New York's best building of the 1960s, the Ford Foundation Building was built for the country's largest philanthropic organization. The form of the building represents a departure from the abstract purity of the International Style. Supported by an exposed steel structure, the building takes the form of a glass box enclosing an interior atrium which rises the full height of the building to a skylight. Offices are located around this central court with a view into the atrium garden which also serves as a public space. The humane environment created by this layout reflects the lofty values of the foundation which supports the arts and humanitarian causes. The layout of buildings around atrium spaces or winter gardens would later become popularized in the shopping mall and numerous skyscrapers of the 1980s. Made of Core-ten steel, the structure's surface resembles wood due to a patina which results from oxidation and gives the steel a rich tone. In the Ford Foundation Building, new materials are incorporated with a unique formal expression making this building a good example of late modern architecture.

<---back

Ford Foundation Building
321 East 42nd Street, Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo & Associates [1967]