1965

Mitchell/Giurgola Architects

Acadia National Park Headquarters Building  

1


2012.08.08 18:38
The Philadelphia School, deterritorialized
...when coincidences spur a story.

Mitchell/Giurgola's Acadia National Park Headquarters building, 1965, is what I finished 'building' the outer shell of just over a week ago.

Mitchell/Giurgola's Acadia National Park Headquarters building was never built, but, nevertheless, it's a design I've admired for a very long time. Although I have no direct memory of trying to emulate the Acadia design, the first project from my second year of architecture school--

a PSFS branch bank, October 1976--indicates that the Acadia plan may have already been well stored in my mind.

In any case, a CAD model of the Acadia National Park Headquarters building is now finally part of Quondam's collection. Putting a concentrated focus on the building, got me wondering why it seems so unique within the Mitchell/Giurgola oeuvre. Unlike many other M/G designs, its pedigree is not at all easily discernible. Then, because of ongoing "Philadelphia School" work, I was studying Kahn and Noguchi's Levy Memorial Playground designs, particularly the third version from late 1963.

The pyramidal form in the lower right corner is very likely the earliest precedent for the Acadia design, yet Kahn himself added further precedent for the Acadia design via the very early 1965 design of the building for the Council of Islamic Ideology at Islamabad...

...which no doubt stems from Kahn's coincident collaboration with Noguchi. Alas, the Levy Memorial Playground and the Council of Islamic Ideology designs were also never executed in built form, but there are two very real, legitimate offspring of these designs in Italy: Institute for Draghtsmen and Library and Cultural Centre.

2014.01.19 19:25
19 January

Technical school, Terni. Vittorio De Feo and Errico Ascione, architects, 1968-74.
The Technical school, in particuler, owes a debt to Mitchell/Giurgola's Acadia National Park Headquarters Building (1965),

which, in turn, owes a debt to Kahn and Noguchi's Levy Memorial Playground (1963) and Kahn's Council of Islamic Ideology (1965).

Mitchell/Giurgola's Acadia National Park Headquarters Building was featured within (the Italian publication) Zodiac 17 (September 1967),

where the section drawing of the Acadia National Park Headquarters Building

bears a striking resemblence to a section drawing De Feo's new House of Representatives in Rome [actually the New Office Building for the Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament], 1967.

2015.04.05 09:49
What's your favorite piece of architecture?
Ury
Aedicula Intercourse
Whitemarsh Hall
Courthouse with Garage
Goldenberg House
Levy Memorial Playground
Electronic Calculation Center Olivetti at Rho-Milan
Palais des Congrès
Acadia National Park Headquarters Building
House 15
Museum for Nordrhein Westfalen
Wallraf-Richartz Museum
Eclectic Houses
Dresdner Bank
Retreat House
Wagner House
Mayor's House
Battery Park City
Parkway Interpolation
Analogous Building
Palace of Ottopia
Good-Bye House
Mosque Q
House of Shadows Bye
Gooding Trice House
Duchamp Inn
Ichnographia Ink Blot
Headquarters of D.A.T.A.
Courthouse Plus Ultra
Casa Unbekannt 001
New Not There City
Germantown Avenue University of Architecture
Cubist ICM
Whitemarsh Hall is the only building here that I have actually experienced, and Ury is the only other building here to have actually existed, but I live where Ury once was so it's a completely cerebral 'piece' of architecture for me now. In fact, as the first half of the list demonstrates, my favorite architecture teaches me something beyond what actually exists, and the latter half of the list is a wishful manifestation of architecture that perhaps goes beyond even that.

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