Photo © Anton Grassl/Esto
A modern building brings new life to the campus of Holyoke Community College, which was otherwise designed in the Brutalist style, as seen in the concrete structure on the right. The new building was designed by George Perkins ’75, P’13 and Goody Clancy.
ARE IS the visitor to Boston’s City Hall Plaza
CA students build cardboard models of their study-module projects for Chris Rowe’s architecture class. The course serves as an example of the “school’s emphasis on the arts as a serious pursuit,” according to Rowe.
who looks out over the bleak plaza and the hulking concrete structure above it and thinks, “This is beautiful.” To enjoy Brutalism, George Perkins ’75, P’13 says, “I think you have to be an architect. In my case, I had to be an architect in practice for decades before I got it. When I go by City Hall now, I experience it in a way that took me years to understand.” Part of that understanding, Perkins says, goes back to his days in Janet Eisendrath’s classroom, where “she really taught us to look deeply at the physical world.” City Hall Plaza is “clearly ugly,” he says. “It’s massive and strange and different.” But channeling those art history courses at CA, “I’ve learned to go beyond those words, to try to think beyond what we expect ourselves to think, or what society expects you to think, and just try to look at it with a clean slate.” That requires taking away the history of Scollay Square, “and the regret we all feel for that, and taking away our love of the Old State House and the brick work and the wonderful rich historic district. When you look beyond those constraints and just look at City Hall inherently for its forms, it’s really magical,” he says. “It’s certainly not