Institute for Advanced Study, Members' Housing

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Institute for Advanced Study, Members

Perspective of Courtyard

Drawings   44  browse all »

Site Plan
Prelim. Site Plan (SK-1)
Typical Kitchen Detail

Correspondence   2  browse all »


Florence Knoll recommended Breuer to Robert Oppenheimer, the head of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, when the Institute decided to build housing for its members in 1955. Breuer received the contract later that same year and set about producing designs for 107 open-plan apartments in sizes ranging from studio apartments to three-bedroom units. The one- and two-storey buildings containing these apartments were nestled in green and loosely arranged to create informal courtyards throughout the site. They all featured flat roofs, and the only visible decoration was derived from the symmetrical, geometric arrangements of windows and wall surfaces. Despite the limited budget, Breuer was able to provide many of the apartments with sunshades, freestanding fireplaces, built-in kitchen cabinets, balconies and carports. The university modified the buildings in the 1990s, adding peaked roofs and other elements contrary to Breuer’s original vision.