Paul Rudolph is one of the most reared and innovative American architects of the 20th century. He studied under Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus, and was trained at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in the 1940s. From 1958 to 1965, Rudolph served as chairman of the Department of Architecture at Yale University, where he designed the famed Art and Architecture Building, now called Paul Rudolph Hall.
Whilst Dean of Yale Architecture School Rudolph taught Muzharul Islam, Norman Foster and Richard Rogers, all attending the Masters course as scholarship students. Foster in particular has noted the significant influence that Rudolph had upon him. Rudolph was invited to Bangladesh by Muzharul Islam and designed Bangladesh Agricultural University.
In NYC, relatively few buildings have been designed and built by architects for their own use. Paul Rudolph was associated with 23 Beekman Place in Manhattan, for more than 35 years, from 1961 until his death in 1997. He purchased the building in 1976, and between 1977 and 1982, Rudolph added the multi-story, cantilevered steel-and-glass penthouse atop a five-story, neo-Georgian-style masonry structure.
Rudolph used the penthouse space as a private laboratory to explore spatial concepts and his ideas regarding scale, complexity and urbanism. Through the years, Rudolph relentlessly altered its design and ultimately created a significant and highly personal example of his work.
Other New York City properties designed by Paul Rudolph include 246 East 58th Street, 101 East 63rd Street and 42 West 11th Street.