architects picked for new athletics center, dorms
Architect Cesar Pelliperhaps best known for designing the
worlds tallest building, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysiahas been chosen to design the Universitys new
Gerald Ratner Athletics Center, scheduled to open in 2002 at 55th
Street and Ellis Avenue.The University has also picked architect
Ricardo Legorreta to design two planned residence halls.
President Hugo Sonnenschein appointed a selection committee of
trustees, faculty, officers, and staff. They recommended Pelli and
Legorreta, who were approved by the campus planning committee and
board of trustees. Meanwhile, Curt Heuring was appointed university
architect and will implement and manage the campus master plan.
To be built next to Stagg Field, the athletics facility will include
a 50-meter swimming pool, practice gymnasiums, a fitness center,
dance classrooms, locker rooms, and offices for athletics staff
and faculty. A new parking structure, which Pelli also will design,
will be located across the street, near Court Theatre and the Smart
My inspiration for the athletics center will come from the
rich campus context surrounding the centers future site,
says Pelli. As is true for all of my designs, the aesthetic
qualities of the athletics center will be unique to its location
The residence halls, which should open in 2001, will be erected
north of the Joseph Regenstein Library on 56th Street between Ellis
and University Avenues.
The architecture of a building should lift the inhabitants
spirits, says Legorreta, who has designed residential-community
housing and individual homes throughout Mexico and the American
Southwest, as well as university buildings and residence halls at
such institutions as Stanford and UCLA. He adds, My focus
for the residence halls will be to design a friendly, open environment
where students also have peace and privacy.
Both Pelli and Legorreta have impressive credentials. Pelli received
his masters degree in architecture from the University of
Illinois and then worked for ten years in the offices of Eero Saarinenthe
Finnish-American architect who led the Universitys second
master plan in the 1950s and designed the Laird Bell Quadrangle
and Woodward Court. Pelli founded Cesar Pelli & Associates in
1977, the same year he began a seven-year tenure as dean of the
Yale University School of Architecture. His designs include the
World Financial Center and the Museum of Modern Art expansion in
New York, Japans National Museum of Contemporary Art, Dukes
Cameron Athletic Building Annex, and Princetons DeNunzio Pool.
In 1989, Cesar Pelli & Associates received the American Institute
of Architects Firm Award; in 1995, the AIA gave Pelli its gold medal
for lifetime achievement.
Legorreta received his bachelors degree in architecture
at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and worked for 12
years with Mexican architect Jose Villagran before founding Legorreta
Arquitectos 30 years ago. First noted for his Camino Real Hotel
in Mexico City, Legorreta has been a professor of architecture at
Harvard, the University of Texas, and UCLA. His U.S. works include
the San Antonio Public Library, the Pershing Square city park in
Los Angeles, and the Childrens Discovery Museum and the Tech
Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California. A member of the International
Academy of Architecture and an honorary fellow of the AIA, Legorreta
was a jury member for the Pritzker Architecture Prize from 1981
to 1994. In 1994, he received the AIA Award for Religious Architecture
for his design of the Metropolitan Cathedral in Managua, Nicaragua.
Pellis and Legorretas works will join the campus buildings
designed by Saarinen and other prominent architects, such as Ludwig
Mies van der Rohe (the School of Social Service Administration Building)
and Frank Lloyd Wright (Robie House).
New university architect Curt Heuring is charged with coordinating
the construction and redevelopment called for in the new master
plan. Heuring was recently director of project management at Harvard,
where he played a key role in the master plan for its North Yard,
athletic complex, and business school. He also oversaw renovation
of Harvards student housing, law library, central admissions
offices, and research facilities. Heuring earned his bachelors
and masters degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
and has worked for Bryn Mawr College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges,
Boston University, and the city of Boston.