When I first saw Kevin Roche's Pyramids in Indianapolis, I was still a high school student and was excited simply to see something other than the same old same old. By college I began to write them off as gimmicky without knowing who had designed them or thinking seriously about what they were really like.
While I would like to think that I am generally more thoughtful about such these days, I am particularly influenced on this by having an office next to Kate John-Alder who has both written and lectured on Roche's work and his sophisticated explorations of nature from within modern architecture. So when I had the chance to check them out this past weekend (but only from the outside), I was really struck by how different they seemed to me now. These quite solid buildings sit on a rectilinear parcel that juts into a very constructed lake, facing other office buildings. Nature doesn't seem much part of the picture. And yet the relationship with the water and sky is impressive. And the recent re-landscaping creates experiences that connect with nature a tiny bit, if you look past the drought conditions that make these photos seem less inviting.
While others have more complete and well considered photosets, here is my quick drive-by:
While Roche might have been able to control the site, these large iconic buildings are heavily embedded in a suburban sprawl context that has probably changed significantly since the Pyramids were built. With that in mind, I offer this last photo from a distance.