Location Current Site: Boulder CO UNITED STATES
Creator Personal Name: Pei,Ieoh Ming
Creator Assoc Person Biography: Photographer of Original ELCALP slides of NCAR
Creator Assoc Person Name: Smith,Steve
Creator Assoc Person Role: Photographer
Subject.Image Description: N Facade
Creator.Personal Name Label: Pei,Ieoh Ming
Description.Image Comments: ENVD 4122 Spring 1997 ELCALP project Instructor: Lynn Lickteig
Style/Period: Constructivist, Late Modern
Style/Period Description: LATE MODERNISM
This style developed in the 1970s as a continuation of the Second International Style. Late Modernists have attempted to create the expression in architecture of the conditions of the modern industrialized world, but have extended the language of earlier modernism to include a richer range of forms. Some Late Modernists create visual interest by pulling structural members to the outside of the buildings, and others by modeling the building forms more sculpturally, often to emphasize, or appear to emphasize, the different functional elements. These architects tend to emphasize the expression of structure or the expression of function.
An influential architect for Late Modernists was Louis Kahn (1901-74); his Yale Center for British Art (1969-77) in New Haven, Connecticut, has been admired and emulated. Another admired practitioner of Late Modernism is I.M. Pei, architect of the East Building of the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. and of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.
Subject Image View Type: Exterior, detail
Description.Subject Report: NATIONAL CENTER FOR ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH, BOULDER
The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), completed in 1966, is a scientific research facility in pristine natural setting atop a mesa, overlooking the city. It is one of a number of buildings in the state designed by internationally famous architects, in this case Ioh Ming Pei. The designer called the project a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity." It is sensitive to the spectacular site yet provides functional work space for research laboratories and offices. It must withstand winds of up to 125 m.p.h. and have an accessible appearance to the public despite safety and security concerns. Pei's design for the Mesa Laboratory was influenced by the ruins at Mesa Verde in southwestern Colorado, especially their masonry construction and simple rectangular forms. The NCAR Building is made of reinforced concrete, tinted pink with aggregate from local quarries and bush-hammered to create a rough surface texture. The top stories have cantilevered overhangs and window hoods, reminiscent to some people of England's prehistoric Stonehenge. Nevertheless, the articulated design of the seven-story structure creates a sense of human scale. Vertical sections contain office clusters connected to laboratories. Use of indigenous appearing materials help the laboratory blend with its surroundings. The facility seenms appropriate for the scientific study of the weather. As an institution, NCAR was began in 1958 with a proposal made by the National Academy of Sciences. A committee drawn from interested universities submitted plans to the National Science Foundation (NSF), the institution's chief funding source. Walter Orr Roberts was chosen in 1960 as the first director of NCAR, which is operated by a consortium of universities. Roberts' selection influenced the choice of Boulder as the site for the center. He had previously directed the High Altitude Observatory established in Boulder in 1947. The state purchased the 28-acre site for $250,000 in 1961 and donated it to NCAR. While the Mesa Laboratory was being designed and built, NCAR was housed in the stone armory at 1511 University Avenue, now a University of Colorado office building. Boulder voters passed a special referendum that provided city water to NCAR which is above the level to which the mains otherwise may be extended. Ground was broken in 1964, and the Mesa Laboratory completed in 1966. Today NCAR has over 800 employees, many of whom work in other buildings below the mesa. Research is conducted on weather and climate, including investigations into severe storm activity, human influences on the weather and air quality, and interactions of atmosphere with oceans and sea.
Lucy Warner. The National Center for Atmospheric Research: An Architectural Masterpiece. Boulder: NCAR, 1985.
Thomas J. Noel. Buildings of Colorado. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.
(Cathleen Norman, 1998)
Creator.Biography: PEI, IEOH MING. Pei was born in Canton, China in 1917, and he came to the United States in 1938 to study at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also studied at Harvard, where he earned a master's degree in architecture in 1946, having worked with the famous director of the program, Walter Gropius. Pei then apprenticed in the Boston office of Hugh Stubbins. While working for developer William Zeckendorf's design firm, Webb and Knapp, Inc., Pei designed Mile High Center in Denver (1956-65) and other large commercial projects around the country. He founded his own office in 1960. Pei's work could be labeled "late modern," in that it exhibits the modernist sensibilities of his mentor, Gropius, but it has a more theatrical or dramatic character. His buildings often exhibit complex massing and rich contrasts of materials, forms and spaces, even though his palette of material consists primarily of concrete, steel, and glass. Pei is also much more interested in producing buildings suited to their context and site than the modernists of the 1920-1950 era. Among the most prominent of Pei's buildings are the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder (1967); the John Hancock Tower in Boston (1973); the East Wing of the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. (1978-79); the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston (1979); 16th Street Mall in Denver (1982); the pyramid at the Louvre Museum in Paris (1980s); and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland (1993-95). Sources: Judith S. Hull, "Pei, I.M, " Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architect,. vol. 3, pp. 384-86; Carter Wiseman, I.M. Pei : a Profile in American Architecture, New York: H.N. Abrams, 1990. (Joan Draper, 1998)
ID Number.Former Image Accession VISC: 35008
Rights Description: Copyright owned by The Regents of the University of Colorado, a body corporate, and the photographer. All rights reserved.
Source.Requestor Full Name: Lickteig, Lynn
Rights CU Copyright Statement: The contents of the University of Colorado Digital Library are available for your use in research, teaching, and private study. Some of these items are protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) and some items may have additional restrictions. If you use the items in this collection, make sure you abide by any restrictions stated in the descriptive data window in the field called "Rights Description". The nature of these collections often makes it difficult to determine the copyright status of an item. We have made every effort to provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions in the descriptive data window. Ultimately, however, it is your responsibility to use the item according to the terms governing its use. If you are a copyright holder and the rights description information is either not listed or listed incorrectly, please let us know so that we can update the information on our site.