A Brutalist icon is on the verge of disappearing. Last month, local lawmakers declined to veto a proposal that would allow the gutting of architect Paul Rudolph's 1967 Orange County Government Center, a boxy corrugated concrete and glass complex in Goshen, New York, to make way for an expanded county seat. New York City-based architectural photographer Matthew Carbone highlights the tragedy in a series of new photos of the civic complex. The images prompt the question: What makes a building worth saving?
Last year, after being closed for a decad, demolition began on Johansen's theater to make way for a 478,000-square-foot retail and residential project. The demolition attracted the attention of New York-based photographer Matthew Carbone, who first shot the Mechanic in 2010 but began shooting the demolition site last year. "Over the next five months I would make six trips to Mechanic," he writes in an email. "For awhile, the destruction was slow going, as if the building was fighting back."
The writing is on the wall. Unless something drastic happens in the next few days the Paul Rudolph designed Government Center is coming down. Architectural critic Michael Kimmelman writes a thoughtful defense of the building, architect Gene Kaufman has offered 5 million dollars(!) for the building, meanwhile local lawmakers continue their march to demolition.
If we're being honest Rudolph's building sticks out. It's a unique building, one that would catch your eye anywhere in the world. In the town of Goshen it's clearly an outsider. I don't mean that in bad way. It's a cute enough town, with a few tight knit streets, lined with traditional architecture. Beyond that it's a sprinkling of old strip malls and a rural landscape.
From my day in Goshen, there is a clear contrast in aesthetics between the town and the building. From Kimmelman's reporting there is also a direct opposition towards the design intent.
To recap, local officials:
Don't like how the building looks.
Don't like how the building functions.
Don't care if the building is 'important'.
Don't want Gene's money.
They want it gone.
They want their generic building.
What a shame.
Photographs taken February 26th 2015.
Last summer Architect Magazine commissioned me to photograph the BIG designed Maze at the National Building Museum. The maze was a spectacle in and of itself. It would seem my photos made an impression as BIG and The Building Museum commissioned me to photograph the extensive exhibition of BIG's work. A wide ranging narrative of BIG's work through out the world.
When you're involved with something like this, it's great to see the variety of coverage. Obviously BIG does a great job of telling their own story. I very much enjoyed Amanda Hurley's review of the exhibit for Architectural Record, lastly I thought Domus put together a great piece as well.
I provided additional photography on AL's feature on the newly completed MET Plaza. My work focused on detailed lighting of the facade and some key views. It was a great surprise to see that one of my images had been selected for the cover. Read the piece here, see more photos.