Begrisch Hall

Begrisch Hall, 1960. Breuer used reinforced concrete, his favorite medium for its perceived versatility, to build the hall. Referred to as brutalism, the concrete remained unfinished and exposed.

Begrisch Hall, completed in 1961, is perhaps Breuer’s most revered and daring building at the Heights. With its trapezoid shape, short legs, and sloped cantilevers, it looks closer to a piece of abstract sculpture as opposed to a lecture hall. At the time, it housed two halls equipped with state of the art electronics including epidiascopes or opaque projectors, slide projectors and closed circuit televisions that the administration believed would replace the everyday chalkboard. The building is linked to the second floor of the five- story Gould Hall of Technology, also designed by Breuer.

Begrisch Hall on the left and Tech I, also designed by Breuer, later renamed Gould Hall of Technology, on the right. Implementing bridges to counteract the precipitous nature of the campus, the tunnel also functioned as an exhibit space.

On March 16, 1964, Breuer won the City Club Award for Begrisch Hall for its “vigorous, imaginative, and highly sculptural expression of the possibilities of reinforced concrete.” The club also acknowledged NYU’s courage to finance and house such unique buildings. In 2002, the New York City Landmarks and Preservation Commission designated it a landmark.

Artist rendering. Although Breuer did not think that architectural cohesion could ever be truly attained, he tried to replicate the straw colored stone used in Stanford White's buildings for his new constructions.

Recent Posts