The Yale Center for British Art is designed by architect Louis Kahn. Located across the street from his first major commission, the Yale University Art Gallery (1953), the Yale Center is Kahn’s final work and was completed after his death in 1974. The Center’s exterior of matte steel and reflective glass confers a monumental presence in downtown New Haven. The geometrical, four-floor interior is designed around two courtyards and is comprised of a restrained palette of natural materials (travertine marble, white oak, and Belgian linen). Kahn succeeded in creating intimate galleries where one can view objects in diffused natural light. The building’s design, materials, and sky-lit rooms combine to provide an environment for the works of art that is simple and dignified.
Notes from the Archive: James Frazer Stirling, Architect and Teacher
October, 2010 — January, 2011