Architecture May 23, 2012 By Nalina Moses

Hoshino Chapel, Karuizawa, Japan, 1987.

Hoshino Chapel, Karuizawa, Japan, 1987.

kendrickbangstitle kendrick bangs kellogg
On his website home page, San Diego architect Kendrick Bangs Kellogg says this about his work: “Large or small, Since 1957, Anywhere on earth or moon.” For those familiar with his buildings, dense structures forged from expressive, otherworldly forms, these assertions seem right on. They’re a succinct expression of Kellogg’s sweeping, elemental architecture.

While Kellogg was trained as an architect, it’s probably more accurate to think of him as a master builder, like the anonymous Medieval masons who raised the cathedrals. He’s less interested in the rules of design than in potentials of craft and construction. A friend, artist James T. Hubbell, remembers the construction of one of Kellogg’s first buildings, which had steep roofs. When the head carpenter refused to cut rafters at an unorthodox angle Kellogg asked for the saw and trimmed them himself. He’s a licensed contractor and has executed several of his own buildings. The design-build ethos comes natural to Kellogg, who says it’s “a process that has been around since humans were able to move rocks in a cave.”

To those who know him and have worked alongside him Kellogg is something of an idol. His work steers clear of trends, and springs instead from an indelible personal vision. Another friend, architect Wallace Cunningham, remembers first meeting Kellogg in the 1970’s: “He was the established, brilliant architect on the scene, the San Diego Man.”


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