from any angle
by Eric Rowland 83
We asked architect Eric Rowland 83, designer of the College's new
Trippet Hall: What is the most beautiful building you've ever seen? What
about it did you find so captivating?
Rowland: "There are several architects practicing today whom I really
admire. Among my favorites are Santiago Calatrava, Frank Gehry and Fay
Jones. Calatrava is a Spanish architect whose work is a very clear articulation
of structural forces. He has done a number of bridges and airports, and
has recently completed an addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum.
Gehrys work is better known here since he is an American architect.
His work is very fluid in form and is often composed of fascinating sculptural
forms. His work is primarily commercial buildings and museums, with his
most significant building being the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.
Both architects produce work unlike any other and their work could only
be conceived and built using the technology available today. It pushes
the envelope of what a building should be.
Fay Joness work is more old world, but incredibly beautiful. He
does primarily residences and chapels and proves that small buildings
can be heroic. His structure is very lacy and organic, reminiscent of
a canopy of trees. He studied under Frank Lloyd Wright, which is evident
in his work. Thorncrown Chapel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas is one of his
While Ive been fortunate to visit many beautiful buildings, my favorite
is probably Frank Lloyd Wrights Fallingwater. It is a striking building
from any angle and proves that the obvious solution to a design problem
is not necessarily the best one. The obvious solution would have been
to design a building that faced the waterfall, but this house is on top
of the waterfall and becomes a part of it rather than competing with it.
The beauty of this house goes beyond its siting, however to its remarkable
structural system, its integration of natural materials, the details and
craft of its construction and the artful blend of colors and textures.
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