A New Campus for the Rothko Chapel
Dedicated in 1971 by philanthropists John and Dominique de Menil as a sacred space for interfaith celebration and engagement on social issues, the Rothko Chapel in Houston displays 14 monumental paintings by Mark Rothko within an octagonal space designed by the artist in collaboration with Philip Johnson, Howard Barnstone, and Eugene Aubry. Following a yearlong restoration by New York-based firm Architecture Research Office, the Chapel has reopened to the public with a new skylight that brings the space into alignment with Mark Rothko’s original vision for the first time. Join architects Stephen Cassell and Adam Yarinsky for a conversation on Zoom with Christopher Rothko about the history of the building, the importance of light within the Chapel, and the expansion of the Chapel’s campus.
Stephen Cassell, FAIA, is Principal of Architecture Research Office (ARO), a New York City firm dedicated to architecture that unites strategy and intelligence with beauty and form. ARO’s diverse body of work has earned the firm over a hundred design awards including the 2020 National AIA Architecture Firm Award. Stephen holds an undergraduate degree in architecture from Princeton University and received his Master of Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He is Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University GSAPP and is the former Chair of the Board of the Van Alen Institute.
Christopher Rothko, the second of Mark and Mary Alice Rothko’s two children, is a psychologist, writer and for the last thirty years, the custodian of the Rothko legacy. He is editor of his father’s book of philosophical writings, The Artist’s Reality. His book of essays, Mark Rothko from the Inside Out, was published in 2015 by Yale University Press. Dr. Rothko has helped prepare more than two dozen Rothko exhibitions at museums and galleries around the globe and is co-curator of the recent Rothko exhibition at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. He is Past Chair of the Rothko Chapel Board and is currently head of the Opening Spaces Project, guiding the restoration of the Chapel and enhancement of its campus.
Adam Yarinsky, FAIA LEED AP, is Principal of Architecture Research Office (ARO), a New York City firm dedicated to architecture that unites strategy and intelligence with beauty and form. ARO’s diverse body of work has earned the firm over a hundred design awards including the 2020 National AIA Architecture Firm Award. Adam holds an undergraduate degree in architecture from the University of Virginia and a Master of Architecture from Princeton University. He has taught at Harvard University, The University of Michigan, Princeton University, Yale University, The University of Virginia and other institutions. He has also lectured widely and written about ARO’s work. Adam served on the board of Places Journal from 2012-2018, and he is on the University of Virginia School of Architecture Advisory Board.
Glass House Presents is an ongoing series of talks, performances, and other live events that extend the site’s historic role as a gathering place for artists, architects, and other creative minds. This event is co-hosted by New Canaan Library and supported in part by Connecticut Humanities and the New Canaan Community Foundation.