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The Atheneum
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Architect Richard Meier
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Location New Harmony, Indiana   map
Date 1975 to 1979   timeline
Building Type community center
 Construction System steel frame, porcelain enameled cladding
Climate temperate
Style Modern
Notes three-dimensional play of disciplined geometries.
Images

 

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Drawings

 

Discussion The Atheneum Commentary

The Atheneum in New Harmony, Indiana serves as a visitation starting point to this important utopian settlement. River and vehicular visitors' paths converge to set up a universal experience of the pocelin box of grids placed upon an earthen plinth in protection from yearly floods. The building is an object, apart from the historic town in distance and character, whose spatial experiences explore the relationship between architecture and society as the town it reveals once attempted.

— Darlene Levy. drawn from Richard Meier. Richard Meier: Architect 1964-1984. p191.

The Creator's Words

"My rigor also is a search for clarity.This search, for me, begins with the plan. The plan, which seems to have been neglected of late, is in fact the key. The two-dimensional image contains within it the instructions for the three-dimensional object that is the building. Together with the section, it generates the building. While the elevation tends to pictorialize, the plan and the section speak to the architect about spatial ideas. But, of the two, the plan is the most convincing and fundamental expression of architectural ideas. I do believe that buildings should speak. In my work, the use of a specific and internally consistent vocabulary of elements and themes over the years has allowed me a coherent, evolutionary means of expression."

— Richard Meier. from Eliot Noyes. On Architecture: Lecture by Richard Meier. p2.

Details

Porcelain-enameled cladding panels are 2'-" square.15,000 square feetsteel frame faced with 2'6" square porceline-enameled panels

Resources
Sources on The Atheneum

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. mediation diagram, p209. — Updated edition available at Amazon.com

Yukio Futagawa. "Richard Meier: The Atheneum", Global Architecture . Japan: A.D.A. EDITA Tokyo Co., 1981.

Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani. Architecture of the 20th Century in Drawings: Utopia and Reality. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 1982. ISBN 0-8478-0464-X. LC 82-42534. NA2700.M3513. axonometric drawing, fig90, p107. Richard Meyer and Partners.

Richard Meier. Richard Meier, Architect: 1964-1984. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 1984. ISBN 0-8478-0496-8. LC 83-42911. NA737.M44A4 1984. p191, 207.

Eliot Noyes. On Architecture: Lecture by Richard Meier. Cambridge: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, George Gund Hall, December 9, 1980. NA737.M43A37 1982. p2.

William S. Saunders. Modern Architecture—Photographs by Ezra Stoller. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1990. ISBN 0-8109-3816-2. exterior photo, p192-194. close-ups, p211. — A wonderful & inspiring book of beautiful photographs by the master of architectural photography. Available at Amazon.com

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at Amazon.com

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Web Resources
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