R.I.P.: Charles Gwathmey, 1938-2009


gwathmey 6One of the apostles of the high postmodern view of architecture, Charles Gwathmey, died on Mon., Aug. 3.

Being long fascinated with architecture — and despite a critical misstep with the Astor Place Residential Condominiums — The Clyde Fitch Report presents this portfolio of images from Gwathmey’s extraordinary career.

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First, an excerpt from the Times’ obituary:

Mr. Gwathmey was part of a generation of architects who put their own aesthetic stamp on the “high Modernist” style developed in the early 20th century by Le Corbusier and others. Many of Mr. Gwathmey’s best buildings were houses. A series of wealthy clients – including Steven Spielberg, David Geffen, Jerry Seinfeld and Jeffrey Katzenberg – chose him to create living spaces that were boldly geometric and luxuriously appointed, modern but certainly not spare.

Gwathmey Siegel & Associates, which Mr. Gwathmey founded with Robert Siegel in 1968, was a rare architecture firm to maintain a thriving residential practice (its first apartment, in 1969, was for the actress Faye Dunaway) while also creating large buildings for schools, museums and private real estate developers.

…Among architects, Mr. Gwathmey was admired for his steadfastness during the 1980s, when some of his contemporaries turned to historicist, or post-Modernist styles.

…He became a sensation while still in his 20s, when, with his partner at the time, Richard Henderson, he designed a house for his parents, Robert and Rosalie Gwathmey, both artists, on the East End of Long Island. Completed in 1966, at a cost of $35,000, the Gwathmey house attracted throngs of visitors and was consistently named one of the most influential buildings of the modern era.

And now, the images:

Gwathmey 1
Gwathmey Residence and Studio, 1967
Amagansett, New York

Gwathmey 2
Addition to the Guggenheim Museum, 1992
New York, NY

Gwathmey 3
Middlebury College Library, 2004
Middlebury, VT

Gwathmey 4
Youngstown State University
John J. McDonough Museum of Art, 1991
Youngstown, OH

Gwathmey 5
Spielberg Residence, 1983
East Hampton, NY