Saarinen's Hill College House at Penn

Hill College House renovation complete.

I love this building.  I was lucky to get to go into it before this renovation and though fairly run-down and neglected it was beautiful even then.
From a 2017 perspective it is a totally sexist building: it was a women's dorm, and is literally a protected castle behind a moat, only accessible via a "drawbridge" where one assumes during the era it was built some very large and terrifying Frau Bucher-type guards were stationed to protect the virtue of the young women within!

It is from that funny time in architecture history when Modernism was playing with some material texture and traditional forms, and Saarinen-the-younger's interest in materials was already present.   Personally I see the craft of Cranbrook that Eero grew up in on these expressive brick walls. The spikes on top of the building are totally a Modern interpretation of a cornice - and also fulfill the protected princess narrative.  The interior shutters are so great, too. Domestic but not.

Lovely to see it maintained. 

Aug 17, 17 9:15 pm

Alexandra Lange posted a photo of this on Instagram and I want to go to there. There is also that whole Saarinen bias I have too...

Aug 17, 17 11:26 pm

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