Maya Lin‘s granite, steel and glass facade of the Novartis headquarters on Mass. Ave. in Cambridge looks like a soaring rock formation eroded from a burning blue October sky. The building’s granite blocks, interspersed with interstices, references the binary patterns of the human genome, or the cellular building blocks of life.
As the architecture critic Paul Goldberger writes about the Novartis project in “Maya Lin Topologies,” a book of photographs and essays about her work, “Lin has begun to work with greater constraints than she has ever had. She knows that the greatest challenge of all is not to design without restrictions, but to accept the constraints and then, just as she has done, show that in spite of them you can bring real architecture into being.”