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Monday, Sept. 29, 2014

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Video: 'Extreme Visions'


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"Extreme Visions" examines two signature additions to the Princeton campus with contrasting styles: the modernist Lewis Library and the Collegiate Gothic-inspired Whitman College. Read more.


Video Closed Captions

[music]

Wentworth Miller:
Could two buildings be more different in

Wentworth Miller:
concept and vision?

Wentworth Miller:
Whitman College, Princeton's first modern four-year

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dormitory, is constructed in the traditional Gothic style.

Wentworth Miller:
Meg Whitman, the former CEO of eBay, the online auction

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giant, gave $30 million to the University for
the $136 million project.

Wentworth Miller:
It was designed by Demetri Porphyrios, who is

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unapologetic for his traditional approach to architecture.

Demetri Porphyrios:
I'm interested in doing Gothic

Demetri Porphyrios:
buildings which are robust, meaning that they will have a

Demetri Porphyrios:
longevity of life.

Demetri Porphyrios:
So, the external wall has to be properly constructed in stone,

Demetri Porphyrios:
which is bonded with a brick support behind it,

Demetri Porphyrios:
et cetera, et cetera.

Demetri Porphyrios:
And it should be a wall structure which will have to

Demetri Porphyrios:
have at least a lifespan of about 200, 250 years.

Wentworth Miller:
Far from traditional, the Lewis Science

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Library, which also houses the Princeton Institute for

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Computational Science, is unlike any building you've

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ever seen before -- new in its architectural forms, new in

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its methods of construction.

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The project cost over $74 million.

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Designed by the famous and controversial architect Frank

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Gehry, the building was primarily funded by a

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$60 million gift from Peter Lewis, the highly
creative former CEO

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of Progressive Insurance.

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Peter makes no bones about his belief that Princeton also

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needs architecture that looks to the future.

Peter Lewis:
Frank, in my view, is the first great

Peter Lewis:
architect of the 21st century, probably more than the

Peter Lewis:
greatest architect of the 20th century, although he might be

Peter Lewis:
that as well.

Peter Lewis:
Whether history validates my view remains to be seen.

Peter Lewis:
No architect, no builder is addressing the future any more

Peter Lewis:
than Frank is today.

Craig Webb:
I think we have few, kind of, unwritten rules.

Craig Webb:
But one of them is, if it looks anything like something

Craig Webb:
anybody else has done -- no.

Craig Webb:
And the second rule is, if it looks anything like anything

Craig Webb:
we've done -- no.

Wentworth Miller:
Two very different buildings.

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Two extreme visions.

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In very different ways, they embody an ideal of excellence,

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of doing things better than you did before.

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And in very different ways, they both encapsulate the

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deep-rooted ideals of Princeton as a University.

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They embody both the venerable traditions that provide links

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with its past and the creativity and innovation with

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which it will lead us into the future.

[music]

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