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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 31 (9)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 31
Page 31

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 31


Objective Design for Non-Objective Art

The First HLiving" Building ls Created As the Apotheosis of Functional Design

For the first time in the history of architecture a true logarithmic spiral has been worked out as a complete plastic building: a building in which there is but one continuous fioor surface: not one separate floor slab above another fioor slab, but one single, grand, slow, wide ramp, widening as it rises for about seven stories; a pure plastic development of organic structure. If pulled from the ground and tossed away, the whole thing would bounce intact.

The main structure is monolithic throughout, pre-stressed in high tension reinforcing high-pressure concrete. The exterior and interior will be faced with polished marble aggregate. The only exception is the greatly extended ground-floor surface, which will be a continuous pavement of large marble slabs. The galleries taken altogether afford approximately three-quarters of a mile of day-lighted wall surface, perfectly adapted%ither by daylight or night light-to the convenient display of paintings. There will be no hangings of the pictures: all will rest on a prepared base which is part of the wall. Throughout the structure, artificial lighting comes from the same source as day-lighting, and is incorporated within the construction. From wells in the great rotunda under the glass dome, changeable, prismatic illumination plays upward and outward from electrically controlled fountains of light, not only illuminating the great open central space of the grand ramp, but going outward over terraces and gardens. '

Not only is the entire monolithic building plastic in form of a rising spiral, but it is also plastic in actual construction. Glass in the form of Pyrex tubing is extensively used to light and seal the interiors. The solid floors, ceiling, and Walls are all lined with cork to insure good insulation and noiseless movement. Quiet floor surfaces and ceilings are univ form with each other, altogether contributing to the great repose of the spacious interior; The whole is a well-studied


background for the paintings to be displayed there.

Starting in the theatre below the ground, it would be easy to go up in a wheel chair and come safely down again without undesired interruption. Or, taking the fast ramps, concentrated in a tower on one side of the grand ramp, visitors go easily and quickly up and down. Elevator service is stationed at the center of this tower and is directly connected with the grand ramp at each level. Two plunger elevators are located at the center at each recurrent ramp level. The open center of the grand, central chamber, made by the ramp, is wider at the top than at the base by about 24 feet, and open to the sky, but covered by a shallow glass dome shedding nightlight as well as daylight.

The entire building is a completely door-heated, air-conditioned vault, adapted throughout to the safekeeping and becoming display of not only valuable paintings by great masters but the paintings of contemporary artists and students as well. The interior is absolutely tire-proof, dust-proof, and vermin-proof. A constant moisture content will be maintained throughout the changing seasons.

As people come into the museum through the entrance vestibule, they pass across a perforated metal tioor through which ailuconditioning apparatus, operating like a vacuum cleaner, creates suction to draw dust from feet and clothes, make it less likely for dust to come into the building. All entering air is washed, filtered, tempered; and discharged at slow speed into every portion of the building. The temperature changes within will, therefore, be negligible throughout the course of the years, enabling all glass coverings and frames to be eliminated from the paintings. The vast collection of paintings is so situated and displayed that wall surfaces of the building itself automatically frame them in a

setting suitable to each and every one of them. Desired changes may be made with little effort and special exhibitions will be easily arranged to advantage in as many ways as imagination may dietate.

All effects are integral parts of the building itself, either exterior or interior. Comfortable seats are features of the design, so that any painting may be viewed comfortably. Administrative ofiices alongside the museum are developed in the same general character, so that conduct of the affairs of the museum can be directly under the supervision of the curator as needed. A number of studios for preparatory work for exhibitions and the research continuously sustained by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation are provided for upon the upper levels of the building. These upper levels terminate in a conservatory filled with plants, above which, to one side, crowning the tower for the elevators and fast ramps, is an observatory where an adequate astronomical telescope will be installed for general study of the cosmic order.

Not only the proportions, but method of construction of the building, are in perfect keeping with the plastic nature of the design, so perfectly adapted to its purpose that the paintings it displays will be at home in environment admirably adapted to their character. The entire structure will be securely founded upon bedrock, 50 feet below the street level, and will be of the most enduring character known to modern science. Requiring little maintenance, the edifice is virtually indestructible by natural forces - earthquake-proof, fire-proof, and storm-proof. The building is intended to be a repose'ful center for all interested in the art of painting as a source of human culture; a window open upon the future of painting as a progressive, responsible, cultural art, indispensable to modern life.

An interesting feature of the building is the'fact that grandomania is discarded. All in all, it is proportioned to the scale of the human figure. This is true
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 31