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Quote of the Day: Robert Stern on When All Architecture is Green Architecture

Robert Stern is Dean of the Yale School of Architecture, discussing sustainable design in
Environment Yale. UTNE Reader picks up the story and illustrates it with.....a parking garage?
"I don't think sustainability is a design aesthetic, any more than having electricity in your
building, or telephones, or anything else," says Stern. "It's an ethic, a basic consideration that
we have to have as architects designing buildings." ..... Stern argues "in 10 years we're not
going to talk about sustainability anymore, because it's going to be built into the core
processes of architecture." Advertising sustainability, he says, will be like an architect getting
up in front of a room to "proudly proclaim how his buildings didn't fall down."
Source : http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-product-design/quote-of-the-day-robert-
stern-on-when-all-architecture-is-green-architecture.html

Diakses pada tanggal 9 April 2014 pukul 09.37

Robert A.M. Stern on Whether a Building Has to Interact With Its Environment
TRANSCRIPT
Question: Does a building have to interact with its environment?
Stern: Well I dont think any building can be self-contained flat out. Even if you build . . . Or
maybe especially if you build on an open site in a rural setting, then you really have to engage
with the landscape. And I think more and more architects are coming to realize how
fundamental the landscape quotient is in the overall conception of what architecture is.
Landscape architecture and landscape . . . and architecture and building architecture are two
things that need to be seen in some sort of intimate relationship. In city settings, of course,
where there were existing buildings before and even though the buildings may not always be
there; they may evolve and change to other buildings I think its very important that you
design a building that is accommodative of the other buildings around. And lastly this is
probably too long an answer, but most importantly is how the building confronts or addresses
the public realm in a city like New York. The street is it friendly, and welcoming, and open?
And that can be done in many ways, but its very important that that . . . that buildings not
draw back and create veils or walls of closure.
Recorded on: 12/5/07
Source : http://bigthink.com/videos/robert-am-stern-on-whether-a-building-has-to-interact-
with-its-environment

Diakses pada tanggal 9 April 2014 10.15

Robert A.M. Stern Discusses Art and Architecture
TRANSCRIPT
Question: Is architecture art?
Stern: Architecture is a . . . is an art, but it is not the same kind of art that painting and
sculpture might be. For example its a public art or a social art. It requires first of all the
support of an enormous amount of people to produce buildings both in the architects office . . .
After all most buildings are not done __________, Fountainhead style, one lonely architect
sitting and drawing away. It requires many collaborative professionals. It requires money,
which we can sum up as the client. And it requires the publics support usually so that buildings
can be built within the larger constraints. And it requires finally that the public in the largest
sense support the buildings. Otherwise why build them? You cant just build them for your
own personal pleasure. You can if youre Philip Johnson. You build a house out in the country
in New Canaan, then you do your own thing.
Question: When does a building become a work of art?
Stern: When does it? It should almost always be thought of as a work of art, but a social work.
There are all kinds of art as I suggest. If you just make buildings that solve problems, well
thats not irresponsible. Thats perfectly responsible. But I think for myself and for many other
architects and people probably in architecture you might be talking to in a series like this, their
aspirations are to have their buildings taken more serious . . . to take it seriously on another
level. But I do find that in the current scene, too much emphasis is being placed on artistic
expression independent, in my view, often of good urbanism or even functional response . . . or
tectonic responsibility.
Source : http://bigthink.com/videos/robert-am-stern-discusses-art-and-architecture
Diakses pada tanggal 9 April 2014 pukul 10.29

Mazel Tov Robert A.M. Stern, a Contemporary Classic
By Matt Chaban
It has been a banner year for architect Bob Stern, the Yale dean and New York designer. His
classic-meets-modern condo buildings have won the praises of the brokers and the buyers,
setting records this year both uptown and down. Now, he is getting recognition from his fellow
architects, as Stern was just named the winner of the ninth-annual Driehaus Prize.
Awarded by the Notre Dame School of Architecture, the Driehaus honors a different designer
each year for their adherence to classic forms and methods. (Frank Gehry need not apply.)
More than any other practicing architect today, Bob Stern has brought classicism into the
public realm and the mainstream of the profession, reinvigorating it for generations to come,
Michael Lykoudis, Driehaus Prize Jury chairman, said in a statement. We are honored to have
him among the Driehaus Prize laureates.
In addition to his work on apartment buildings in New York, Stern is responsible for the
Comcast headquarters, Philadelphias tallest building; residences in Florida, Long Island, and at
a number of Ivy League schools; Bed-Stuys Excellence Charter School; and the George W. Bush
Presidential Library.
The prize comes with a $200,000 check twice what the more heralded Pritzker pays out!
though it would seem the successful Stern neednt the money. Indeed, he will be donating the
prize money to Yale to support the study of classical architecture, according to The Times. It is
an interesting decision, given that the school has always been a hotbed of progressive
architecture, espeically under the august leaderhip of Stern, even with his personal proclivities
for the past.

Stern told the Gray Lady that it was nice to be honored not just for a set of pretty buildings,
but for a set of values and principles and ideals.

He expounded on those further in an interview with The Observer three years ago:

Do you think of yourself as conservative architecturally?
Yeah. I am a conservative. In that sense I suppose Im an appropriate architect for W. Bushs
library. Forgetting politics, I do believe that architecture is a conversation across time. While
every young architect and every young generation of architects thinks they have to break the
mold, you cannot really create coherent cities, or campuses for that matter like Yale, if every
building is the representative of its own unique moment and its own self-invented set of
principles and language.
Keep up the good work, Bob!
Source: http://observer.com/2010/12/mazel-tov-robert-am-stern-a-contemporary-classic/
Diakses pada tanggal 9 April 2014 pukul 10.34

Architect Robert A.M. Stern on the George W. Bush Presidential Center
By MARK LAMSTER
Robert A.M. Stern, architect of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, may rightly be
called the dean of the American architectural profession. Short and trim, with a reedy voice
that betrays his Brooklyn roots, Stern has a spirited energy that is difficult to contain and hard
to resist.
Over a career now in its sixth decade, he has somehow managed to define himself as
both a gray eminence and a puckish provocateur. This may sound implausible, but Stern has a
special ability to be many things at once and with great effectiveness.
In addition to running his own practice, Stern is the dean of the Yale School of Architecture, of
which he is a 1965 graduate, and the author of a seemingly endless stream of books on
architectural and urban history.
Whereas most of his generational peers, the Richard Meiers and Renzo Pianos, design
buildings that are unapologetic in their modernism, Stern has always been more catholic in
style, his eye especially attuned to the American building tradition, a subject on which he is
expert.
That essential conservatism has won him no shortage of honors, including the
prestigious Driehaus Prize, the classicists alternative to the Pritzker Prize, architectures Nobel.
It has also won him a long list of clients and a reputation as an architect responsive to the
physical and symbolic needs of the American establishment. His work in Dallas includes the
Ritz-Carlton hotel.
On a recent trip to the city, he sat down in a light-infused conference room at the Bush
Center to talk about his design for the building and his work in general.

How would you describe your architecture?
Im a modern traditionalist.

What does that mean?
I like to look back to traditions not only the way things looked in the past, but how they were
composed and conceptualized, and then address contemporary problems based on that
understanding and knowledge. This is not a building that has a full panoply of classical motifs.
But it is a building that has the discipline of classical architecture. I would like to think that it
speaks to this moment but also much longer into the future. There are many buildings that are
up to the minute, but the minute goes, the clock ticks, and sometimes buildings are trapped in
their moment.

Why do you think the Bushes selected you?
I think I was chosen because I have a pretty good working knowledge of history, American
history especially; I have a sense that a building is not about me but is about the purpose of
the building; and I have an ability to make buildings that have high integrity but are also
accessible to a lot of people. This is a building where people will come in pickup trucks and
RVs. Its a building for the American people as a whole, and so it has to be understood and
appreciated by a wide and diverse public. President Bush may be a controversial figure, but he
has enormous affection in a wide number of people in America.

Did you vote for President Bush?
Actually, yes. When I was being interviewed for the job someone asked if I was a Republican,
and someone more political than I am Im not political answered, Hes Republican
enough.

Did you look at other presidential libraries before beginning work?
Yes. Some I personally visited just as a citizen and some we looked at specifically for this
project. We looked at Bush 41 [at Texas A&M University]. The first of the presidential libraries
was for FDR in Hyde Park [New York], which sets a certain standard of personal expression and
the interests of that president, which I think President Bush admires. We looked at the
Clinton Library [in Little Rock, Ark.] and the Reagan Library [in Simi Valley, Calif.].

Do you have any favorites?
This one.

What kind of imperative was there to fit in aesthetically with the architecture of SMU?
Gerald Turner, the president of SMU makes it very clear that his campus is a Georgian red
brick campus, and he wanted something that was sympathetic to that campus, while the
president and Mrs. Bush and I wanted to make a building that was a good neighbor but that
was definitely its own thing.

Were there any particular instructions from the president and Mrs. Bush?
The Bushes are very interested in sustainability. Their ranch house is a model of sustainability.
The way the president takes care of his land he knows every tree. Not every species of tree.
Hes on talking terms to every tree. But we were asked to make the building as sustainable as
possible. The materials in the building are local: pecan wood, local stone, the brick comes from
within 500 miles, from Texas.

Beyond that, what exactly was the presidents role in the design?
The president was interested, but he turned to Mrs. Bush for most of the decision-making.
Mostly she took to him what she thought he would be interested in seeing. As with any good
couple, each person in the couple has his or her own interests and strengths. Mrs. Bush has a
great eye. ... I worked very closely with Mrs. Bush. She came to New York very many times.
Shes a regular habitu of our service elevator. Its been a wonderful relationship.

Are you pleased with the result?
I am proud as punch. I truly am. This is a major work to come from me and our office. We
aimed to make a building that would be modern and that would communicate on a broad
level. And that broad level would include average citizens, scholars coming from the university,
and international diplomats who will come here, heads of state or former heads of state who
will somehow see in this building something more than just about George Bush or his time, but
about the American system. I am interested in being an American architect, operating in an
international world. This is not conceived of as a provincial, Texas or American building, but a
building in the international world.

What are your impressions of Dallas architecture?
I find Dallas a very interesting place, and I think people in Dallas care a lot about their physical
environment. Certainly the cluster of institutional buildings [in the Arts District] are very, very
interesting, and I think they are still a group of buildings in search of an urban fabric. But it will
come, its taking time. Certainly since the first time I was in Dallas, which was 1970
approximately, the city has come an enormous distance. I also think some of the office
buildings in the downtown district are fantastic. Particularly Ive always admired the one that
Harry Cobb designed [Fountain Place]. An amazing building. Others are not so amazing or are
amazing in different ways.

Youre coming up on a big birthday
If you mean 75, no. Thats two years from now. Dont rush it.

Have you thought about retirement?
No. Ive thought about not retiring. I agreed to stay on three more years at the end of this
academic year at Yale. And I have no intention of retiring from my office. The gurney will be
there waiting to cart me out. And by the way, Im much younger than many of my colleague
architects. Norman Foster is four years older than I am. Frank Gehry is 10 years older. Im just
getting into it now.

Source : http://www.dallasnews.com/news/george-w-bush-presidential-center/presidential-
center-headlines/20130421-architect-robert-a.m.-stern-on-the-george-w.-bush-presidential-
center.ece
Diakses pada tanggal 14 April 2014 pukul 16.10

Master of Modernity
Robert A. M. Stern leads his firm into the 21st century armed with a strong appreciation of the
continuum of past and present, an ethic he brings to controversial and exciting new projects.

By Kim A. O'Connell

On a dark night in November, an intrepid crowd braved fog and rain to ascend the steps of the
Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, a Postmodern masterwork designed by Arthur Erickson,
to hear the annual lecture by the winner of the Vincent Scully Prize. Conferred by the National
Building Museum and named for the beloved Yale University architecture professor, the Scully
Prize has been awarded to a diverse list of practitioners and intellectuals Jane Jacobs, Andrs
Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Witold Rybczynski among them since its inception a
decade ago. Winners are feted with a gala and award presentation, and they are expected to
give a lecture, which is always highly anticipated. The 2008 Scully Prize laureate a renowned
architect, educator and historian was Robert A. M. Stern, FAIA.

The lecture location proved to be auspicious. Traditionally, the Scully lecture is held in the
great hall of the Building Museum, a traditional building notable for its gargantuan interior
Corinthian columns. On that November night, however, the museum was preparing to host a
summit of the G-20 nations, moving the Scully lecture to the Canadian Embassy. Completed in
1989, the embassy is one of relatively few Washington buildings to successfully and boldly
meld Neoclassical and Modernist principles, wrapping traditional elements such as a rotunda
and columns in a minimalist aesthetic. Whatever Stern's views on this particular building might
be, his career has served as a model for embracing important lessons of the past while
remaining open to, and reflective of, one's time.

Taking the podium in a natty suit, melon-colored tie and his trademark yellow socks, Stern
focused his lecture on the topic of architectural education. As a longtime teacher who himself
studied under Scully, Stern began his remarks with a provocation asserting that the making
of architecture could not, in essence, be taught. Rather, students can only learn what
"architecture has been and can be," he said. Architecture is an applied science, he continued,
"but it is also an art, an art like no other, a public art, a social art, that carries with it the
responsibility of giving physical shape to hopes and dreams for a better life."

It is a responsibility Stern has taken seriously over the course of his illustrious career, which
has spanned more than four decades, resulted in the construction and preservation of
numerous important buildings, and fostered the minds and hearts of countless students.

Great Accomplishments
During the Scully lecture, Stern took Modernist architects to task for claiming that their
worldview was the only one worth emulating. Instead, Stern argued, architects must embrace
modernity the full scope of contemporary life, of which Modernism is a subset and which is
not divorced from history. If architecture is to speak to new possibilities, Stern said, "It must
revere the principles that underpinned the great accomplishments of the past." He received a
standing ovation.

In an interview conducted not long after he accepted the Scully prize, Stern expounded on his
remarks and examined his career with characteristic passion, eloquence and wit. (Of his fellow
Scully laureates, he quipped, "It's a pretty tasty list, and I'm happy to be another slice of the
big club sandwich.") This year marks the 40th anniversary of Stern's architecture firm, which
began as Stern & Hagmann (a partnership with a fellow architecture student from Yale, where
Stern earned his master of architecture degree; he earned his bachelor's degree at Columbia).
He founded the successor firm, Robert A. M. Stern Architects, in 1977, where he still serves as
the senior partner. Today, the New York-based firm boasts 300 employees, spanning several
disciplines including architecture, landscape architecture, interior design and others.

Completed buildings include the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia; U.S.
courthouses in Beckley, WV, Youngstown, OH, and Richmond, VA; hotels for the Walt Disney
Company in Orlando, FL; and office buildings in the United States and abroad. The firm served
as the co-master planner (with Cooper, Robertson & Partners) of Celebration, FL, the
prototypical New Urbanist town. (Stern continues to work to ensure that so-called New
Urbanist towns don't in fact contribute to suburban or exurban sprawl.) The firm took the lead
in master planning the theater block of New York's 42nd Street, and produced campus plans
for several universities including Acadia in Nova Scotia and Georgetown in Washington, DC.

Current or recently completed projects include the George W. Bush Presidential Library and
Museum in Dallas; 15 Central Park West, a luxury residential building on a full New York City
block; the American Revolution Center at Valley Forge, PA; two new residential colleges on the
Yale campus; and the 58-story Comcast Center office tower in center-city Philadelphia.

For the past decade, Stern has also served as the dean of the Yale School of Architecture,
where Modernists who were initially aghast at the appointment of a purported traditionalist
quickly came to respect his leadership. (Frank Gehry, in one notable example, called the
architecture program under Stern "probably the most exciting school in the country right now,
maybe in the whole world.") Before that, Stern was a professor of architecture and director of
the renowned graduate program in historic preservation at Columbia, where he had previously
served as the director of its Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture.

"I have many concerns about how we teach architecture," Stern says. "Students are often
introduced to architecture as undergraduates when they're barely out of high school. Instead
of being trained in a humanistic fashion, in a setting with foreign languages, literatures, a
reasonable grasp of the various scienceswe have five-year bachelor of architecture programs,
these intense architecture programs, and boom, you're educated. You may have the technical
skills of architecture, but you're certainly not educated about architecture in the larger
worldAs an artist, you must be connected to the world of culture. There are certain schools
that swim against this tide and insist that their students of architecture come out of a liberal
arts background." Although the schools are different, Stern has found this to be true of both
Columbia and Yale. "They are different places, but it's like comparing two very fine
restaurants," he says. "You're going to get a good meal."

As for himself, Stern dislikes being labeled either a traditionalist or a Modernist. "I'm operating
in the modern world, and the modern world is about multiplicities of directions," he says. "It's
fine if one wants to sign on for one or the other direction, but I prefer to address each project in
terms of what would be the most appropriate way to approach it. There are young
architectural graduates who know nothing about Modernist architects. This is preposterous.
You need to know Francesco Borromini, and you need to know Peter Eisenman. I wish we could
have a world where you can study with masters who excel in traditional forms and others who
excel in Modernist forms." Stern adds, however, that "there's an awful lot of cozy classicism
about. Many of the architects who are quite good at classical architecture or traditional
architecture have not articulated themselves; they have not pushed themselves into the public
debate."

Context and Controversy

Recently, Stern vociferously entered the public debate with his strong support for the
preservation of 2 Columbus Circle, New York's West Side "lollipop" building designed by
Edward Durell Stone. "Not to preserve the building is shocking; not to hear it is criminal," he
famously said when the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission refused to hold a
public hearing on the issue. After a long and bitter fight to save it, the building was drastically
renovated as the Museum of Arts & Design, which sheathed the old marble faade in an
asymmetrical pattern of terra cotta tiles and glass, obliterating the building's original
appearance.

Stern joins a chorus of critics of the new building who believe the commission missed a blatant
opportunity to save an iconic structure. "I would like to be a nice guy and say that the new skin
is nicer than the old, but frankly I don't think so," he says. "We lost a beautiful modern building
by an architect who is underappreciated. We got instead a completely arbitrary faade in a
dreary material."

Despite this loss, Stern applauds the fact that the field of historic preservation is evolving to
include modern buildings. "The preservation movement has come to realize the importance of
preserving buildings that older members of the movement saw as the enemy," he says.
"Buildings of the modern movement did replace older ones, so people had a deep hatred for
glass and steel. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has been helpful in identifying
modern buildings that are significant, those by Louis Kahn and Paul Rudolph, Philip Johnson's
Glass House, etc. But the preservation movement has a way to go." Stern, for his part, has
carefully overseen the restoration and renovation of the Yale Arts Complex, which includes the
Paul Rudolph-designed Art and Architecture building, newly christened Paul Rudolph Hall.
Designed by Charles Gwathmey, FAIA, the restored complex now includes a zinc-and-
limestone-clad addition housing the university's art history department and an arts library.

"My time at Yale has involved two major initiatives, to reshape the curriculum and to work
closely with the president and others at the university on the stewardship of Yale's
architecture," Stern says. "We've worked together to see to it that the modern buildings at
Yale were done in a way that would be as exemplary as possible. The Yale Arts Complex is an
amazing pair of buildings, one very Modernist of our time, and the other a Modernist work of
the 1960s, that make strong gestures within the Modernist vocabulary to the traditional stone
architecture at Yale."

Stern's firm is now engaged in the design of an addition to a small Victorian Gothic conference
center on campus, as well as the two new residential colleges there. Residential colleges form
the underpinning of undergraduate education at Yale. Although the university has renovated
its existing colleges, many designed in the early 20th century by James Gamble Rogers, the last
new colleges were designed by Modernist Eero Saarinen in 1961.

Although some critics have argued that the choice of Stern's firm flies in the face of the
university's history of working with more avant-garde architects, university president Richard
C. Levin has responded by noting that the new colleges will be built on an awkward lot
somewhat apart from campus, making the need for a traditional connection even more
important. "Saarinen was trying to bring Modernism quite as close as he dared to the
traditional courtyards on campus," Stern says, who adds that he doesn't dislike Saarinen's
work. "The new colleges will be as much like the traditional Yale colleges as I can make them."

Similarly, the firm will be considering the context of the George W. Bush Presidential Library,
to be located on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, as work proceeds on
that project. Although Stern cannot reveal many details, he says that the building will reflect
the campus's red-brick and white-stone Georgian character, but it will not be a Georgian
building.

One of the more controversial new projects by Stern's firm is the new Comcast Center in
downtown Philadelphia, now the city's tallest building. It is a 975-ft. faceted obelisk, clad in a
gleaming, silvery, energy-efficient glass with ultra-clear, low-iron glass at the building's corners
and crown. The center encompasses a half-acre plaza that straddles the underground tracks
and concourse of Suburban Station, Philadelphia's primary commuter rail terminal. A public
winter garden connects the concourse to the tower and plaza overhead. The building is
expected to be certified under the LEED green-building system. Although the building is
undoubtedly modern the Philadelphia Inquirer called its terraced and notched rectangular
crown a "giant USB memory stick" it is also meant to complement the skyline and not draw
attention to itself as anything but a good, solid design, well executed.

"I'm not a fan of buildings with too much wiggling," Stern says. "My belief was that the
Comcast Center should be a very simple, purely shaped design. It's important as an icon on the
skyline, and it sits above a railroad station and makes important connections to the concourse
underground. Beyond that was the opportunity to place the building on an open plaza
[designed by landscape architect Laurie Olin, FASLA]. It's on a street that was laid out in the
1930s with a uniform cornice, and it's a very dull street. Our plaza opens the street up. We
have been able to relieve the center city of Philadelphia with a public place."

Whether they are talking about the Comcast Center or the Yale residential colleges, critics are
often quick to place Stern and his colleagues in the camp of traditionalism or Modernism (or
Postmodernism, more likely). This kind of labeling, in Stern's eyes, is overly facile and detracts
from the more profound discussion of place-making and how buildings must serve and reflect
human needs and desires. As he said on that rainy night in November, "We must help today's
students to explore the seemingly contradictory points of view of tradition and modernity, and
to see them not as contradictory choices but as profound, reasoned, and parallel ways to
shape the world." TB

Source : http://www.traditionalbuildingportfolio.com/profiles/commercial/master.html
Diakses pada tanggal 14 April 2014 pukul 16.24

ARCHITECTURE: ROBERT A. M. STERN
Text by Ross Miller
The notion that classicism and modernism are antithetical design modes is more of an attitude
than an architectural fact. Since the advent of modernism, early this century, discussion about
their differences has polarized classicism and modernism, emphasizing points of disagreement.
In a recent interior renovation for a 1920s Fifth Avenue duplex, New York architect Robert A.
M. Stern uses classical elements in spaces that have an open, and sometimes flowing,
modernist character. While the forms are clearly classical, Stern abstracts them from their
precedents and generalizes them. The results are clean, rather uncommitted modernist forms
that contrast with some of the Italian Renaissance details remaining from the original
apartment.
As a contemporary architect using classical forms, Robert Stern does not reject the best
lessons of modernism, but selects from the two traditions, interpreting elements of one with a
sensibility affected by the other. He establishes this classicist/modernist ambiguity at the
outset, in the entryway. Situated many floors above, the entryway is inside the building, but
the architect design it, and the following spaces, for an openness intended to imply the out-of-
doors.
The suggestion of outdoor space in the entryway is reinforced by a view of a staircase surfaced
in rusticated marble, leading to the second floor, and of a light-filled, voluminous living room.
Stern says, From the entrance to the first glimpse of the stairs, to the full discovery of the
living room, there is a sense of anticipation that is heightened by the view.
The architect carefully modulates the passage into the living room area and between other
rooms by an ordered procession of classical forms. Split columns create frames or gateways
between the plans major areas, helping to establish an ordered series of transitions. The
pronounced horizontal wall moldings and a built-up cornice discipline a fluid progression. The
horizontal coursing divides the rooms vertically into a continuous tripartite base, shaft and
capital. All the secondary roomsclosets, powder rooms, service areasare concealed behind
walls designed to impart a feeling of solidity. The recessed lighting traces the architectural
shapes. The architecture, he explains, is built on a human perception basis. From the floor,
to the chair railings, to the cornice molding, the eye is constantly building, satisfying itself.
Stern accentuates the outdoor quality of the living room by giving the room the light and space
of an outdoor Italian piazza. The floor-to-ceiling windows are framed by heavy pilasters and set
in deep pockets with balconies that give the room added depth. The city outside is visually
accessible, but does not intrude.
The grand space, however, does not overwhelm the rest of the apartment. The sitting room
across from the entryway, and the dining room, directly on line with the living room, share the
same architectural elements. Though the forms are less pronounced, they are formally and
spatially related to the living room without being competitive. The architect has modified the
architectural treatment of the dining room so that it almost equals the size of the living room,
yet remains more intimate. Windows are not dropped; the thick frame moldings are truncated,
and the lighting at the capitals creates a more domestic scale. The dining room is both a room
in itself and a part of the whole. Stern achieves a flexibility usually identified with modern
space, without sacrificing the formal sense of shelter and privacy of the classically defined
room.
The architects horizontal ordering system of moldings and cornices, broken by split columns,
has a comparably disciplined vertical equivalent in the impressive marble staircase. Like the
entryway, the stairway has a bank of glass block illuminating the passage. With the light and
the subtle rustication, this staircase continues the interplay between interior and exteriora
proper connector between the piazza living room and the private living areas upstairs.
In the master bedroom, Stern adapts the public forms to this private context. Here, and in the
childrens wing, a general discipline and stylistic order are applied, but the architecture is
never literal or solemn. It encourages the life of the home. Stern elaborates: Any live
language is capable of carrying meaning from generation to generation while, at the same
time, it can interact with the vernacular of the present moment. Classicism is simply a means of
expression that is satisfying for both the architect and the observer, because it resonates with
meanings that the more vernacular language of our own time seems to lack.
Source : http://www.architecturaldigest.com/AD100/2010/robert_stern/stern_article_041983
Diakses pada tanggal 14 April 2014 pukul 17.10

RECONSIDERING A CLASSIC WITH ROBERT A. M. STERN
Text by Mildred F. Schmertz
We understand the language of the American Shingle Style house because we have done so
many of them, says architect Robert A. M. Stern. Among his most recently completed is a 12-
room main house with a six-room guesthouse on a four-acre site in Southampton, New York,
designed for a developer, his wife and three children. Done in collaboration with partner
Randy Correll and comprising 10,000 square feet, it is one of the firms larger residential
commissions.
How did the architects go about it? When Randy and I work together, or when I work with
any of my other design partners, we go through lots of books, Stern explains. We have a big
library in the office, and the fun is in rediscovering old friends among buildings and seeing new
things and being inspired. I think architecture is a very scholarly pursuit; it always was,
historically. But Sterns team doesnt just look at books. In real life we do little pilgrimages,
we snoop, we take photographs from the road of houses we cant get into, and so we have
learned to think in a given tradition or vernacular.
According to Stern, the Southampton house is a fusion of Shingle Style themes without
reference to any specific historic house. In plan, the two structures possess a formal order
within which the rooms are symmetrical but arranged asymmetrically, contributing to the
compositional interest of the faades. Many Shingle Style houses are accretions of separate
wings added over time to original, small farmhouses. In homage to this tradition, Stern and
Correll designed the library in the main house as a distinct wing in the form of just such an
early rural Colonial dwelling, and the kitchen wing is like a little farmhouse itself. These more
modest arrangements in plan and elevation give this big house a friendlier, more domestic
character. Stern believes that such historically based architectural gestures do even more than
that. Houses should be dream scenarios. What could be more fun than wandering around as a
child might, in a house that has neat nooks and crannies, or to walk around outside and
imagine that it grew over time like a castle in England.
The interior design of both houses is the work of Mariette Himes Gomez. Mariettes dcor is
perfectthe result of a happy collaboration with Randy and me, says Stern. She keeps the
colors subtle, and she has what I call an editorial eye; she strips things down. She can take a
tangled set of decorative impulses and simplify them. She also does what we do when she
begins with traditional shapes and adjusts and reimagines them in a contemporary space for
contemporary use. She knows how to place rather nice old things in new contexts.
The clients own major art, explains Gomez. The background for my work was to create a
setting for the objects that they chose to put in these houses. And she knows when to leave a
space almost unadorned by such objects, as in the high-ceilinged rectangular entrance hall at
the center of the main house. This hall opens onto the two primary rooms as well as to the
lawn and gardens beyond. A grand double doorway in the south wall offers a tantalizing
glimpse of the furniture and art assembled in the living room. On the north wall, a similar
double doorway near the bottom of the staircase provides an eyeful of the splendid English
table and Windsor chairs in the dining room and the chandelier Gomez designed to go with
them.
The beauty of the entrance hall is the gift of its classical form, generous proportions, the
elaborately carved crown moldings above the doorways, the simply patterned wainscoting and
the elegance of the stair handrail and balusters. Says Gomez, I thought this hall was such a
splendid architectural elementbrightened by its views into the living room, dining room and
outdoorsthat it didnt really call for anything much to be added. Among the few pieces she
placed in the space is a sculpture by the staircase, the work of Tom Otterness, titled Covered
Wagon.
The living room can also be entered through a door leading from the adjacent pergola, doors
that emerge through the fireplace wall from opposite ends of the porch, and via a gallery
space that connects the living room to the library. Although these large openings on three of
the four walls give this room a sense of connection to the neighboring rooms and to the
outdoors, it was a design challenge to keep the furniture out of the way of the grid of interior
pathways. Gomez arranged the sofa and a pair of love seats, the pair of tub chairs and a
selection of light and graceful side tables, as well as a couple of low tables and other items,
into three separate conversation groups to keep these circulation routes clear. The focus of
the room is the handsome bay window overlooking the lawn and gardens. Gomez is quite
proud of the French carved-wood-and-cane bench (circa 1920) she positioned there. I saw
this marvelous object and knew just where it should go, she happily recalls.
The Palladian window, obligatory for all Shingle Style houses, is centered in the master
bedroom. This window is such a beautiful terminus to the room, but it was almost impossible
for me to do, Gomez remembers. Tieback curtains are not my normal moment, and I believe
in very little at windows. Nevertheless, I thought that, if the clients actually needed to sleep in
the daytime, because of jet lag or whatever, we had to find a way to close the daylight off. I
think what we did is simple, nicely scaled and appropriate.
Stern concludes, Her effort fits what we tried to do with the architecture of the two houses,
which is to design straightforwardly and simply and then add a few rhetorical gestures. Where
she found a place for a beautiful French bench from the 1920s, we saw the chance to do an
elaborate entrance terrace for the main house with a decorative frieze above. The rest consists
of nice proportions and nice detail, but not detail that jumps out at youits not over the top
and is as much about a classical interpretation of the Shingle Style as it is about a very good
way of building.
Source : http://www.architecturaldigest.com/AD100/2010/robert_stern/stern_article_032005
Diakses pada tanggal 14 April 2014 pukul 17.43


Residence by RAMSA Partners, Robert A.M. Stern and Randy Correl led the design.
California, 2005
Source : http://www.ramsa.com/en/projects-search/houses/residence-in-bel.html,
diakses pada 10 April 2014. 11.46 PM

Residence by RAMSA Partners Robert A.M. Stern and Grant Marani led the design.
Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada, 2005
Source : http://www.ramsa.com/en/projects-search/houses/residence-on.html, diakses
pada 10 April 2014. 11.50 PM





Residence in Highland Park by RAMSA Partners Robert A.M. Stern and Grant Marani led
the design.
Highland Park, Illinois, 2008
Source : http://www.ramsa.com/en/projects-search/houses/residence-in-3.html, diakses
pada 10 April 2014. 11.55 PM
1. I don't think sustainability is a design aesthetic, any more than having electricity in your
building, or telephones, or anything else. It's an ethic, a basic consideration that we have
to have as architects designing buildings. In 10 years we're not going to talk about
sustainability anymore, because it's going to be built into the core processes of
architecture.
(Quote of the Day: Robert Stern on When All Architecture is Green Architecture)

2. Architecture is a . . . is an art, but it is not the same kind of art that painting and sculpture
might be. For example its a public art or a social art. It requires first of all the support of
an enormous amount of people to produce buildings both in the architects office . . .
After all most buildings are not done __________, Fountainhead style, one lonely architect
sitting and drawing away. It requires many collaborative professionals. It requires money,
which we can sum up as the client. And it requires the publics support usually so that
buildings can be built within the larger constraints. And it requires finally that the public in
the largest sense support the buildings. Otherwise why build them? You cant just build
them for your own personal pleasure. You can if youre Philip Johnson. You build a house
out in the country in New Canaan, then you do your own thing.
(Robert A.M. Stern Discusses Art and Architecture)

3. It should almost always be thought of as a work of art, but a social work. There are all
kinds of art as I suggest. If you just make buildings that solve problems, well thats not
irresponsible. Thats perfectly responsible. But I think for myself and for many other
architects and people probably in architecture you might be talking to in a series like this,
their aspirations are to have their buildings taken more serious . . . to take it seriously on
another level. But I do find that in the current scene, too much emphasis is being placed
on artistic expression independent, in my view, often of good urbanism or even functional
response . . . or tectonic responsibility.
(Robert A.M. Stern Discusses Art and Architecture)

4. Well I dont think any building can be self-contained flat out. Even if you build . . . Or
maybe especially if you build on an open site in a rural setting, then you really have to
engage with the landscape. And I think more and more architects are coming to realize
how fundamental the landscape quotient is in the overall conception of what architecture
is. Landscape architecture and landscape . . . and architecture and building architecture are
two things that need to be seen in some sort of intimate relationship. In city settings, of
course, where there were existing buildings before and even though the buildings may
not always be there; they may evolve and change to other buildings I think its very
important that you design a building that is accommodative of the other buildings around.
And lastly this is probably too long an answer, but most importantly is how the building
confronts or addresses the public realm in a city like New York. The street is it friendly,
and welcoming, and open? And that can be done in many ways, but its very important
that that . . . that buildings not draw back and create veils or walls of closure.
(Robert A.M. Stern on Whether a Building Has to Interact With Its Environment)

5. Im a modern traditionalist. I like to look back to traditions not only the way things
looked in the past, but how they were composed and conceptualized, and then address
contemporary problems based on that understanding and knowledge. This is not a building
that has a full panoply of classical motifs. But it is a building that has the discipline of
classical architecture. I would like to think that it speaks to this moment but also much
longer into the future. There are many buildings that are up to the minute, but the minute
goes, the clock ticks, and sometimes buildings are trapped in their moment.
(Architect Robert A.M. Stern on the George W. Bush Presidential Center)

6. Any live language is capable of carrying meaning from generation to generation while, at
the same time, it can interact with the vernacular of the present moment. Classicism is
simply a means of expression that is satisfying for both the architect and the observer,
because it resonates with meanings that the more vernacular language of our own time
seems to lack.
(ARCHITECTURE: ROBERT A. M. STERN)

7. Houses should be dream scenarios. What could be more fun than wandering around as a
child might, in a house that has neat nooks and crannies, or to walk around outside and
imagine that it grew over time like a castle in England.
(RECONSIDERING A CLASSIC WITH ROBERT A. M. STERN)
8. Architecture is an applied science, but it is also an art, an art like no other, a public art, a
social art, that carries with it the responsibility of giving physical shape to hopes and
dreams for a better life
(Master of Modernity)

9. I'm operating in the modern world, and the modern world is about multiplicities of
directions. It's fine if one wants to sign on for one or the other direction, but I prefer to
address each project in terms of what would be the most appropriate way to approach it.
There are young architectural graduates who know nothing about Modernist architects.
This is preposterous. You need to know Francesco Borromini, and you need to know Peter
Eisenman. I wish we could have a world where you can study with masters who excel in
traditional forms and others who excel in Modernist forms. There's an awful lot of cozy
classicism about. Many of the architects who are quite good at classical architecture or
traditional architecture have not articulated themselves; they have not pushed themselves
into the public debate.
(Master of Modernity)

10. Yeah. I am a conservative. In that sense I suppose Im an appropriate architect for W.
Bushs library. Forgetting politics, I do believe that architecture is a conversation across
time. While every young architect and every young generation of architects thinks they
have to break the mold, you cannot really create coherent cities, or campuses for that
matter like Yale, if every building is the representative of its own unique moment and its
own self-invented set of principles and language.
(Mazel Tov Robert A.M. Stern, a Contemporary Classic)