker! for similarity of size ancT conformation, made more alike by identical clothes and wigs, all kicking, turning, ancT bencling in breathtaking preci- sion. This is certainly a kind of beauty the beauty of repeated precision. It is beauty con- sistent with our news production world. it is a reassuring kin(l of beauty when we identify ourselves, too, as kinds of similar cogs in this terrifying complicated civilization. But, let us take the chorus of a musical comedy where the precision may not be so consistent but plot, choreography, and a more intimate-sized thea- tre permit looking at separate n~en~bers of the chorus front tinge to time. Unit becomes less uniform and we cannot help but see this in- troduction of variety and contrast achieves an- other kind of beauty. Then, take Jackie Glea- son's successful TV presentation-designed first to show the June Taylor girls' astonishing- ~y precise, disciplined dancing from above, front, side, and back and, again we 1lave a precise beauty. But, no small success of his program is the introduction of one pretty girt at a tithe to announce one word or phrase, and at the end to leave the entire cast appear, one by one, frown behincT the curtain. AncT, finally, of course, the stage uses people in an- otl~er way in plays. In a play, the individuals are unified in an art form in which ideas and conflicts form the mortar that blends the sinlulatecT inner characters of the performers into a beauty beyond surface appearance. And so it is with masonry. It is susceptible of being handled in nanny, many cTiRerent ways, front a mechanically precise wall enclos- ing a factory, to mosaics, perhaps abstract, symbolic or even representational- at any rate, establishing a meaning that transcends the ap- pearance of the material of which it is co~n- posed because the relation of each part has been established be the designer in an order J beyond utility. i J Beside the designer, there is another iln- portant person involved in masonry construc- tion' and that is the craftsman. When one hears of the disappearance of the craftsman' re~ne~nber that. as designers demand precision and absolute uniform bricklaying, they are turning a Nan into a machine. As men work in an area in which they can exercise less and less choice, else result slows less and less person- ality and pride. Some of you navy recall that early automobile bodies were decorated with hand-painte~l, colored stripes. The lack of car- riage painters led to a search for a cheaper so- lution. ~ have been told that Scotch tape was invented as an aid to this work. At any rate, when Scotch tape or decalcon~anias took over. 11
the stripes disappearecl. Sin~ilarly, at the time of the Civil War, ladies' ciresses revelled in ruf- fles, but when tile sewing machine Inane ruf- fles economically available to almost everyone, ruffles, like auto stripes, were no longer desir- able. Now, ~ ant not suggesting that when that bricklaying machine is perfected, we will give up bricks. What ~ awn saying is this from tinge to time bricklayers should be encourages! with jobs like the brickwork of Saarinen's M.~.T. work; and, perhaps, the architect-desianer should finch a way to let artists and craftsmen, as long as there still are tonne, have a chance to express themseZves in a wail. blow Tong we will have a chance to do such things is questionable. ~ asker! Henrv Shelled of Coolidge, Shepley, BulEnch & Abbott, about the beautiful brick walls one finds in New Eng- land-some still being built by his firm at Har- vard. They still take brick very, very seriously as an art fount and he toIc! nice there is only one kiln left in this country that snakes hickory- burned brick which has the color and variety underlying those perhaps sentimental, yet un- deniably beautiful, Can~bridge walls. ~ do not know what the rest of the industry feels about such production. But, since orders are booker] a year in advance, there still must be quite a market for the "oIc! way." We can certainly hope such production never dies entirely out, even though the major trend can never reverse itself far enough to make this a competitive type of market. 12 If ~ emphasize some of the qualities of n~a- sonry that are a little out of fashion, it is be- cause ~ think they will cone back. Not exactly as they were, but perhaps in essence. The fu- ture is, in the main, inevitably bound up with machine production, modular integration, in~- personal craftsmanship. This direction is initi- ated by economic forces more than by aesthetic objectives. It is only when the designer wishes to express the feeling of the machine age that machine age products become aesthetic units. More and snore designers are gladly accepting mechanical results as the expression of our time still only tide Early Machine Age. Ma- chines are what we make then we can control masonry construction so that even some of the unique qualities now associated only with old, [land-fashioned masonry units shouIc] not, and need not, be lost. As we press forward with new ideas, sound answers to economic necessities, exploit excit- ing new possibilities, let us not entirely forget certain old beauties-for, as someone has saicl, and T wish ~ knew who the wise man was "He who does not know history will be con- de~nnec} to repeat it." Even as Mies re-established Flemish bone] in a steel frame and Eero Saarinen reaffirmed the incon~parable beauty of the natural color variety in a brick wall under a daring concrete Tonne, we can expect still more new discoveries, and re-discoveries, in the richness of man's in- exhaustibly great buiTcling material- masonry.
Photo: Ezra Stoller JEWISH CHAPEL, INTERFAITH CENTER, BRANDIEIS UNIVERSITY' WALTHAM' MASS. Harrison & Abramovitz' architects 13
Colors and Textures in Masonry 1~ R . S H E ~ R: Our second speaker of this session is Mr. Joseph P. Moo,e. He has, ~ think, come a long way around. He has grad- uate degrees fro no Catholic University of America and from Columbia University in Fine Arts and ArcheoZogy. Until 1945 he ~ T :~IGHT be noted at the outset that a great clear of color is being usecT in architecture to- ciay and some texture. We can even agree that color is used with a proper recognition of its ps~;ehological importance. But we must distin- guisI~ clearly between colored architecture and the use of color in architecture. We must also distinguish between texture in materials and texture through materials. Joseph P. Moore Moore Liz Co., Inc., Stamford, Conn. taught fine arts and archeology in colleges. Since then he has been an advertising and public relations executive. He has been particularly interested in an area close to your hearts, marble and natural stone. It would seen to nice that we may have for- gotten how to relate our architecture to our- seIves in point of seaTe. Giant masses of color or texture which may help produce a handsome rendering of a builcling, or which may afforc] some pleasure when seen from miles away, may have no effectiveness whatever when seen from tile immediate area surrounding the builcling. The kind of color in design or texture in design 15
which floes not produce any i~n~nediate sensory response does not satisfy our needs in viewing the building and may have no purpose what- ever except in selling the building. The problem is not one of building size but it is one of scale in its elements. Too many of our buiT(lings today satisfy only our desire to own the biggest or the greatest. They clo not satisfy our need for the finest or the most beau- tiful. So, even the great romanticist anions us proposes a buiTcling 510 stories higll. Of course, you wit] recognize in~n~ediately tint we are rapidly approaching the problem of craftsmen and crafts~nansilip in architec- ture. There was a time when the architect hi~n- self was a craftsman. Later, he was forced to hire craftsmen as associates, but because of a complete professional training, he was still able to understancT tiled and was properly sy~n- patI~etic with then. Later still ancT until to- day aTtI~ougI1 the architect may have an in- stinct for crafts~nansI~ip, ancT all of our better architects do, his time and Isis energies have been so absorbed by tile mechanical require- ~nents of architecture tIlat he has been forced to disassociate Ili~nself frown these early alli- ances. Compounding tile problem is tile faceless client, the corporation or group whicl1 thinks of builcling only as investment and judges the value of a piece of architecture by its ability to balance a ledger sheet. If there is to be a proper integration between architecture ancT the sister arts and a use of such elementary properties as color and tex- ture, tile architect must recognize tile need for craftsmanship in all its aspects, and assist in its development. Herbert Hannah assumes this when he writes: "It is the specific responsi- bility and need of architecture at this point to bring the craftsman back into builcling to work with hint to (nd fresh, creative answers to the use of present materials, to find fresh combinations of new materials for the best ex 16 pression of a given architectural space. The snore resourceful the craftsman is in clearing with each element, the greater the visual flexi- bility of the architectural space. The craftsmen and the architects must experiment for fresh solutions to the architectural needs and the materials of our time but they must experi- ~nent together. New crafts and new techniques, new designs, anct new architecture may well result. The possibilities are limitless." This need is strong, not only because it can be cleter~nined through professional critical argument, but because the layman cries out for it tl;lough too often merely as a voice without a language. If ~ navy be pern~itted an analogy, ~ should like to call on a current trend in interior dec- oration and design on the premise that there is one place that the man in the street finds direct outlet for his ideas, immediate expres- sion of his conception of how things ought to be. In tile nineteen-thirties and overleaps earlier -the trend to ''modern'' furniture was if not born nourished. Furniture manufacturers, ex- perimenting with new techniques of produc- tion, putting to use the intricate machinery available to then1, examining new materials and new design possibilities, probed tile ~nar- ket with sleek creations. Three-din~ensional ornamentation was clutter; the most obscene fiord in flee language of design was "bric-a- brac;" decoration, where it was allowed to creep in, was confined to new lacquers, inlaid patterns afforded be; paper-thin veneers, and appliqued metals. Basic designs have changed little in tile past quarter century in spite of flee efforts of one of our really great architects to relieve the tedium a relief which Mr. Shear noted re- cently has resulted in "some of the worId's most frightful furniture." Lines are still simple, unadorned, severe. Ornamentation has disap- peared. In its place we have the use of richer,
grainier woods, brass drawer pulls, and other accent features. What is the result? How has the man in the street rebellec! against this se- verity which has been foisted upon hint? :[ would be willing to wager that a survey among the men in this room wouIc} indicate that more than 50 per cent of the wives represented here have a recently-acquired interest in antiques. The market in antiques is booming and has been for tonne years. Antique stores dot tile land; we now have annual antique shows. ~Vell, what floes it all mean? Simply this: modern furniture, which has Second all de- sign, all structure, needs sonnetizing to relieve its nakedness. :[t is a part of each of us that a plain surface cries out for something to be put on it: an apothecary jar Inane into a lamp or used as a vase; philoclendron leaves hanging from a shelf; oIcT prints hung on the wall; an oriental carpet on the floor-anything' any- thing to relieve the tedium! Translating this demand over to architec- ture, ~ think the parallel is obvious; conten~- porary architecture is in cianger of boring us to cleated. It is tedious to behold; ancT more than anything else, we want something to relieve the [editing. Of course, it would be called arch- ais~n to expect niches with statues, extensive bas-relief, ponderous cornices, anc! other classic n~ethocis to serve our purpose today although there are tI~ose among us who nostalgically de- ~nand these things. Note, for example, Henry Hope ReecI. But two elen~ents of architecture -as surely; basic as the arch, the Tonne, the col- un~n, and the beans are generally being for- gotten, or, at best, relegated to the an~usen~ent park. These are color and texture. And why do so mane architects shv front color and texture? ~ J Who knows? There are as many answers as there are critics writing about it. Some say lack of energy;; songs say lack of imagination; some say lack of knowledge. Some cry subservience; some cry egocentricity; some cry fear. But all seem to recognize the need. Recall with me, for a n~o~nent, what these two words-texture and color- mean. Texture, briefly, is three-din~ensional surface enrichment. :Et is created by the interplay of light and shadow. Most con~monly, we think of texture as being of a material, whether ap- plied by hand or machine, or natural to the material, as it is with split stones and some brick. There is also exterior building texture, accomplished by the arrangement of exterior building details, or by the a(lclition of (lecora- tive elements. Because this last kind of texture, in its ex- tren~e borne, is the first evidence of decadence in any architectural style, we sometimes forget that it is also intrinsic to any style at the height of its gIor,v. It is the result of a complete famili- arity with tools, possible only when fumbling and experimentation are over, and freedom of expression is fully attained. Primitive art fre- quently depends for its beauty on the natural texture of the materials. A well clevelopec! art forth can control tile materials and through them create texture. Our architecture today is, of course, still in a period of experimentation. All the energy of our minds, the power of our machines, the genius of our culture is bent to the solution of a problem. Our tools are still not comfortable in our hands, the finished picture still not clear in our minds. Senate wonder, then, that the ex- pression is incomplete. But while we strive, we need not neglect the beauty natural to the n~aterials we use color and texture within the materials. In our sneakier efforts senate in size, not necessarily in importance-we have shown ev-i- dence of unclerstanding this. Think for a mo- ~nent how stone ant] ceramics, marble and bricl: an(1 glass are combined in much of the sn~all commercial building around Los An- geles. They represent much more than tinsel and glamor and sell. They might well point a direction for all building. And inseparable front 17
this style is an understanding of the texture natural to n~aterials, and a still greater knowI- edge of the refinement which can be acco~n- plislled by posing one material against another, combining many materials in the sane ex- pression. Texture is to design what timbre is to tone, wisest personality is to performance, what cIar- ity is to color. Neglect the one, and you may destroy the otter. iNow, for a n~o~nent, let us look at color. Most of us know enough color theory to use it understandably. Or if we have forgotten, a visors treatise like Birren's "New Horizons in Color" will quickly bring us up to date. The problem is less one of knowledge than of ini- tiative; it is a matter of courage rather than culture. For today's architecture is almost col- oriess, ancT the few exciting exceptions which quickly come to mind only en~pLasize the point. Nearly a generation ago, Ralph Adams Crane could write, "The complete Toss of color out of architecture is one of tee curious phe- nomena of the Renaissance, casting its drab shadow in lengthening lines and ever-increas- ing gIoon~ over the art of building in modern tildes." These words are a sac commentary on the courage of Mr. Crane hin~self, and because they night have been written by any architect today, their might also be a sad commentary on the courage of all contemporary architec- ture. For who else is to blame? iNot the people for whom you build if you are building for them. They want color! Nor the materials available to you. They have color! Masonry materials most of all. So let us admit that color and texture are as necessary as form and function. The big ques- tion is, can they properly be acquired througl the use of masonry ~naterials~. Before answering that question, however, let us Canine certain requirements of con 18 temporary building which immediately seem to limit the use of masonry materials. The modern trend towards lightweight, thin wall construction night seem at first glance almost to preclude a consideration of such heavy ma- terials as marble, stone, and brick until we real- ize that new developments in the use of these materials and new techniques for wall con- struction have made these materials perfectly adaptable to even our latest trends. You will be apprised of these by subsequent speakers before this conference is ended. NVe might remember here that building size and purpose dictate minimum limits of weight; and there seems to be little doubt that brick, stone, and n~arble, when used intelligently, can be kept within these limits. Another important factor Night be cost, until we realize that the cost of materials might have been a problem at times in the past and it may be again, but today it really is not. Most of our great buildings of the past decade couIcT leave been built for much less than they actu- ally cost. There were sufficient funds available to choose expensive materials and expensive modes of construction. Some part of these funds Night 1lave been devoted to craftsman- ship on much less expensive basic materials with no :Lcl1 happier results. No, cost is not real- ly a propylene. It is frequently only an excuse. What other limiting factors are there? None that ~ can think of except the backwardness of tile masonry industries which 1lave failed to maintain the interest of the architect or de- signer. And a lack of enterprise among these last. So, for tile monument, let us forget any rea- sons why these materials cannot be usecI, but instead focus our attention on possibilities which emphasize why they shouIcl be used. Let us start with brick. Here is a material which has not really changed its form for many years. It is true that there are slight variations in size and shape which might make one bricl:
cTiEerent frown another. But a brick wall is es- sentially the sense from one buiTcling to an- other. As a utilitarian builcTing product, it can property; define mass; and because it is avaiT- able in a wicle variety of colors and color con~- positions, it can acid a new clin~ension through color. It also provides texture, but tee snore con non coursing of bricks is so familiar to us that, for practical purposes, the feeling for tc~turc can be lost. Yet brick has Lucia snore than a utilitarian v alue. It can provide great beauty and is co~n- pletel~; aclaptable to almost any scale. Tile slicles you will see later on sT~ouIcl prove beyond cloubt tint bricl: is properly a design n~ediu~n witty exciting possibilities which leave not yet been probecT. If you are fa~niTiar with tile 300-foot mosaic ANTI in tile school at ViTTingby, Sweden, taken you leave in Zinc] a Dipole galIcry of composi- tions Silica can provide any imaginative arcT~i- tect witty a magnificent point of departure. In taxis country, we leave not been so aciven- tureso~e, but we leave multiple examples of imaginative brick setting, tile execution of which fibrous less of a burden on the brick set- tcr than it cloes on the architect or (resigner. Brick can be architectonic; it can be scuIp- turesque; it can even be musical when set by tile hancTs of a gifted craftsman. Its potential is limited only by the limits of your in~agina- tion. Create the clemancl, provicle the incen- tive, anc: the craftsmen will be there or will soon develop. Architecture will be better for it, ant! we who must live with your architecture Bill live better because of it. What about stone? Here you have an almost li~nitTess palette of color and texture waiting for the more courageous of you to exhibit. As with brick, you may think of Stone as being all of a kincI. You navy think you know its scope, its possibilities, its limits. But when you realize that there is no well-clefined color recognizable to us which cloes not have its counterpart in natural stone, anc] that these stones are readily available in almost limitless quantity: everywhere in the country, ancT that they; are aciaptable to aIn~ost any size or sllape, then you wit! realize that here is an aIn~ost per- fect material for enhancing any buiTciing. Once again the possibilities of stone are lin~- itecT only by your imagination. If your vision is circumscribed by what you have seen in the past, you may think that stone is cTrab, ancT feet forced to go far afield in search of new n~ate- rials. And this is one burclen which you cannot throw back on tile aIreacly sagging shouIclers of the stone producer or fabricator. He has the n~aterial, magnificent in color anc] texture, ancI he leas the equipment for satisfying your needs. You roust provicle the imagination ancT the in- centive for experiment. Do this, ancT tI~ere will be opened for you a scope in design reaching far beyond your wilclest creams. So with marble. The more than 750 varieties now available, running the full gannet of the rainbow in color, with inherent decorative schemes in ever:, conceivable size ancT scale ancT pattern, oder a challenge to every architect who is worth his salt. AncT you might keep in mind that the problem of permanent finish which wit] False all these n~arbles available for exterior use is even now being stucTied anc! solved. Once again the potential of marble is li~ll- itec3 onIv; by your insemination. If you think only of size ancT shape and position as you have known it in the past, you will be worlking in tile iclio~n of the past. Sonnetizes the simple expe- dient of turning tile stab, as was clone on tile Fraternal Orcler of Eagles BuilcTing in Atlanta, Georgia, can change this exquisite but still con non material into one of startling new beauty;. The material is essentially finer than any- thing you can snake by machine. It is much snore adaptable to your designs than most oth- er materials. :it has a permanent beauty which 19
neither 1leat nor cold, biting sun or melting n aterials, beautiful in tllenlselves, beautiful rain can destroy. It is a pliable yet permanent when used together. They are proper building mould for your concept. It will do you justice. materials. They have possibilities for beauty in So we have a group of fundamentally sound expression which are truly limitless. 28
Modular Design With Masonry M R S H E ~ R Our next speaker is most cer- [ainZy known to most everyone in the buiZcling industry. Sir. Ralph Wa7lker is a Past President Ralph Walker Voorhees, Walker, Smith & Smith New York, N. Y. Traveling Scholar. He belongs to many profes sionaZ and art organizations and is an Acad emician of the National Academy of Design. Of the American :[nstitute oJ' Architects and a He is also an honorary member of the Royal member of its New York Chapter. He is a Institute of British Architects, several other member of the Class of 191 1 of Massachuetts foreign architectural societies, and a Vice Presi ,Institute of TecihnoZogy and was a Rotch dent of the International Union of Architects. ANYBODY can design a building-in fact the average architect is continually hampered in taste by amateur clients who know nave than he does; but it does take expert knowlecige of In these days one is aIn~ost ten~pte(1 to say: "Masonry wails are obsolete! Metal cIadding glass n~icarta anything as long as it is pane] construction." Masonry! Who brought up this how to put things together to achieve finally a subject anyway? Only an old fogey conic! be in continually satisfying result. To hazard a gen- terested in such old-fashioned things as brick, eraTity-the jointing of a material is more ins- stone or marble or granite. They are materials portent than the material itself. to give a superficial quality in interiors, surface 21
materials to negate a Seagram BuiTciing, for ex- a~nple, even more an example of conspicuous waste; perhaps Italian travertine on the floor or one of the ~nociern fried egg mosaics, but for construction they are certainly passe. The sum- ~ner students in any office tell Nile they are no 'onger per~nittecT to use them on their school probes. After all, don't all the kuclos ancT the prizes, the masterpiece articles in "For- tune" accIai~n the pane] construction as the only ~noclern construction, and procIain~ talc men who use then as "form makers?" Perhaps it's any acivanced years which lecT to nay being aspect to talk about ~nasonr;;. My wife often makes a sage remark. kite were lis- tening to WOR's "Studio X" ancT size said: "That's a goocT record, although oIcl; you gen- erally expect o:IcT recorcis-to be cracked." After fifty years of architectural thinking this remark night well Apply to one. ~ wonder, however, whether those other snore modern records, now so often replayed, nary not be crackecl, also. So with no apologies for being an oIcT fogey, rec- orcT grooved, and crackocI, ~ reiterate: `'! saicI it, I said it, ~ said it fifty years, fifty;, fifty, ~ saic] it fifty years ago; masonry of all kinds is still a very clesirable method of construction with many virtues ancT some faults." Certainly if you want long endurance and reasonable maintenance costs, as well as initial senate cap- ital investment, the masonry wall still shows to advantage. It strikes one as an amazing an- achronisn~ that this machine age panel wall must be washed painfully and completely by Land to maintain even a fair appearance. But we were to talk of the modular advantages of masonry construction. \Ve have been taught lately that structural n~oduZar construction is extremely econon~ical, that if you can achieve a stanciarcT bay in which the tenant requirements may be adjustect, even with some con~pron~ise, the final builcling costs will reflect the rewards of stanciarclization. Tn one sense this is true except that aesthetically 22 tee harsh cell-liLe appearance acLievecI, the uniforn~it~; we see in all buiTcling types, may lee causing finaTiy a loss of fine architectural char- acter which other tinges have achieved. ~ ant not too incliner] to accept the structure as the only cTetern~ining factor; after aTi, it is tl~e cheapest part of the buiTcling. ~ continue in an attempt to finch a tenant to use the n~oclule, ancT so far our clients, being what they are, are also adverse to the "all Took alike" characteristics of mass production. ~ leave founcT that ~noclular construction cloes not mean necessarily that design costs are an;; spoiler. In fact in building conditions as they now exist :E fincI that snore ancT snore ~ must design the buiTcling co~nplete- Ty on paper. There are, because of the com- pleteness of design, real economies in the buiTcling itself ancI, while no paper clesign is ever complete. tile on-the-job acJjust~nents can be ~nini~ni%ecT. If ~ anal, return for a ~no~nent to stanciarcI- ization of parts. ~ think we are too apt to be content witl1 a small range of dimensions. We are content, for example, with 12"~17" or 17"~24" ceiling acoustic materials, ancT Shy" or 17"~17" so-called resilient floor tiles. These acceptances are really at variance with the un- clerlying principle of the 4" module. Tile 1nan- ufacturer leas too rigidly set his jigs but after all n~onotonv; is a matter of a taste. ~ want to speak of two masonry buildings which our office designe(l on the nodular basis: One an once building for the General Foods Corporation at White Plains, :New York; the other the beginning of a Research Center for IBi\] at Poughkeepsie. Tl~e Duncan use nodule is, of course, cliderent in each case, and in the latter there were parts of the builcI- ing so diverse in character that the use of a nodule of an;; kind night have causer] difficul- ties. in both cases two sizes of brick were used: a sneakier one for face brick averaging five courses of running bond, the back-up brick averaging four bricks to Else exterior five. At
IBM RESEARCH CENTER' IBID we used the larger modular brick for pat- tern interest on the end walls and attic. Both buildings have very fine masonry walls, and generally are conceded so. In one case the general builder used a "juniper" in supplying labor to lay the brick; in the other the builder himself did tile whole job. in both cases the builders, heretofore unprepared for modular work, said at the beginning of the project the wall would cost much snore. The ''lumper'' however made a reasonable price for the labor because lee recognized in~mecliately that there were only a few different areas that he hac! to figure in relation to the walls, Lamely, all the panels between the windows were alike, all the spandrels were similar and each corner was the sane. So all the masons had to do was to see that tl~e vertical measurements were n~ain- tainecl an(l that joint alignment was precise. Thus holding the vertical measurement paid off. The normal measurement creep in build- ing eonstruetion was reduced to a minimum. The stairs were all alike, the radiator enclosure fitted without adjustment and l~orizontally, POUGHKEEPSIE' N. Y. floors and ceilings were finished with rernark- able speed. These by-products are of course usual in modular design but the general builder is loath to permit then to operate in cost anal- yses. He will Sunlit an increased efficacy but will not put any dollar and cent gains against it in the budget. The General Foods Building was designed to meet local requirements of the zoning, plan- ning and fine arts con~nissions, and was par- ticullarly difficult because of the hilly terrain. Yet, as i: said, the masonry labor contractor was content with the savings he made. It was the first job Oldish he had ever clone in whirls there were no clipped bricks. The window wall that is the conventional wall, as opposed to the panel wall, is one for which T have a high regard in that, quite con- trary to amateur illumination engineers, it does reduce glare and also greatly diminishes the thermal problems, resulting in a low first cost for refrigeration, and of course extremely low operation costs. You may be interested to know that we do not have to cool these build 23
~ : : ~ a: :~ ~ ~ :~ ~ ~ : ~ GENERAL FOODS CORPORATION OFFICE BUILDING, WHITE PLAINS' N. Y. ings on a sunny winter day;. Tllere are no human heat losses carried to poorly insulated walls in there-such as you find at General Motors, for example. The walls are purposely thick so as to remove as much of the glass area front the sun as possible. The clepth the brick reveals therefore also has to be consid- ered in Nodular relationship. These are the brick sizes which have been used by one each one is definitely nodular in . c Dimension: Face Brick 15/8" ~ 35/~" X 75/8" 15/~" ~ 35/8" ~ 115/8" Modular bunko for back up 31/2 X 31/2 X 71/2 i: have never attempted to work out a n~od 24 alar pattern on standard size bricT;. I believe. however, that in general where the buildings are of great size special Nodular brick are nec- essary. ~ have been interested in limestone and marble buildings here are materials which can be readily cut to any size consistent with quarry facilities and the desire to have the stone used on its natural bed. With materials already flexible in comn~on practice the 4" Nodule loses some of its importance as a part of the exterior design but it still remains i~n- portant in relation to the Nodular interior ain~ensions, and of course the most important of all is that the floor heights and external nodular dimensions should flow together
intimately. The ability to plan a floor and a ceiling so that all parts fit quickly and without the cutting of materials is son~ething yet to be wholly attained. because most building laws require ~nasonr;; walls about shafts, stair- ways, and so forth, ancT some difficulty is still founc:l in achieving a Ocular result. (We need, and research men are already developing, thin sheet plastics to cover fragile insulation walls, eliminating plaster and paint, and songs clay soon we will, ~ ant sure, achieve another fireproof glue Vesicles cement. ~ Even tllen, however, on a well-plannecT floor the naodular pattern can be maintained for 995 of the area. The ~noclular exterior wall, as ~ have indicatecT, gives definite area patterns which are within a ciailv work output. The stone masonry wall conies in modern practice to resen~ble the panel wall of metal anc! glass in that tee units are large and thin in wall thickness. At tee Belgian Embassy the unit is a piece of stone 4' ~ 4' and 4" thick, tied into a concrete structural wall 6" thick The wall unit is approximately 12' ~ 12' into AFL-CIO BUILDING' WASHINGTON D. C. which a modular window is placed frown the rear. The resulting wall thickness is relatively thin for a n~asonr,v wall but the reveal on the interior is increased by tile need of space for the duct work accompanying air conditioning. But the plainness of exterior walls is not a matter of great economic monument for ~ have seen more floor space wasted bv badIv coor J J dinated cores and their relationship to the whole floor, and this economy, perhaps cle- sirable in the city, does not exist on large coun- try plots. TO relative costs of all wall sections are still based on that of 17" brick walls with a normal window anc] when you add in extra costs for Eating an(1 cooling, the extra n~an-llour tinge needec! to keep large glass areas respectable, the brick wall still maintains even Title its greater thickness a relative cheapness. ~ find a resistance to nodular design among the craftsmen, and especially so in our office where we leave men in our employ who leave been there longer than some of the partners. live have developed techniques of our own, and with the accompanying inertia that home grown products develop we, who believe thoroughly in the system, must exert constant pressure to go on with the iclea. As 1[ said be- fore, if the work (resigned is constantly chang- ing in the sizes of the l~un~an use module there is little design economy, and you tend to fin(1 that even when it falls within the 4" module possibility the little fractions seem to develop. :[ have been interested in talking with foreign | architects concerning modular design and fin(1 | that even Moliere 10 cm. is accepted, the mo:l- ular idea is often associated with the resulting I sizes in panels rather than with the basic I module. There has been a very learned dis- course in England on the relation of growth patterns in numbers to modular construction, but T think that even the simplest of these would unnecessarily complicate the use of a modular system. 25
Discussion M R. TOHN KNOX SIIEAR ~ Presiding Chair- man): T have a question here of my own that ~ wouic3 like to direct to any one of the three speakers. It needs a little bit of a base. ~or .. will furnish thwart. ~ think we all love masonry. r think we have an inherent affinity for it, but ~ think there is a large ancT growing group of architects who have identified the fact that this love of masonry is associated with its qual it; of pcr~nanence, massiveness, a certain earthbouncT quality that it has. of association with clepth, anc! so on. As our buiTclings have risen higher ancT high- er, anc] we have built more ancT snore of the tall structures, ~ think there is some concern oat the part of these people that the traclitionaT patterns of masonry, and :E refer to textures both inherent in the materials then~seIves anc] blow the question. Do you, Mr. Walker' Mr. Bennett, Mr. Moore, whoever wants to, grab this one, fee] this industry must concern used warn or is concerning itself enough with new textures which may be associated witty tile new thinner uses of the material? TM R . W ~ ~ ~ ~ R: ~ heard recently that tile masonry group, ~ forget whether it is tile clay products group. has been studying this prob- len~ of getting a thin masonry, almost pile-- like surface, backed up with fiber glass insula-- tion ancT backed by another surface on the inside, in other words, carrying along the sand- wich iclea. T think the time is bound to confer ~ see no reason why it shouIc] not. M R . S H E A R: We do hear of things going forward in that direction. ~ know we will hear the textures produced by the joints, will no some fairly startling things this afternoon. At longer be in Larn~ony with our knowledge of the saline tinge ~ gathered from both your rc- the din~inishing mass of material. marks and Mr. Bennett's that you yourselves 27
are not particularly disturbed by the associa- tion of overtones with newer uses. MR. BENNETT: It seems to me that the greatest thing that the industry which supplies the materials can do is to inform the archi- tects front time to time just how things are macle and what the possibilities are. T don't believe the purveyors of materials are respon- sible for the final result of how it is used. It is a netter of education, that the arcUi-~itects be given the opportunity. After all, when you get the credit you get it when it is good, and the blame if it is bad. M R . S H E ~ R: Mr. Moore, here is a question for you frown Mr. Howard T. Fisher. You say everyone is in favor of texture. How do you reconcile this with the classic trends stressed be; Mr. Bennett. M R . ~ O O R E: Perhaps it is a difference in the meaning of the word "everyone," when you talk about a classic trend. By that ~ under- stanc] you mean the rather severe group of people who use classic M R . F ~ s ~ E R: Mr. Bennett, ~ thought, made an explanation of the two trends in architecture, and ~ wonder if you could relate the texture that you felt every-body was in favor of M R . M o o R E: The word "texture" is basic to any concept of visual measure. ~ may not have had tinge to distinguish between textures and material. M ~ . TV A ~ ~ E R: T disagree wholly with Dick Bennett's definition of cIassicisn~, when you come to Took back through the classic forms in architecture. The Parthenon is an ex- an~ple. You would even come down to probably Salisbury as a very classic type of architecture without getting into Roman or Greek architec- ture. CIassicisn~ has never meant to me the stripping down of the fullness of an object. T think the modern world is using this word in 28 a very; bad sense, like the Communists are using the word, ''democracy.'' The modern architect or philosopher is misusing tile word "classic" in relationship to buildings that are stripped down without anything except a few curves. 1[ don't think the are classic; 1: thinly Cloy are n~eagre. M R . S ~ E A R: Mr. Bennett, do LOU want to take that up? T Dave a question for you. This one asks: Your mention of L,eCorbusier~s chapel calls to mind his early interest in paint- ing, that is, in else art of painting. Do you see as notch opportunity of integration of art and building in masonry construction as in Norm plastic forms of material construction? M ~ . B E N N E T T: It seems to one the answer to that question is taxis: The designer, the arcl~- itect, tee person who may be doing a piece of sculpture, no matter what the material is the snore limitation the better the possibility for integration of art and building is always there. M R . S H E ~ R: Air. [Moore, this question concerns the propylene of preserving the original colors of marble in weather and temperature entrances. What are your specific recon~- mendations? 1~: R . M o o R E: T nest tell you that ~ awn not a marble Nan. T don't know the material as well as some of the people who will speak to you later. T think many of the marble materials which you have been thinking of specifically for interiors of the building will be available in a few years for the exterior. That should open up a whole new array of design possibil- ities which have not been available before. How soon that will be done is not within my province at the Inon~ent. But T think it is in the offing. M ~ . S ~ E A R: YOU think some details of that will be discussed? M R . M 0 0 R E: T ant sure it will be discussed, either to deny everything :t 1lave been saying or to admit what I have been saying is possible.