Thursday, May 25, 2006

Web Discussion About Riverview High

LottaLiving is a site that indicates " Your source for Mid Century Modern Lifestyle, Design, Art, Furniture and Architecture". It has a discussion forum about Riverview.

The following is from this site and is attributed to Christopher Domin & Joseph King:
Riverview High School is Rudolph's first major public project completed in Florida. To create an intense environment for learning, Rudolph chose the inward-focused courtyard prototype as a way to densify this rural site, offering an approximation of urbanism within an open field.

This two-story composition, organized around a central public space, is enclosed to the north and south by classroom blocks, a cafeteria and library block to the west, and a skeletal steel colonnade with shade canopies to the east. A sky-lit gymnasium and auditorium are placed south of the courtyard and two single-story buildings, containing the administrative offices and medical clinic, are nestled along the western edge of the courtyard.

A steel frame with single with brick infill is an unusual detail among Rudolph's generally ephemeral Florida work. The thin verticality of the black frame was meant to evoke the dark slender trunks of the southern yellow pines that are numerous on the site. The choice of brick and steel as the primary materials in this symmetrically disposed composition is certainly reminiscent of the work of Mies van der Rohe in Chicago, but is modulated and honed for its specific context.

As with most of Rudolph's projects in Florida, this composition is arranged and detailed to encourage air movement and mediate the intensity of the sun. A series of staggered precast concrete sunshades dominates the facades of the classroom buildings in an attempt to protect the large sliding glass doors and operable windows from direct solar gain.

The climactically responsive theme is continued into the interior corridor system with a series of ventilated steel-and-glass monitors rising above the roof. Considered in section, the semi-enclosed interior circulation is carefully composed to allow light and air to penetrate through the stacked corridors.

This project came into existence primarily through the largess of Philip Hiss, Rudolph's most avid patron in Florida, who was also chairman of the Sarasota school board during this time.

There are also some excellent pictures of the building when it was built.

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