The Modulightor Building

The Modulightor Building was designed by legendary 20th Century Modernist architect Paul Rudolph and is located in the heart of Manhattan’s Decorative Arts district.

We welcome architecture & design students, scholars, and architectural enthusiasts from around the world to visit and experience Rudolph’s artistry in the handing of architectural form, interior space, and light.

The building includes MODULIGHTOR’s ground-floor showroom (plus a second floor prototyping area and a fabrication center on three basement floors — the fixtures are assembled in-house!). Most notable — and frequently visited — is the amazing, light-filled Duplex apartment on the 3rd and 4th floors, which was designed by Rudolph. By appointment, it is available for photo shoots, student tours, private events and business functions for a contribution to support the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation. By reservation, an Open House of the space takes place on the first Friday of every month.

The Architect’s Journal said of this distinguished building:

"The facade is a spatially complex composition of elevations, setbacks, concrete infill, planes of glass — all framed with delicate white steel I-beams…a fantastically creative architectural vision — a sort of New York version of Sir John Soane’s Museum. And just as at the Soane Museum (in London), there are numerous vistas through windows and openings to the building’s other floors. Rudolph has created a transparent, light-infused residence, from which it is possible to see entirely through the space and out to the garden and street beyond.

There is a dazzling array of architectural details everywhere one looks, such as thin, elegant light fixtures which front the bookshelves and emphasize the room's horizontality. But, more importantly, in much the same way that Wright broke down traditional room divisions, Rudolph’s interior spaces break through floors and spiral and pinwheel up through the structure.

Rudolph was a truly original designer and space-maker… His 58th Street project is a brave and compelling vision of how to inhabit the city…"

It is, as Ernst Wagner puts it, "the only publicly visitable, true Rudolph interior in New York City."

Recognized for our architecture by ICONIC HOUSES

We’re proud that the Paul Rudolph-designed duplex, within the Modulightor building, has been selected as an important example of Modern residential architecture — the sixth one chosen in the US by the international organization, ICONIC HOUSES.

Under the leadership of Natascha Drabbe, Iconic Houses is promoting, on a world-wide basis, the appreciation, preservation, and understanding of the cultural value & importance of 20th Century Modern Architecture. MODULIGHTOR and the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation fully support their efforts.

Resources

  • To make a reservation to visit the Modulightor Building, or to rent it for an event, please go to Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation or call us directly at (212) 371-0336.
  • "The Modulightor Building and the Vision of Paul Rudolph" is an essay by Ernst Wagner, who founded Modulightor with Paul Rudolph. It explores the architect’s overall approach to design, which is expressed in Rudolph’s architectural work and which led to the building and the creation of Modulightor. 
  • The Architect: for info about the American master architect, Paul Rudolph, click here.
  • Fact Sheet: a fact sheet about the Modulightor Building (and the Collections displayed within) is available here.
  • The ICONIC HOUSES website can be accessed here.
  • Distinguished Visitors: many distinguished visitors, schools, and groups have visited the Modulightor Building, and a list of them. Please see Notable Visitors.
  • Articles about the Modulightor Building are available here.