Advanced Studio, Fall 2009: McCarter

  • Work by Ekta Desai for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Fall 2009.
    Work by Ekta Desai for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Fall 2009.
  • Work by Ekta Desai for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Fall 2009.
    Work by Ekta Desai for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Fall 2009.
  • Work by Xi Liu for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Fall 2009.
    Work by Xi Liu for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Fall 2009.
  • Work by Xi Liu for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Fall 2009.
    Work by Xi Liu for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Fall 2009.
  • Work by Yingli Tang for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Fall 2009.
    Work by Yingli Tang for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Fall 2009.
  • Work by Yingli Tang for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Fall 2009.
    Work by Yingli Tang for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Fall 2009.

Advanced Studio, Fall 2009
CENTER FOR ADVANCED THEOLOGICAL STUDIES
an addition to Louis Kahn's (unbuilt) graduate theological union library

Robert McCarter, Ruth & Norman Moore Professor

The studio program involves the design of the Center of Advanced Theological Studies, an interdenominational study and symposium center located adjacent to the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), the largest partnership of seminaries and graduate schools in the United States. Religious traditions represented among the schools include Protestant, Catholic, Unitarian, Greek Orthodox, Jewish, and Buddhist.

The Center for Advanced Theological Studies, modeled on the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, is a proposed 50,000-square-foot facility that includes seminar rooms, auditorium, residences for fellows, dining hall, courtyard garden, and the rare book library (which houses the world’s largest collection of rare religious books). Students must design the Center as an “addition” to Louis Kahn’s unbuilt GTU Library, designed in 1974 (and, for the purposes of this project, presumed to have been built).

The studio begins with a sketch project that allows students to develop their own interpretation of the concept of a theological study center, followed by a field trip to the San Francisco Bay Area in which they visit the project site and the GTU campus. They then engage in disciplinary research by reconstructing Kahn’s project for the GTU Library, building a site model and making drawings for subsequent additions to their individual designs, which are their primary project for the semester. The research, site model, and drawings are the most comprehensive analysis of the GTU Library project, one of the last projects on which Kahn completed design development before his death.