Paul Rudolph

PAUL RUDOLPH (1918-1997) was born in Elkton, Kentucky, and raised by a minister’s son. Inspired by buildings at an early age, Rudolph studied architecture as an undergraduate at Alabama Polytechnic (now Auburn University). After a brief period in the Navy during WWII, he completed graduate studies at Harvard under Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius.

Rudolph began his career in Sarasota, Florida, where he became a key figure in the Sarasota School of Architecture – a group of local architects who gained international attention during the mid-century for designing modernist homes suited to Florida’s tropical climate. In 1958, Rudolph was appointed Chair of the Yale School of Architecture and began work on a large new building located on the university’s campus. Completed in 1963, the Yale Art & Architecture Building instantly became both a Modernist icon and a topic of controversy.
Rudolph left Yale in 1965 to practice in New York City. In the thirty years following his tenure at Yale, Rudolph created some of Modernism’s most unique and powerful designs. Although Rudolph’s popularity in America waned while postmodernism dominated design and architectural discourse in the late 70’s and 80’s, he received commissions during this period of his career to work in Southeast Asia, where he built towers in Hong Kong, Jakarta, and Singapore. Rudolph’s work and legacy have had a profound impact on contemporary architecture. As one of America’s most important Late Modernist architects, he was an inspirational mentor to those he had taught at Yale. His former students include some of today’s most renowned architects, such as Lord Norman Foster, Lord Richard Rogers, and Charles Gwathmey, among many others distinguished in the field.

(Source: Paul Rudolph Foundation)