Lecture: What's Next Door

January 11th, 2013

John Morris Dixon, FAIA
"What's Next Door: How buildings can relate to context."
January 11th at 7 p.m. at the Essex Town Hall

There are various ways buildings have of relating, including contrasting. And there are evolving attitudes: committed early Modernists intended to replace what was around their buildings, so defied the context as a matter of principle. That attitude soon began to be tempered by the reality that the context was going to stay around a while. We see Mies van der Rohe at the Seagram Building responding in interesting ways to the neighboring fabric; Eero Saarinen at MIT recalling geometries and surfaces of existing neighbors; Frank Gehry doing a fascinating variation on neighboring buildings on the Prague riverfront. One must acknowledge that context isn't entirely about physical context: there are other socio-economic-cultural considerations as well.