New York Times: Uruguayan-born Architect Who Designed Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center Remembered

Rafael Viñoly
Image via The New York Times.
Rafael Viñoly

Rafael Viñoly, an Uruguayan-born and New York City-based architect who designed The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, died on March 2 at 78, writes Fred A. Bernstein for The New York Times.

During his fruitful career, Viñoly designed numerous major commercial and cultural buildings in close to a dozen countries. And while he did not have a particular style, he would often enclose large spaces under glass, thus creating bright interior courtyards.

In Philadelphia, his Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts put several auditoriums under an expansive, vaulted glass roof. In New York City, his best-known work is a condo tower that was the tallest residential building in the world for a brief time.

His most acclaimed building, the Tokyo International Forum, is a convention center that in part looked like a ship inverted under glass. When the building opened, architecture critic Herbert Muschamp called it “lucid, whole, and completely straightforward, qualities that have not enjoyed wide favor in architecture for some time.”

Viñoly was also a classically trained pianist who owned nine pianos, including one with a curved keyboard that he had helped develop.

Read more about Rafael Viñoly in The New York Times.


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