Rafael Guastavino

I received and finished the wonderful book The Last Castle (link here:  Last-Castle-American-Royalty-by Denise Kiernan.  I highly recommend this book.  It tells the rich story of the early 1900’s construction of The Biltmore, a majestic home in Asheville North Carolina by George Vanderbilt, the son of Cornelius Vanderbilt.  The grounds were designed by Frederick Law Olmstead who also designed Central Park.  Prominent in the book was Rafael Guastavino who is famous for designing many things (facets of Grand Central Station, Ellis Island among others) but is known for prominent tiled arches and domes in iconic places including the Biltmore (link here: https://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/guastavino-tile-arches/all.  It turns out that my cousins by marriage (well, they make me feel like a REAL cousin!) Vincent and Laura Bologna have their new start-up’s office in what was once Guastavino’s tile factory in Woburn, Massachusetts.  Here is a link to the building’s history: http://web.mit.edu/cron/Backup/project/guastavino/www/projects/woburn%20thumbnails/projects_location_woburn_laceramica.htm  Here are some images I took in the building today. It was raining so I did not take any images of the outside. What a beautiful place and a wonderful coincidence!


2 thoughts on “Rafael Guastavino

  1. jesús joglar says:

    Louis I am very happy and surprised reading this post!!!
    Rafael Guastavino [check your spelling as it is mistakenly written in the title] was a Spanish “peculiar” architect. I knew about him for the first time in Vilassar de Dalt, a small town close to Barcelona where the “Revela-T Contemporary Analog Photography Festival” [http://revela-t.cat/2019/] is held every year (and I help as a volunteer, btw).
    The point is that Guastavino build a theater in Vilassar de Dalt (before he left Spain and traveled to the States) using the “catalan vault”. You may see a pinhole photography here https://jesusjoglar.net/2016/06/10/joana-biarnes-documetary-at-revela-t-a-tribute-to-hiroshi-sugimoto/
    Outside “La Massa” Theater there is a small example of the “catalan vault” I will make a photograph next time I visit Vilassar. Then I became interested in Guastavino’s work and found his work in the States (the promised land for creative and entrepreneur people like him) and shaw a documentary on the Spanish National TV [http://www.rtve.es/alacarta/videos/imprescindibles/imprescindibles-arquitecto-nueva-york-rafael-guastavino/3571098/] about his time in New York and the States.


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