Stylistically, the Breuer building, a modern monument finished in dark gray unpolished granice, is in distinct contrast to the surrounding context of smaller scale and more elaborated facades. The particular design challenge of this project for Michael Graves is, therefore, to use to his advantage the apparent contradictions of words, to respond to the disparate natures of the surrounding neighborhood and the existing building. According to New York Times critic Paul Goldberger: Mr. Graves has not done what many architects would do, which is to lie down and play dead beside such a powerful and difficult building... What he has done is endeavor to incorporate the Breuer building as an element of a large and complex architectural composition, a composition that integrates the stark modernism that the Breuer building represents with the kind of colorful abstracted classicism that has become the trademark of Michael Graves.
Michael Graves has received many honors and awards for his designs of buildings, interiors, and products. Included in these awards are 7 National Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architects for completed buildings; 31 design awards from the New Jersey Society of Architects; 14 from Progressive Architecture magazine; and 7 from Interiors magazine, including 1980 Designer of the Year. In 1980, he also received the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Cincinnati, Boston University, and Savannah College of Art and Design. Michael Graves is continually recognized for his unique and personal approach to architecture, an approach that simply creates "special relationships between the worlds of man and nature," according to former New York Times critic Ada Louise Huxtable. Through his interiors and his buildings, he has become one of the most influential architects practicing today, and he has greatly contributed to the advancement of what is now known as postmodern architecture. In the words of Paul Goldberger, architecture critic of The New York Times, "Michael Graves is the most truly original voice that American architecture has produced in some time".
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1 - Michael Graves, "The Swedish Connection," Journal of Architectural Education 29 (1975).
2 - Michael Graves, "The Necessity of Drawing: Tangible Speculation," Architectural Design 47, 384-394 (1977).
3 - Michael Graves, "Le Corbusier's Drawn References" in Le Corbu-ster: Selected Drawings, Academy Editions, London, 1981.
4 - Five Architects, Wittenborn & Company and Oxford University Press, New York, 1975.
5 - M. Filler, 'The Man Who's Rewriting the Language of Color," House and Garden 152 (Mar. 1980).
6 - D. Davis, "Building with Symbols," Newsweek, 82-83 (Sept. 1, 1980).
7 - Michael Graves, "A Case for Figurative Architecture," in Michael Graves: Buildings and Projects, 1966-1981, Rizzoli, New York, 1983, pp. 11-13.
8 - Michael Graves: Buildings and Projects, 1981-1987, Princeton Architectural Press, Princeton, N.J., 1988.
9 - P. Goldberger, "A Daring and Sensitive Design," The New York Times (May 22, 1985).
10 - A. L. Huxtable, "A Unified New Language of Design," The New York Times (May 27, 1979).
11 - P. Goldberger, "Architecture of a Different Color," The New York Times Magazine (Oct. 1982).