One of four buildings executed for the university by Philip Johnson (a highly influential architect of the 20th century), Bobst Library was part of the unrealized NYU Campus Master Plan by Johnson and Foster. Although its red sandstone facade reveals the architects' attempt to work within the context of Washington Square, the large-scale building towers over the surrounding buildings. Its lack of applied ornament and formal expression of the steel frame are features of modern architecture. At the same time, its fluted masonry cladding, enormous Palladian atrium and elaborate first floor pattern are historicist references that characterize postmodern buildings.


Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South, Philip Johnson & Richard Foster [1968-72]