Boston Public Library
Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Johnson Building Improvement Project: Johnsonsian Principle #1

by Gina Perille

One of the Johnsonian Principles highlighted in the design team’s research on architect Philip Johnson is “Procession: Anticipation.” Below are some things that Mr. Johnson said about his own work. A key source for many of these quotes is the book Philip Johnson: The Architect in His Own Words.

  • “(The processional is) how space unfolds from the moment I catch a glimpse of the building until with my feet I have approached, entered, and arrived at my goal.”
  • “In the original design there were no windows. That’s a bit grim.”
  • “The board. They hated (the first design). It looked too much like an armory. You know, the medieval feel. My first design was more medieval, you see.”
  • We had heard that those granite slabs in front of the windows on the first floor were designed as a reflection of the times, student unrest, you know. Is that true?
    “No, I just didn’t see any sense reading a book looking at automobiles. But I wanted windows there.”

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PowerPoint Presentation

 

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