GSD to Start Construction Of Gund Hall

The Graduate School of Design will hold ground-breaking ceremonies Saturday for the new seven-level George Gund Hall. The building will be erected on the corner of Quincy and Cambridge Sts., facing Memorial Hall.

A group of Cambridge fifth-graders from Houghton School will turn the first shovelful of earth. "The building is seen as a pledge to these children, to safeguard and improve their heritage of manmade and natural beauty," said Maurice Kilbridge, acting dean of the Design School.

When completed in August, 1971. Gund Hall will accommodate 400 students and 70 faculty members. The $6-million structure, designed by the Toronto firm of John Andrews/Anderson/Baldwin, will have five levels above ground and two below. Five step-like terraces will be covered by a single steel roof. Behind each terrace will be offices, seminar rooms, and lounges.

The building will bring together the four divisions of the Design School-architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and city and regional planning-now scattered throughout the campus in five buildings. Easy access to all parts of the building will facilitate communication between members of different departments, said designer John H. Andrews.

Flexibility

The underlying theme of the building is flexibility. Large undifferentiated areas and the lounges on each level can be adapted to a great variety of uses, he said.

Andrews, a 1958 Design School honors graduate, planned Africa Palace for Expo '67 and designed the controversial Scarborough College buildings for the University of Toronto. The Scarborough complex has been compared to a "medieval fortress" or "a power dam."

Faculty Objections

Andrews was chosen by President Pusey and the Corporation to design Gund Hall despite a unanimous Design faculty recommendation to hold a competition for the building's design.

During the Controversy two years ago over the Corporation's choice, Robert W. Yelton, editor of the Design School's magazine Connection, urged that experts in other fields work with the architect in designing Gund Hall. Sociologists and psychologists should be consulted on the design to represent a broader point of view, he said at that time.

Gund Hall is named for the late George Gund, Cleveland banker and industrialist. His family and foundation contributed a major part of the funds for the building. John L. Loeb, leader of a recent national campaign to raise funds for the School, donated the Frances Loeb Library, named for his wife. Money for the William Thomas Piper Auditorium was given by the descendants of the manufacturer of the Piper Cub airplane.

General contractors J. Slotnik and Company of Boston will begin construction immediately.