The series After You Left They Took It Apart contains elements of our favorite things: architecture, abandoned places, and sharp photography. Photographer Chris Mottalini shot three Paul Rudolph-designed homes just before they were to be demolished, in an effort to let the images act as a “representative of a tragic disregard for mid-century architecture.” (Another fun fact to puzzle over: Mottalini is color blind.)
Get familiar with Mottalini and Rudolph after the jump in our exclusive image gallery.
Mottalini’s series of about-to-be-demolished homes is both evocative and formally precise. Much in the same manner of a horror movie, a sense of dread seeps through the images as the viewers intuits that something very bad is about to happen (in this case, not a masked murderer but the demolition of historically relevant domestic American architecture). The Michaels house in Westport, Connecticut was the first to submit to the wrecking ball following Paul Rudolph’s death in 1997. Cerrito House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island (1956-2007) and Twitchell House in Siesta Key, FL (1941-2007) were next, with Mottalini’s “After You Left They Took It Apart” series acting as a form of historical preservation.
Paul Rudolph (1918–1997) was an iconoclast of mid-century American architecture, known for his stark designs and concrete cladding. Though best known for the Brutalism exemplified in the landmark Yale University Art and Architecture building, Rudolph’s residential work spanned the United States from Florida to the Northeast. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in architecture at Auburn University (then known as Alabama Polytechnic Institute and current location of Mottolini’s Rudolph exhibition) and got a Masters at Harvard before assuming the post of Dean of the Yale School of Architecture.