With it snowing here in DC today, I thought a little Breuer in Boca would be nice to look at as we yearn for spring to actually start. Marcel Breuer and Robert Gatje designed IBM’s North American Research and Development facility in Boca Raton, where IBM developed the first personal computer. Built between 1968 and 1972, the Brutalist complex is based on their design of IBM’s research center located in LaGaude, France. Today, it is known as the Boca Raton Innovation Campus. It is a heavy design for the flat topography of Florida, but the myriad of windows and being raised on pilotis allows light to come in and provides a lighter feel as air flows underneath the buildings. The raised structure also serves as covered parking areas, which are important during the summer months.
Save the date of Oct. 7, 2017, for Docomomo DC‘s annual fall Tour Day. This year’s lecture and tour, Rediscovering Brutalism: Understanding DC’s Concrete Architecture, will focus on Washington’s brutalist architecture, including Harry Weese’s design for Metro, which will be used as part of the tour. Registration and more information will be available in early September. Docomomo US is a 27-year old non-profit organization dedicated to the documentation and conservation of buildings, sites and neighborhoods of the modern movement.
The prominent campus of the National Presbyterian Church on Nebraska Avenue was designed by ecclesiastical architect Harold E. Wagoner, who once said: “The great thing about being an architect is you can walk into your dreams.” The cornerstone of the Brutalist/Neo-Gothic complex was laid by congregant and former President Dwight D. Eisenhower on October 14, 1967, according to a history of the church. The design featured a main sanctuary seating 1,260, a chapel, large central fountain and a soaring carillon tower. The congregation first worshiped in its new home on September 7, 1969. Here are a few recent black and white shots of the campus.
In early 2012, the 66 year-old American Press Institute in Reston closed up shop and joined with the Newspaper Association of America, which is based in Arlington. The move left API’s 1972-1978 brutalist headquarters by Marcel Breuer and Hamilton P. Smith vacant, sitting on 4.6 park-like acres in the Northern Virginia suburbs. The 42,334 square foot office building is located at 11690 Sunrise Valley Dr. Cushman & Wakefiled is representing the property and pitching that it is located close to two of the new Metro stops coming to Reston. What will be the fate of this brutalist building by one of the great modern masters?