Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pitts Theology Library, Emory University

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I went to a chapel tour and a library broke out. The Pitts Theology Library at Emory University is just a couple of miles from our place. Until yesterday, I didn't know. I'm participating in Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch. Thanks to Susan! Click on any picture and select "all sizes" if you'd like to see it bigger.

Yesterday AIA Atlanta presented a lecture and tour of Paul Rudolph's Cannon Chapel on the Emory University campus. It's a well known brutalist building consecrated on September 30, 1981. It's brutalist but doesn't brutalize. It feels good inside and out. Every step presents a new view, a new light. It's odd and charming. It keeps you wondering what is around the next corner. Here is a tiny sample of delightful light in the side chapel:

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I'll save the Cannon Chapel for another day. I took 80 pictures if you want more right now.

My good fortune: Tom Little mentioned that Paul Rudolph had done an uncharacteristic non-brutal interior renovation of the adjoining theology library. A brutalist does non-brutalist work.

Here is north facade of the Pitts Theology Library. It's one of Emory's oldest buildings, covered in rare pink Georgia marble. I don't know the style of placing the stones: random sizes shapes, colors, and vein orientation, an Emory trademark. It keeps my eyes happy.
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From what I understand, this part of the Pitts Library used to be a chapel. That accounts for the cathedral ceiling.

PB071485-Pitts-Theology-Library-Cathedral-Ceiling-Detail

Mr. Rudolph's library conversion / renovation preceded the Cannon Chapel. The pink marble is still there.
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He kept the arches and windows. It's modern, rich in tone, and just right.

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In the room toward the west are "older" windows with Gothic lights and elaborate, sturdy vaulting.

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This window faces the Emory University quadrangle. It looks towards the Michael C. Carlos Museum.
PB071482-Pitts-Theology-Library-2ndFl-Window-Detail

If you are at Emory, you should do some architecture touring. There is plenty more to see.






10 comments:

  1. that is an amazing space. Everything a library should be. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

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  2. Aren't you the gentleman that loves trains. I was back in Lees Summit Mo for a familt wedding last month and I went by the train and thought about you.

    Cheri

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  3. Wow! That was quite an experience. Absolutely beautiful!
    Thanks also for you nice comment on my blog.
    Joanne

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  4. Emory is such a beautiful campus. I recently spent some time in their new school of medicine building which is just striking from the exterior. I could walk around there all day.

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  5. Terry,
    This has struck my interest to learn more! You did a wonderful job capturing the light and shadows in your photos.
    Cathy

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  6. What an amazing repurposing of the building..although I think knowledge is spiritual....and libraries --churches!

    Thank-you for the tour!

    And for stopping by....

    love,kelee

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  7. I can see why you took so many pictures-what a stunning building. I bet it had that wonderful smell of old books and timber!
    Thanks so much for the wonderful guided tour.
    Best wishes, Natasha.

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  8. Terry -- I am afraid of heights. Please, no more pictures from catwalks 2 stories above sea level, no matter how interesting the building. I nearly fell off my computer chair from dizziness!

    Wonderful library -- with its crisp lines against the old Gothic arches and curves. Very interesting. Love the old handwork against the industrial look of the newer spaces.

    Plus, you sent me scurrying to Google, to look up "brutalism." Thanks!
    Cass

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  9. Great post - beautiful, beautiful windows. I am not familiar with the term 'brutalist', but I am going to look it up.

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