the architecture of black mountain college

The porch of 
Robert E. Lee Hall.
A classical beginning to the architectural legacy of
Black Mountain College.

Joseph Alber's
drawing class on the huge porch of 
R.E.L. Hall.

Very olde South,
especially with the blooming
dogwoods in front.

Early student study.

Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer
with their proposed buildings
at the
Black Mountain College meeting,
The Museum of Modern Art,
New York

Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer
Lake Eden Campus
architectural model.

A. Lawrence Kocher 
Kocher takes over the design and building 
of the new Studies Building
since there was not enough moo-la
for the Gropius/Breuer building.

A. Lawrence Kocher 
Central building for Lake Eden Campus

Studies Building construction
Fall 1940
It was built by the students and faculty.

Studies Building
Completed wing

View of the building from across the lake.

My view

New and improved student study in the building.
So great, so simple.

View from above on a snowy winter day.

A. Lawrence Kocher

Alexander Reed

Paul Beider

Lake Eden dining hall and theater.
This is now the heart of a Christian boys camp.

Joseph Alber's drawing class 

Chair by Josef Albers adapted from
a traditional Mexican design.
(Seen above and below in situ.)

Mary Gregory
Modular wooden units used as 
stools, tables and sculpture stands.

Concetta Scaravaglione and Isaac Nakata
putting the Mary Gregory "units" to good use.
Summer 1946

A. Lawrence Kocher
Chair of molded plywood

A. Lawrence Kocher
Side table and stool
These are great. Why can't I find these in an 
antique mall down here?

Mary Gregory
Wooden plates

Woodworking Shop
Mary Gregory is at left.
The Cowboy and Dorky guy are unknown....

A. Lawrence Kocher
Detail of the custom bookcases
built by the Woodworking Shop.

Paul Williams, Albert Lanier, Warren Outten, Si Sillman, Bernard Karp,
Alex Morse, Ralph Chernoff and Ragland Watkins
(Ragland should have been a Blues artist, not an architect with that moniker.)

Buckminster Fuller in his studio
Summer 1948

Buckminster Fuller 
"The Supine Dome"
This dome was supposed to be 22 feet high and was made of
Venetian blind strips.
It was a failure.

Buckminster Fuller 
"Dome of thirty-one-great-circle structure 
of tubular beads and continuous
internal cable with double heat-sealed pneumatic, 
transparent skin"
Designed and constructed at the Institute of Design,
Chicago 1948-49
Tested at Black Mountain College
Summer 1949

Demonstration of lightness

Demonstration of plastic skin

Demonstration of strength

Students casting parts of a Bucky Dome
Summer 1949

Kenneth Snelson
"Early X Piece"
Wood and nylon

Richard Lippold
"Devotion 1"
Brass, stainless steel and bronze

Paul Williams
Designed 1949
Constructed 1949-53

Paul Williams
Designed in collaboration with Robert Turner
(Additional workroom and open shed designed by Jack Rice
Summer 1953)

Hunky Paul Williams

"Black Mountain Chairs"
Jacqueline Herrmann Gourevitch



  1. hey are u from this college??
    i want to do a literature study of this college..

    can u tell me what u think of this campus and how it makes a difference to your learning experience..
    Am Vijay from india, in ma 5th of architecture.

    mail me on bluefoot.vijay@gmail.com


  2. Vjazz, unfortunately the college closed officially on January 9th, 1962....

  3. p.: time is no object in india. great people great design schools. win this contact and lecture there on the traces of corbu (i can lend you a pair of corbu glasses..)with your vast knowledge you will be a great success.
    my fav in the fotostretch of course is:
    the drawing class.
    how much of subdued sexyness shows us this singlebrow darkhaired lady. how her posing takes up connection with the blonde student in the foreground.
    a lot of hair is in the foto, i imagine all the other that cant be seen there.

  4. Bucky Freak here Great article.

  5. I recently had the opportunity of visiting the campus... an informal view... the whole boys camp vibe is definitely a bit of a let down, but the place and its history is fascinating none the less... also... if you ever have the chance, take a look in the grounds keeper's shed! Seriously.

  6. Hi,
    My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable. I was recomended to Mondo by David Silver. I love it!
    I was looking for blogs about Black Mountain to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you soon!