Day 286/365 of Steel – Thom Mayne

Thom Mayne, (born January 19, 1944,) is an American architect, whose bold and unconventional works were noted for their offset angular forms, layered exterior walls, incorporation of giant letter and number graphics, and emphasis on natural light.

Cooper Union Academic Building
Fig 1: Cooper Union Academic Building
Photo: Ajay Suresh 

He is also considered among one of the most rebellious architects due to his unique perspective about technological architecture and the impact these alien-shaped buildings can have on the lifestyles of the user. He was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 2005.

Cooper Union New Academic Building from north
Fig 2: Cooper Union New Academic Building from north
Photo: short.dale

In 1972 Mayne and fellow architect Michael Rotondi launched the Santa Monica, California-based design firm Morphosis. Rotondi left Morphosis in 1991, and in 1999 Mayne achieved what was considered his breakthrough design—the Diamond Ranch High School (1999–2000), near Pomona, California.

Emerson College Los Angeles
Fig 3: Emerson College Los Angeles

Built on a hillside, the school features two rows of unusually angled buildings sheltering a canyonlike interior walkway. The design was widely praised and brought Mayne his first major international recognition.

Emerson College Los Angeles
Fig 4: Emerson College Los Angeles
Photo: © Iwan Baan

Thom Mayne is one of the names that appear when talking about digitizing the architectural design process: he was among those people who introduced the idea of using technology to enrich our design process, Mayne believed that through the use of technology we would be able to envision those aspects of architectural designing which aren’t visible through traditional methods.

Bill & Melinda Gates Hall, Cornell University designed by Morphosis
Fig 5: Bill & Melinda Gates Hall, Cornell University designed by Morphosis
Photo: © Roland Halbe

About the Author:

Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.

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