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Spring 1945
June 1945
Paul Beidler

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Dedication Text

In June 1945 Paul Beidler, an architect who had been hired to teach for the summer, designed a small music practice room which was located in the pine grove south of the Service Building. Approval by the War Production Board was granted and ground was broken on June 4.

The building reflected the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright in its sculptural qualities and in its use of natural materials which blended gracefully with the surrounding pine grove. The trapezoidal shape with slanting glass walls was created to soften the sound of a piano in the small building and to give an impression of greater space to the 12-foot cube. The slanting glass walls also helped to reduce glare and reflection. The floor was concrete, one of the few materials not restricted at the time. The side walls were masonry, and the other two walls were of glass panes set in a wood frame. One wall was translucent, the other transparent.

The cubicle, constructed by Beidler and students, was completed in time for the summer session. To celebrate its opening on July 8, Carol Brice, accompanied by Erwin Bodky, sang Handelís Largo; and Josef Albers gave a brief address.

Although the college planned to construct four cubicles, only one was completed.

"Rarely has either and architect or a student the opportunity to combine theory and practice of architecture so closely. Unfortunately, modern building conditions do not permit the architect to participate in this intimate fashion with every detail of the construction process. Perhaps both architects and architecture suffer by their enforced separation. The day of the master builder and his apprentice is over. The architect and his product are today at opposite ends of the assembly line.

"The building experience at Black Mountain offered the architect a nostalgic glimpse of the old master-builder apprentice relationship...."  Paul Beidler, Design, April 1946. 

The Music Cubicle with an essay by Paul Beidler was published in the April 1946 issue of Design, pages 20-21.

2007: The cubicle has been demolished.

Photos courtesy North Carolina State Archives, Black Mountain College Papers.


The Black Mountain College Project gratefully acknowledges a grant from the Graham Foundation
for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts for a study of architecture at Black Mountain College.