Rule of Three


Benesse House

designed by Tadao Ando

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Benesse House, a hotel and museum complex, sits perched atop the island of Naoshima, looking down on the waves that gently lap the shore below. The facilities, which include the modern conveniences of a restaurant, café, and shop, are nestled within the hilltop and carve up the landscape into geometric shapes with thick, white, stone walls. Each aspect of this modernist paradise is balanced to complement the beauty of the surroundings. The distinct egg-shaped luxury accommodation block invites the lush greenery to slowly creep over its cleanly cut curves, to be reflected in the dark, sunken pool below.

Words by Katherine Fieldgate

Summer Kaleidoscope

by Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn
Street art

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Nestled between the highways and highrises of downtown Philadelphia, we find an oasis of street art, discreetly tucked behind the trees but loud and boisterous in its colour. Extending the length of the park boulevard, the community mural’s intertwining geometric shapes lock together to form an intricate pattern. Viewers are compelled to explore every inch of the 33,000-square-foot surface, basking in the dazzling palette, from aquamarines to vibrant oranges. Passers-by wandering through are offered a summer sanctuary, an opportunity to take leave from the city surrounding them, and to stroll through sunnier climes.

Words by Katherine Fieldgate

Bust of Martin Luther King, Jr.

by Charles Alston

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Two years after his assassination, Martin Luther King, Jr. was memorialised in bronze by the sculptor Charles Alston. The bust, now almost half a century old, is currently on long-term loan to the White House. It was moved to the President’s office by Barack Obama upon his inauguration, and has stood firm there ever since. In the portrait, King appears to be on the verge of speech. His lips are parted a fraction, while the material’s magnetism recalls the preacher’s oratorical charisma. Though King’s own life was cut short, his image is preserved here for posterity, acting as a potent reminder that his dream survives.

Words by Elizabeth Brown

More to discover

Benesse House: You can visit the Benesse House website here.

Summer Kaleidoscope: You can visit the artists’ website here, find out more about Summer Kaleidoscope here, and read an interview with artist Jessie Unterhalter by Carly Rapaport-Stein for Mural Arts.

Bust of Martin Luther King, Jr.: You can read more about the bust (or rather, a second copy of the bust) on the Smithsonian website.

Today's connection

The area of Benesse House described is the Benesse House Oval. Summer Kaleidoscope is located in The Oval. Alston’s bust currently sits in the Oval Office.

Question of the day

Which artworks related to the word 'oval' would you recommend?
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