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Events March 2020

DOCOMOMO NY/TRIModern Conversations

Nicholas Adams Unpacks Gordon Bunshaft and SOM: On Being Silent

March 23, 2020

On the occasion of the publication of Gordon Bunshaft and SOM: Building Corporate Modernism, its author, Nicholas Adams, will speak about Bunshaft’s silence as an architect and its effect on his legacy today.

As a partner in the New York office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Gordon Bunshaft (1909–1990) was able to acquire a worldwide reputation as one of the prime shapers of Modern Architecture and to leave us many of the movement’s treasured landmarks — all within the framework of a partnership that did not display his name. In his new book Adams has explored the personal and organizational factors behind this major departure from the familiar star architect scenario, and he will be sharing some of his insights in this Modern Conversation, our first in the 2020 series.

Nicholas Adams was Mary Conover Mellon professor in the history of architecture at Vassar College until his retirement in 2018. He is the author of several books including the first independently-authored book about Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM since 1936, published by Electa and Phaidon in 2006). He is a former editor of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, and his reviews and articles have appeared internationally. He has taught at Lehigh University and been visiting professor at Columbia, the Graduate School of Design at Harvard, and the University of Rome. In addition to his work on SOM he has published works on the Swedish architect Gunnar Asplund and on the military architecture, urbanism, and architectural drawings of the Italian Renaissance.

Gordon Bunshaft and SOM: Building Corporate Modernism is available through bookstores, online booksellers and Get 25% off orders through with the promo code "YAB89."

This program has been organized in collaboration with The School of Constructed Environments at Parsons School of Design.


Monday March 23, 6:30 - 8:00pm

Starr Foundation Hall
The New School University Center
63 Fifth Avenue (at East 13 th St.), lower floor
New York, NY 10003

$15 DOCOMOMO members/$25 general admission. Advance registration required.

Admission is free and advance registration is not required for The New School students, faculty and staff.



Bunshaft_Heinz Middlesex (1)
Gordon Bunshaft, Heinz Administrative and Research Center, Hayes, Middlesex, England, 1964
Gordon Bunshaft, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, addition, Buffalo, NY, 1962
Bunshaft_American Republic Insurance
Gordon Bunshaft, Detail, American Republic Insurance Company Des Moines, IA, 1965
Gordon Bunshaft, Banque Lambert, Brussels, 1965


Week of March 22nd