The Judd Foundation building is a mixture of art, an artist’s biography and architecture, and will be the 28th Building of the Day for Archtober, the third annual month-long festival of Architecture in New York. In 1968, Donald Judd, an American artist, bought a five-story cast-iron building at 101 Spring Street, in Soho. The building was used as his studio, gallery and house, and he was one of the first artists to move to Soho.
For 25 years, Judd renovated the building floor by floor and installed works he purchased or that was commissioned by other artists. Judd created spaces where art and living were in harmony. He believed in the concept of “permanent installation” in which the installation of an artwork is critical to experiencing and understanding that work. He believed in durable materials that would last long and could become permanent art works. He used materials like plywood and aluminum. In his later years, he also designed architectural pieces and furniture like chairs, beds, desks, shelves and tables.
The Judd Foundation was created in 1966 in order to preserve the artist’s permanent works and installations. Judd died in 1994, and on his will he wrote that he would like to have the building and his installations to be permanently preserved. However, the for the past two decades, the inside of the building and his works had only be seen by a few people since the building wasn’t equipped for public visits.
Finally, after a three-year renovation, the building was finally opened to the public last June and is one of the most stunning artist-house museums in the country. The renovation of the building, that was constructed in 1870 and was designed by Nicholas Whyte, was led by his children at a cost of $23 millions. This very interesting life story will sure be a great tour in architecture and art in Soho.
Learn more about today’s tour by visiting The Center for Architecture.
Check out our Archtober archive to see more notable works of architecture.
What are your thoughts on Donald Judd?
Photos via Judd Foundation