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Yale School of Architecture Building Project records

Call Number: RU 1078

Scope and Contents

The materials consist of photographs, drawings, specifications, slides, negatives, publications, and publicity materials documenting the Yale School of Architecture's annual building project.


  • 1967-2008


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Original born digital files, as well as preservation masters, may not be accessed due to their fragility. Researchers must consult use copies, or if none exist request that they be made. Born digital files cannot be accessed remotely. System requirements include a Manuscripts and Archives computer and file viewing software.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright for materials authored or otherwise produced as official business of Yale University is retained by Yale University. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The materials were transferred from the School of Architecture, 2008; gift of Paul Brouard, 2010.


The materials are arranged by accession.


16.5 Linear Feet (11 boxes )

41861.12 Megabytes

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The materials consist of photographs, drawings, specifications, slides, negatives, publications, and publicity materials documenting the Yale School of Architecture's annual building project.

Biographical / Historical

Since 1967, the Yale School of Architecture has offered its first-year students the unique chance to design and build a structure as part of their graduate education. Unique among architecture schools, this program is mandatory for all members of the class. Undertaken in cooperation with Common Ground, a local nonprofit agency, the Building Project results in a single-family house in an economically depressed neighborhood.

The late Charles W. Moore, who headed Yale's Department of Architecture (later the School of Architecture) from 1965 to 1971, founded the First-year Building Project in collaboration with faculty member Kent Bloomer. Moore saw that getting out of the studio and building something would have several benefits for the students. As a believer in simple tectonics and basic technologies, he hoped students would be inspired by the mechanics of building. In the midst of the student unrest of the 1960s he saw the project as a way for students to commit to positive social action by building for the poor.

The earliest projects were outside of New Haven, and included community centers in Appalachia and a series of camp buildings in Connecticut. Reduced budgets in the 1970s and 80s, as well as increasing pressure on student schedules, led to a scaling back of the program and projects-which included several park pavilions-were confined to the New Haven area.

More recently, partnerships with Habitat for Humanity and Home, Inc., Neighborhood Housing, and currently Common Ground, have led to a focus on affordable housing. The houses allow students the experience of working with a client and the opportunity to respond to the challenges of affordable housing and urban infill. Students have shown great enthusiasm for these projects focusing on community development and neighborhood improvement. Many of them arrive at school with a desire to include such socially responsible work in their future professional lives. Having the opportunity to participate in the design and construction of such building projects often reinforces their conviction and inspiration to do so.

from the Yale School of Architecture Building Project Website, 2010

General note

Forms part of Yale Record Group 19-E (YRG 19-E), Records of departments, offices, programs, and projects of the Yale School of Architecture.

Processing Information

Yale University records are arranged and described at the accession level by the creating office. The University Archives creates collection level descriptive records, but typically does no further arrangement and description at the accession level
Guide to the Yale School of Architecture Building Project Records
Under Revision
compiled by Daniel Hartwig
October 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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