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Architects and Their Chairs “K”

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On May 18th

                   “K” is for Kurokawa

 

Organic design … Kisho Kurokawa with a model. Photo: Rob Gilhooly

Organic design … Kisho Kurokawa with a model.  Photo: Rob Gilhooly

 

Kisho Kurokawa struggled to get commissions early in his career and was so poor he made his models from noodles, photographed them after they were dry, then cooked and ate them. SMH.comau

 

image via deviant art http://daaakota.deviantart.com/art/Kisho-Kurokawa-101663852

image via deviant art http://daaakota.deviantart.com/art/Kisho-Kurokawa-101663852

 

*Kurokawa, was a founding member of the influential Metabolism Movement, which advocates buildings that are flexible, organic and replaceable.

* Metabolism (新陳代謝 shinchintaisha?) was a post-war Japanese architectural movement that fused ideas about architectural megastructures with those of organic biological growth. Wikipedia

* Kurokawa, who was fluent in English, was an articulate advocate and a prolific writer of deeply philosophical books that discussed the “age of life” rather than the “age of the machine”. SMH.comau

Kisho Kurokawa was very innovative in his creation of the Nakagin Capsule Tower in 1972, which was the first capsule architecture design. The module was created with the intention of housing traveling businessmen that worked in central Tokyo during the week. It is a prototype for architecture of sustainability and recycleability, as each module can be plugged in to the central core and replaced or exchanged when necessary. ArchDaily

 

Nakagin Capsule 1972 Image via arch daily ©arcspace

Nakagin Capsule  Image via ArchDaily ©arcspace

 

Nakagin Capsule 1972 Image via arch daily ©arcspace

Nakagin Capsule 1972 Image via ArchDaily ©arcspace

 

Fractal Chair by Kisho Kurokawa

Fractal Chair by Kisho Kurokawa

 

Kisho Kurokawa - Edo chair

Kisho Kurokawa – Edo chair

 

Kisho Kurokawa, Edo Armchair, for Tendo Co.

Kisho Kurokawa, Edo Armchair, for Tendo Co.

 

 

The purpose of of this page is to to provide information and images about mid century and modern architects, their architecture and their furniture designs. We are not providing these posts with the intent of profit, but purely for intersted parties.

We try to supply the correct information and credits to those who originated the intellectual properties. If we have incorrectly stated anything please contact us and we will correct it immediately.

 

 

 

Video   https://youtu.be/XKGKe4x5XTw

Kisho Kurokawa – Key Buildings

Designs by Kisho Kurokawa, alphabetical:

Astana – Masterplan, Kazakhstan
1998-2004
Kisho Kurokawa: design competition win

Fukui City Museum of Art, Fukui, Japan
1993-96

Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima
1988-89

Kibi-cho City Hall / Kibi Dome, Wakayama, Japan
1993-95

Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1992-98

Louvain-La-Neuve Museum, Belgium
1990-92

Melbourne Central, Melbourne, Australia
1986-91

The Museum of Modern Art Wakayama, Wakayama, Japan
1990-94

Nagoya City Art Museum, Nagoya, Japan
1983-87

Nakagin Capsule Tower, Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
1970-72

Nara City Museum of Photography, Nara, Japan
1989-91

National Gallery in Tokyo, Roppongi, Tokyo
2000-05
Design: Kishō Kurokawa Architects & Associates ; Nihon Sekkei Inc.
Worlds Spectacular Museum Buildings
photo : Kevin Hemphill
National Art Center Tokyo

National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan
1973-77

Osaka International Convention Centre, Osaka
1994-2000

Saitama Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, Japan
1978-82

Singapore Flyer – observation wheel, Marina Bay, Singapore
2005-08
Kisho Kurokawa Architect & Associates with DP Architects

Sony Tower, Osaka, Japan
1972-76

The Sporting Club at Illinois Center, Chicago, USA
1987-90

Toyota City Stadium, Toyota City, Japan
1997-2001

Van Gogh Museum – New Wing, Amsterdam, Netherlands
1990-98

Zenit Stadium, St.Petersburg, Russia
2006-09

Architects and Their Chairs “J”

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On September 14th

  “J” is for Juhl

 

In Copenhagen, A Renaissance for Finn Juhl By Stephen Brookes • Modernism Magazine • Winter 2010

In Copenhagen, A Renaissance for Finn Juhl
        By Stephen Brookes • Modernism Magazine • Winter 2010

Finn Juhl (30 January 1912 – 17 May 1989) was a Danish architect, interior and industrial designer. Juhl was most notably known for his furniture design and for introducing Danish Modern to America in the 1940’s.

“Juhl’s life was, in fact, a roller coaster of fame and obscurity. High-profile projects in the 1940’s and 50’s (including the Trusteeship Council Chamber, the Danish ambassador’s residence in Washington, DC and all of SAS Scandinavian Airlines’ air terminals in Europe and Asia) brought him international recognition, and he organized many of the exhibitions — including the “Good Design” exhibit in Chicago in 1951, and another at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1960.”                                                                                                           In Copenhagen, A Renaissance for Finn Juhl By Stephen Brookes • Modernism Magazine •

Salto & Sigsgaard. The restoration of the Finn Juhl–designed United Nations Trusteeship Council Chamber, New York. Photography by Hans Ole Madsen.

Salto & Sigsgaard. The restoration of the Finn Juhl–designed United Nations Trusteeship Council Chamber, New York. Photography by Hans Ole Madsen. Image via Salto and Sigsgaard pinterest

“One cannot create happiness with beautiful objects, but one can spoil quite a lot of happiness with bad ones” – Finn Juhl

 

Finn Juhl: Pelikan Take Sunset LA

Finn Juhl: Pelikan Take Sunset LA

 Pelikan is a wonderful example of Finn Juhl’s design. Inspired by the modern “free art” of the time, its organic shape and fluid lines are so inviting. . Via takesunset.com

Pelikan is a wonderful example of Finn Juhl’s design. Inspired by the modern “free art” of the time, its organic shape and fluid lines are so inviting. Via takesunset.com

 

Unlike many of his contemporaries in Scandinavia and the rest of Europe, Juhl was as interested in form as in function.  “A chair is not just a product of decorative art in a space,” he said. “It is a form and a space in itself.”  His  attention to form led him to design chairs where the seat is separate from the frame (images 5, 6 & 8) and sofas constructed out of floating shapes.http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/

 

Item Description Bwana Chair, designed by Finn Juhl, Denmark 1962. prod. by France and Son, Denmark 1962. teak. -via deconet.com

Item Description Bwana Chair, designed by Finn Juhl, Denmark 1962.
prod. by France and Son, Denmark 1962. teak. -via deconet.com

Juhl gave a soft edge to the lines of wooden modernist chairs, favoring organic shapes which often took the wood to the limits of what was possible. He generally used teak and other dark woods, unlike many of the other proponents of the Danish Modern movement who often used oak in their designs.

He was influenced by the abstract sculptor Jean Arp, an influence which is seen already in his early Pelican chair but it remained a motif throughout his career. Also influenced by tribal art, Juhl exhibited the Chieftain chair with photos of weapons from anthropological studies.   Wikipedia

Bradley: “Denmark is a Disneyland for adults, for design geeks.”

Modernist Architecture 

Blog post: Modernism through the eyes of an architectural photographer.  Darren Bradley and Denise Bradley visit Finn Juhl’s House, “a person’s house says so much about their character”.

 

Finn Juhl Architecture, Estate photo courtesy Finn Juhl Estate

Finn Juhl Architecture, Estate photo courtesy Finn Juhl Estate

 

Finn Juhl Homeoffice via Dansk Mobel Kunst http://www.dmk.dk/blog/page/2/

Finn Juhl Homeoffice via Dansk Mobel Kunst

 

Architects and Their Chairs “F”

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On September 30th

           “F” is for Ferrari-Hardoy

 

The first of the Butterfly chairs came out of the Argentinian architectural firm, Grupo Austral, in 1938. The Austral Group was comprised of Jorge Ferrari-Hardoy, Juan Kurchan and Antoni Bonet (Catalonia), who had met as assistants in Le Corbusier's Paris atelier. The chair is occasionally known as the BKF chair, for Bonet-Kurchan-Ferrari.

Jorge Ferrari-Hardoy and The Butterfly Chair

 

Ferrari-Hardoy is one of the most important architects of Argentina. He belongs to the generation of Argentinean architects that advocated the ideas of modernism.

Ferrari-Hardoy studied until 1937 at the renowned “Escuela de Arquitectura” in Buenos Aires. He then went to Europe and spent a few months in Paris. Inspired by Le Corbusier who – as a representative of the „Congres Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne“ (CIAM) – had a particular interest in Latin America, Ferrari-Hardoy worked closely with him on the elaboration of a first urban master plan for Buenos Aires. In addition, Ferrari-Hardoy was lecturer at the “Escuela Industrial” in La Plata, the “Escuela de Arquitectura y Urbanismo de la Universidad del Litoral” and at the University of Buenos Aires.

 

Edificio Los Eucaliptus / Jorge Ferrari Hardoy + Juan Kurchan

Edificio Los Eucaliptus / Jorge Ferrari Hardoy + Juan Kurchan

 

His Architectural firm, Austral developed pioneering projects, discussed the relevant aspects of contemporary architecture, and participated in exhibitions, competitions and conferences. Moreover, the group members were actively seeking international exposure; they exchanged ideas with architects from other countries and published the magazine “Nosotros”. In addition, Austral organized cultural events and included painters, sculptors, musicians, photographers, doctors, sociologists and educators in their work.

 

 

image via The Modern View - Weinbaum

image via The Modern View – Weinbaum

 

Starting in 1937 the office had been charged with the planning works for a university town on the site of the old port of Buenos Aires, residential buildings in the southern part of the city as well as the construction of hospitals, sports facilities and schools along the central avenue Corrientes. At all their works, Ferrari-Hardoy promoted the use of composable industrial elements and employed curved glass panels and sun visors, as evidenced by the “Ateliers” (1938) at the corner Suipacha and Paraguay. Together with Juan Kurchan he developed from 1941 to 1944 a residential complex in the district of Belgrano. The building became quickly popular because of its implanted tree inside the patio.  The Modern View _ Weinbaum

 

Colorful Marimekko KIVET fabric adorns these cheerful butterflies. Don't you just love the way they stand out against the colors in the landscape? by Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture http://bit.ly/1DDPB0C

Colorful Marimekko KIVET fabric adorns these cheerful butterflies. Don’t you just love the way they stand out against the colors in the landscape?
by Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture http://bit.ly/1DDPB0C

 

 

The BKF chair is a modern update of the Paragon chair which was first made for use as campaign furniture in the 1870s. A later version of the design was known as the Tripolina chair, a portable chair introduced in the early 20th century. Jorge Ferrari Hardoy along with Antonio Bonet and Juan Kurchan developed the BKF in 1938 for an apartment building they designed in Buenos Aires. On July 24, 1940, the chair was shown at the 3rd Salon de Artistas Decoradores exhibition where it was discovered by the Museum of Modern Art. At the request of MoMA design director Edgar Kaufmann Jr., Hardoy sent 3 pre-production chairs to New York. One is in the MoMA collection and one is at the Frank Lloyd Wright house Fallingwater, but no one knows where the third chair went. Naming the BKF as one of the “best efforts of modern chair design,” Kaufmann accurately predicted that it would become extremely popular in the US.  Wikipedia

 

 

black-butterfly-chair black leather buttery Jorge Ferrari-Hardoy butterfly chair from Stella Harasek’s home.
Jorge Ferrari-Hardoy butterfly chair from Stella Harasek’s home. http://bit.ly/1CtxhG1

 

 

Found on houseandhome.com
Found on houseandhome.com

 

 

Bored with the monotony of suburbia? So was Harry Seidler when he arrived from America in 1948.
The potential of the Australian landscape fascinated him, but our boxy homes did not. As a result he embraced a modernist philosophy to create this liveable, functional sculptural home for his parents Rose and Max. However, their Viennese furniture was all but banned from the house by Seidler who favoured features such as open-plan living spaces, minimal colour schemes and built in wardrobes. Thanks to Harry they all made their Australian debuts here.

 

 

The mural at Rose Seidler House (designed by Harry Seidler) sundeck and reproduction Hardoy chairs. Photographer: Justin Mackintosh The Rose Seidler House was designed by Harry Seidler for his parents, Max and Rose, and is located in Wahroonga, on the outskirts of Sydney. Built in the late 1940s, it was his first Australian commission. It is a minimalist, open-plan design with all the modern conveniences of the day. Found on blog.selector.com

The mural at Rose Seidler House (designed by Harry Seidler) sundeck and reproduction Hardoy chairs. Photographer: Justin Mackintosh

The Rose Seidler House was designed by Harry Seidler for his parents, Max and Rose, and is located in Wahroonga, on the outskirts of Sydney. Built in the late 1940s, it was his first Australian commission. It is a minimalist, open-plan design with all the modern conveniences of the day. Found on blog.selector.com

Appreciated by connoisseurs, hipsters and students alike, the butterfly also presaged the disposable-furniture onslaught a half-century later. “It appeared at a moment when there was such a demand for cheap furniture, but furniture that identified with a new aesthetic,” Kinchin says. “You’ve got this burst of color and fun really coming into midcentury modern interiors.” Today MoMA holds a Hardoy in its permanent collection, and Walmart sells one for $39. Somehow it all makes sense.“It’s so minimal,” Dror Benshetrit, designer of the well-regarded Peacock Chair, says of its high-low appeal. “It’s so effortless.”  By HILARY GREENBAUM and DANA RUBINSTEIN  NYTimes Magazine 2012

 

Jorge Ferrari Hardoy-Butterfly 經典蝴蝶椅 W82 x D85 x H96 cm Manufactured by Knoll International of USA, designed by Jorge Ferrari Hardoy, 1938.
Jorge Ferrari Hardoy-Butterfly
經典蝴蝶椅
W82 x D85 x H96 cm
Manufactured by Knoll International of USA,
designed by Jorge Ferrari Hardoy, 1938.

 

An example of some of the chairs other monikers: the B.K.F. Chair, Hardoy Chair, Butterfly Chair, Safari Chair, Sling Chair, or Wing ChairAn estimated 5 million of these chairs were produced during the 1950′s by numerous manufacturers under various names.The tubular steel frame was enamelled and the sling seat was leather. http://bebob.eu/en/designer/hardoy-ferrari/

The B.K.F. chair,  patented in 1877, was originally mass-produced by Artek-Pascoe. In 1945 Knoll took over production and it was a tremendous success. Unlicensed knock-offs and the loss of a Knoll copyright suit have made this one of the most copied chairs of modern design and it became one of the most widely copied chairs in existence. http://bebob.eu/en/designer/hardoy-ferrari/

 

 

Life of and Architect http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/knoll-hardoy-butterfly-chairs/

Life of and Architect
http://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/knoll-hardoy-butterfly-chairs/

 

 

Found on m.cb2.com 1938 bergama butterfly chair, on the wings of a classic. Bright new angles pop modern in a graphic twist on the 1938 Hardoy Chair, aka the "Butterfly." Envisioned by Brooklyn-based designer Aelfie Oudghiri as a Turkish kilim, the handwoven flatweave dhurrie is inspired by the colorful coastal scene of American beach towns. Aqua, sour apple and white geometric forms radiate bold on a sunny orange backdrop, reflecting the iconic seascape dotted with ice cream shops, hot dog stands and surfers. Hand-whipstitched edge to edge in sour apple on a substantial tubular iron frame antiqued light zinc.

Found on m.cb2.com
1938 bergama butterfly chair
on the wings of a classic. Bright new angles pop modern in a graphic twist on the 1938 Hardoy Chair, aka the “Butterfly.” Envisioned by Brooklyn-based designer Aelfie Oudghiri as a Turkish kilim, the handwoven flatweave dhurrie is inspired by the colorful coastal scene of American beach towns. Aqua, sour apple and white geometric forms radiate bold on a sunny orange backdrop, reflecting the iconic seascape dotted with ice cream shops, hot dog stands and surfers. Hand-whipstitched edge to edge in sour apple on a substantial tubular iron frame antiqued light zinc.

 

We attempt to convey accurate information and credit to those whose images or research we have shared. If we have erred, please let us know, and we will correct any mistakes.

 

Architects and Their Chairs “E”

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On August 22nd

                        “E” is for Eiermann

Egon Eiermann 1948
Egon Eiermann 1948

Egon Eiermann (September 29, 1904 – July 20, 1970) was one of Germany’s most prominent architects in the second half of the 20th century.

A functionalist, his major works include: the textile mill at Blumberg (1951); the West German pavilion at the Brussels World Exhibition (with Sep Ruf, 1958); the West German embassy in Washington, D.C. (1958–1964); a building for the German Parliament (Bundestag) in Bonn (1965–1969); the IBM-Germany Headquarters in Stuttgart (1967–1972); and, the Olivetti building in Frankfurt (1968–1972). By far his most famous work is the new church on the site of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin (1959–1963). Wikipedia

His wide variety of buildings have been admired for their elegant proportions, precise detail, and structural clarity. Following are a few examples of his architectural point of view.

 

Deutscher Pavillon, Egon Eiermann, 1958 Image via THE-ARQ-M tumblr


Deutscher Pavillon, Egon Eiermann, 1958
Image via THE-ARQ-M tumblr

 

 

Olivetti_Buildings_-_Egon_Eiermann
Olivetti_Buildings_-_Egon_Eiermann

 

 

A staircase detail from an apartment building on Bartningallee 2–4, Wohnhaus, Berlin. Designed by von Egon Eiermann in 1961/1962. / Behance via Tumblr

A staircase detail from an apartment building on Bartningallee 2–4, Wohnhaus, Berlin. Designed by von Egon Eiermann in 1961/1962. / Behance
via Tumblr

 

 

Among the obligatory stops in a visit to Berlin is the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. Considered a symbol and link between the wartime destruction and the rebirth of the city, it is visited by millions of tourists, even though few remember the name of its architect, Egon Eiermann (1904-70). He was one of the leaders of German modernism who is being rediscovered and celebrated by the Bauhaus. image via http://egoneiermann.tumblr.com/

Among the obligatory stops in a visit to Berlin is the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. Considered a symbol and link between the wartime destruction and the rebirth of the city, it is visited by millions of tourists, even though few remember the name of its architect, Egon Eiermann (1904-70). He was one of the leaders of German modernism who is being rediscovered and celebrated by the Bauhaus.
image via http://egoneiermann.tumblr.com/

 

                   The Legacy of Chairs

 Egon Eiermann also designed furniture and interiors for some of his buildings.

Eiermann’s most successful furniture design was the “E 10” basket chair (1954), whose prototype was designed back in 1948 for “Wie wohnen”, an exhibition in Karlsruhe. Equally popular was the “SE 18” folding chair Egon Eiermann designed for Wilde & Spieth in Esslingen.

Egon Eiermann is next to Eileen Gray, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Arne Jacobsen, Marcel Breuer one of the most famous Bauhaus architects and designers of the Bauhaus era.

 

korbmoeb.300 dpi_BIG-1

 

1949 Egon Eierman Chair Model SE 42

1949 Egon Eierman Chair Model SE 42

 

 

 obiblanche: Davore`s Egon Eiermann collection. My flatmate Davor thought about to buy 2 nice vintage Eiermann chairs for our kitchen, now he has 30 red/orange and 25 black ones. http://egoneiermann.tumblr.com/


obiblanche: Davore`s Egon Eiermann collection.
My flatmate Davor thought about to buy 2 nice vintage Eiermann chairs for our kitchen, now he has 30 red/orange and 25 black ones.
http://egoneiermann.tumblr.com/

 

 

Egon Eiermann folding chairs via http://tootasinfoot.blogspot.com/2012/01/egon-eiermann.html

Egon Eiermann folding chairs via http://tootasinfoot.blogspot.com/2012/01/egon-eiermann.html

 

 

Folding Chair by Egon Eiermann at 1stdibs

Folding Chair by Egon Eiermann at 1stdibs

 

I hope you enjoyed your brief introduction to the work of Egon Eiermann, please leave a comment if you are so inclined. If I have neglected to give accurate credit for any image or quote, please let me know and I will rectify the omission.

Architects and Their Chairs “B”

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On May 12th

     B is For Breuer

Marcel Breuer image via The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research

Marcel Breuer image via The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research

 

 

Marcel Lajos Breuer was born May 21,1902 in Hungary. He attended university at the Bauhaus School and later was a teacher in the carpentry department. When he came to the United States he was a professor at Harvard University (1937-46) in the School of Architecture.

 First recognized for his invention of bicycle-handlebar-inspired tubular steel furniture, he designed his most famous creation, the Wassily Chair, so called after being admired by artist Wassily Kandinsky. It was the first chair to feature a bent steel frame. Breuer designed a whole range of tubular metal furniture including chairs, tables, stools and cupboards. Tubular steel has lots of qualities; it is affordable for the masses, hygienic and provides comfort without the need for springs to be introduced. Breuer considered all of his designs to be essential for modern living. Design_Technology.org

 

 Democratic Affordable Furniture for the Masses

                    B 34  1928

 

B 34 1928 via http://www.loeffler.de.com/de/sammlung

B 34 1928 via http://www.loeffler.de.com/de/sammlung

 

Breuer's flat aluminum band furniture (1932-1934) Image: design_technology.org

Breuer’s flat aluminum band furniture (1932-1934)
Between these years Breuer experimented with flat aluminium in his furniture. It was not as strong as tubular steel but was considerably cheaper. The seats were targeted at the mass- market and were sold in Wohnbedarf in Switzerland. The concave bands at the back are structurally necessary but at the same time are aesthetically pleasing.
The seat above is named the Armchair, Model No. 301. It is made from painted aluminium with a painted and moulded laminated seat and back. Image: design_technology.org

 

 

 

Plywood Chair

Plywood Chair

 

 

Lounge Chair

Lounge Chair

 

 

As an architect, Breuer worked primarily in concrete. Breuer’s buildings were always distinguished by an attention to detail and a clarity of expression. Considered one of the last true functionalist architects, Breuer helped shift the bias of the Bauhaus from “Arts & Crafts” to “Arts & Technology”.

 

 

jvworks: St. John's Abbey jvworks.blogspot.com in Collegeville, Minnesota

jvworks: St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota
jvworks.blogspot.com

 

 

[Marcel Breuer's 1969 Armstrong (aka Pirelli) Building, pre-IKEA

[Marcel Breuer’s 1969 Armstrong (aka Pirelli) Building, pre-IKEA
Image and story http://archidose.blogspot.com/2008/08/ikea-1-breuer-12.html

 

1966 Whitney Museum of American Art. New York (with H. Smith)

1966
1966 Whitney Museum of American Art. New York (with H. Smith)

 

 

  •  The UNESCO building in Paris

  • Lecture Hall, New York University (1961, New York City )

  • Whitney Museum of American Art (1966, New York City ) ,

  • St. John’s Abbey Church (1953, Collegeville, MN ),

  • Ameritrust Tower (Cleveland, his only skyscraper)

Complete list: http://www.marcelbreuer.org/Works.html

 

 

We try to give credit for all information and images, but if there is an error please notify us and we will correct it.

Architects and Their Chairs “A”

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On April 14th

          A is for Aulenti

Gae Aulenti 1927-1912

Gae Aulenti 1927-1912

We begin this retrospective with Gae Aulenti (December 4, 1927 – October 31, 2012) an Italian architect, lighting and interior designer, and industrial designer. She was well known for several large-scale museum projects, including Musée d’Orsay in Paris (1980–86), the Contemporary Art Gallery at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Palazzo Grassi in Venice (1985–86), and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (2000–2003). Information via Wikipedia

Quote: “advice to whoever asks me how to make a home is to not have anything, just a few shelves for books, some pillows to sit on. And then, to take a stand against the ephemeral, against passing trends…and to return to lasting values.”

 

                        Sparsal Rocking Chair 1962

Gae Aulenti Italian Architect , Industrial Designer Sparsul Rocking Chair 1962

Gae Aulenti Italian Architect , Industrial Designer
Sparsul Rocking Chair 1962

 

 

 

Gae Aulenti Italian Architect and Industrial Designer Tostapane

Gae Aulenti Italian Architect and Industrial Designer
Tostapane

 

 

tavolo con ruote

tavolo con ruote

 

 

Tour Table by Gae Aulenti Available through: www.mintshop.co.uk Pic: www.moggit.com


Tour Table by Gae Aulenti
Available through: www.mintshop.co.uk
Pic: www.moggit.com

 

Architect and Industrial Designer at Home Gae Aulenti

Architect and Industrial Designer at Home
Gae Aulenti

 

 

Architect and Industrial Designer at Home Gae Aulenti

Architect and Industrial Designer at Home
Gae Aulenti

 

Ms. Aulenti was one of the few Italian women to rise to prominence in architecture and design in the postwar years. Her work includes villas for the rich, showrooms for Fiat, shops for Olivetti, pens and watches for Louis Vuitton, and a coffee table on wheels that is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

“I’ve always worked for myself, and it’s been quite an education. Women in architecture must not think of themselves as a minority, because the minute you do, you become paralyzed. It is most important to never create the problem.” Gae Aulenti

 

Vote: Architectural Curves or Right Angles

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On February 18th

 

National Congress of Brazil Oscar Niemeyer Architect via escuyer.tumblr.com

National Congress of Brazil Oscar Niemeyer Architect via escuyer.tumblr.comvia

 

Oscar Niemeyer was one of the most important architects of the 20th century and he did not like angles. “Right angles don’t attract me. Nor straight, hard and inflexible lines created by man,” he wrote in his 1998 memoir The Curves of Time. ” I am attracted to free-flowing, sensual curves. The curves that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuousness of its rivers, in the waves of the ocean, and on the body of the beloved woman. Curves make up the entire universe, the curved universe of Einstein.” via theaustrailian.com.au and gizmodo  *great Niemeyer architecture images

Was he ahead of his time, anticipating the direction of architecture?

 

EDIFICIO COPAN STAIRS by Oscar Niemeyer

EDIFICIO COPAN STAIRS by Oscar Niemeyer

 

People are far more likely to call a room beautiful when its design is round instead of linear. What about architecture, curves versus angles? The reason may be hard-wired into the brain. There have been recent studies by neuroscientists that conclude, “Curvature appears to affect our feelings, which in turn could drive our preference.” It’s also critical to point out that just because people have a natural neural affinity for curves doesn’t mean round design is always superior. If researchers asked people to rate architecture based on functionality instead of beauty, for instance, they might get different results.

CoDesign, in their post Why Our Brains Love Curvy Architecture shared: When the great architect Philip Johnson first visited the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, designed by Frank Gehry, he started to cry. “Architecture is not about words. It’s about tears,” Johnson reportedly said. Something about the museum’s majestic curves moved him at an emotional level.

 

2db1e2d70bf428fb46ba742cec5f4bac

 

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Architect Frank Gehry image via scarflove.tumblr.com

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Architect Frank Gehry
image via scarflove.tumblr.com

 

Curves are making big statements on skylines around the world from the exquisite (in my humble opinion) Guggenheim Bilbao to London’s “Gherkin” ,  the “Marilyn Monroe” Towers in Ontario, many of Zaha Hadid’s Designs, Calatrava, and the Apple Campus 2 — its massive new headquarters designed by starchitect Norman Foster.

 

The Gherkin, Architect Norman Foster Curved buildings can point to nature, whereas angular buildings contrast with it Paul Silvia, assistant professor of psychology

The Gherkin, Architect Norman Foster
Curved buildings can point to nature, whereas angular buildings contrast with it
Paul Silvia, assistant professor of psychology

 

Monroe Curves, Absolute Towers by Ma Yansong of MAD Architects

Monroe Curves, Absolute Towers by Ma Yansong of MAD Architects

 

Calatrava via voguevoyager.tumblr.com

Calatrava via voguevoyager.tumblr.com

 

 

Curved or angular, do you have a preference?

Some of the rooms had a round style like this Courtesy Oshin Vartanian via CNN

Some of the rooms had a round style like this
Courtesy Oshin Vartanian via CNN

Others had a rectilinear form, like this Courtesy Oshin Vartanian via CNN

Others had a rectilinear form, like this
Courtesy Oshin Vartanian via CNN

 

In short, what we learned from our research and fastco.design’s work, “Time and again, when people are asked to choose between an object that’s linear and one that’s curved, they prefer the latter. That goes for watches with circular faces, letters rendered in a curly font, couches with smooth cushions–even dental floss with round packaging.

The Essence of a Miesian Dwelling

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On November 22nd

A winter view of the house in 1971, showing the original insect screening of the porch, and the roller shades added by the owner after the curtains were damaged by flood waters. image via Wikimedia Commons

A winter view of the house in 1971, showing the original insect screening of the porch, and the roller shades added by the owner after the curtains were damaged by flood waters. image via Wikimedia Commons

The Farnsworth House is a 1,500 sq.ft home designed and constructed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe between 1945-51. It is a one-room weekend retreat in a once-rural setting. The design is recognized as a masterpiece of the International Style of architecture and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006, after joining the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.  The cost of project was $74,000 in 1951 ($648,000 in 2012 dollars). There was a cost overrun of $15,600 over the approved pre-construction budget of $58,400.  This created havoc,  lawsuits and counter lawsuits  ensued until the courts ordered Dr Farnsworth to pay her bill.

 

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At his inaugural lecture as director of the department in 1938, Mies stated:

“In its simplest form architecture is rooted in entirely functional considerations, but it can reach up through all degrees of value to the highest sphere of spiritual existence into the realm of pure art.”

  This sentence summarized what had become Mies van der Rohe’s consistent approach to design: to begin with functional considerations of structure and materials, then to refine the detailing and expression of those materials until they transcended their technical origins to become a pure art of structure and space.

The dominance of a single, geometric form in a pastoral setting, with a complete exclusion of extraneous elements normally associated with habitation, reinforces the architect’s statement about the potential of a building to express “dwelling” in its simplest essence.

 

As Mies stated on his achievement, “If you view nature through the glass walls of the Farnsworth House, it gains a more profound significance than if viewed from the outside. That way more is said about nature—it becomes part of a larger whole.” Farnsworth House is the essence of simplicity in the purest form, displaying the ever-changing play of nature.

 

 

 

image via farnsworthhouse.org http://www.farnsworthhouse.org/history.htm

image via farnsworthhouse.org http://www.farnsworthhouse.org/history.htm

 

Information for this post was obtained from the following resources:   Wikipedia          http://www.farnsworthhouse.org/history.htm

Paul Rudolph: Concrete Connoisseur

Posted by Noah On June 20th

In a small Kentucky town, Paul Rudolph was born to a nomadic Methodist preacher in 1918. His unique childhood was spent traveling the American south from church to church. The charm of these pious concrete structures and other regional landmarks inspired Rudolph to earn a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Auburn University. His serendipitous meeting with Walter Gropius, the founder of Bauhaus, while pursuing his master’s degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Design would help shape his bright future as an architectural visionary.

Orange Country Government Center in Goshen, New York.

Orange Country Government Center in Goshen, New York.

After attaining his master’s, Paul Rudolph partnered with Ralph Twitchell in Florida and became a kingpin of the “Sarasota School”. This style of architecture focused on a clean contemporary floor plan and highlighted natural light, sweeping overhangs, and flat roofs. In 1958, Rudolph completed the Art and Architecture Building at Yale University. While there he felt a strong desire to share his passion and he became Dean at the Yale School of Architecture. After six years of inspiring a new generation of builders, Rudolph relocated to New York. He continued to focus all of his attention on the controversial Brutalist style. Brutalist architecture was inspired by the modernist movement. These buildings tend to be extremely linear, square, and feature predominantly concrete.

Yale Art and Architecture Building.

Yale Art and Architecture Building.

Despite being idolized by his peers, the public found many of his larger brutalist designs to be “brutal indeed” and criticized the abundance of concrete and steel. When Paul Rudolph passed away in 1997, his obituary in the New York Times said, “With the exception of Louis I. Kahn, no American architect of his generation enjoyed higher esteem in the 1960’s.  But after 1970, his reputation plummeted. Many of his buildings are being torn down, or are in danger of being torn down.  Mr. Rudolph leaves behind a perplexing legacy that will take many years to untangle.” However; a little over 15 years later, the unique appeal of Paul Rudolph’s brutalist designs is reaching  new audiences who are embracing the incredible buildings with open arms.

Paul Rudolph's 1961 Miami home.

Paul Rudolph’s 1961 Miami home.

1969 Mid Century Modern House in Iowa City: An Architects Story

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On June 7th

My dad had laughing blue eyes. We shared many amazing times together in his last years. One day, while asking him a question, he turned to look at me with serious “blues” and said, “we have merged, we are one, you can think for me from now on.” This Zen moment: poignant, sad, and joyful all at the same time was  a monumental gift, a shift. I paused in reflection and launched into deep, slow breathing to help prepare for what was ahead….Así es La Vida

 A few years down the road, on the other side of the country, we received a different kind of gift, one that came with invisible strings. A mid-century modern house, the history of two lives, two careers, an anthropologist and an architect. Their passion for each other, their pets and nature was evident throughout the home. I discovered why we were chosen to steward their legacy from a yellow legal pad on the side of my uncle’s bed.  In brief, he hoped we would preserve and restore his beloved home.  So many questions will remain unanswered and….once again the responsibility that is a part of a gift…breathe...C’est La Vie

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King House 1969 Architect Pierce King

In order to understand this impressive mid-century modern home, I needed to embrace this turn of events and try to be as one with this house, this land, this place. A contemporary definition of Zen: It is the state of residing in such great understanding and depth, that no matter what life throws your way, you drop the illusion and see things without the distortion of your own mind, and  you are at peace with it. I remind myself of this often, five years into this project….Live and Learn

 The bones of this interesting home are solid, strong, and impressive. I have photos of my uncle in the mid to late 1960’s hunkered down in his few acres of timbers (a reference to woods in Iowa speak), plotting how and where to place his home. IMG_0513 - Version 2He removed only one tree throughout the build (he certainly would not have called his woods “timber” because it implies the potential to cut). The structure hugs and leans into the curves of the land. Approaching down the long steep lane you see virtually a giant, redwood rectangle. When you enter your eyes are drawn to angles, levels (4), light, space, and glass. The dynamic art of nature, trees and sky, completing the mood. The extensive walls of glass is a Mies van der Rohe way of extending the sight lines beyond the interior (ie Farnsworth House). To me, this home embodies the complexity of thought reduced to the simplicity of lines.

 Mies van der Rohe was my uncle’s mentor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, originally called the Armour Institute, then merging with the New Bauhaus started by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy in 1937. Mies as well as Moholy-Nagy both taught at the Bauhaus in Germany before immigrating to the US.

The International style is the name of the architecture associated with the American form of Bauhaus influenced design.  Some of the characteristics of this style are:

1. No applied ornamentation

2. A rectilinear shape

3. A light open space

4. Use of concrete and glass

  On my quest to understand more about the design of this house,  I reached out to Justine Jentes, Director of the Mies van der Rohe Society at IIT in Chicago. I asked her what she sees in the design connecting it to the International Style and/or Mies van der Rohe.  This was her reply:

     ”I agree, the details and the craftsmanship are impressive. While Mies did not work with wood for structure (It was more often used for interior doors, panels, etc) the overall box design, strong right angles, extensive use of large glass planes and what appears to be flowing “open plan” interior are reminiscent of Mies design.”

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King House is all about the light….

IMG_0165 But their is more to this house then Mies, and International design. Frank LLoyd Wright’s philosophical presence is here as well. The extensive library has several FLW books, but “The Natural House” printed in 1963, stands out.  There are some pages marked and corners folded over, more pieces of this puzzle were falling into place. His last trip shortly before he passed away was to Falling Waters.  An architect friend* and his wife took Pierce to the place he had long desired to visit.  He was infirm, and nearly fell into the “falling waters”, fortunately Dwight grabbed  him before any damage was done.

“Plainness is not necessarily simplicity”…I can feel Pierce pouring over these words in this well worn fragile book. Wright later goes on to pull this idea together by saying, “ To know what to leave out and what to put in; just where and just how, ah, that is to have been educated in knowledge of simplicity—toward ultimate freedom of expression.

 So I continue to try to understand this interesting and intriguing house but I need a better understanding of FLW.  I am researching, talking, asking questions.  Following are some anecdotes from a handful of architects. I  asked them if FLW influenced them in how they design.

 

Lira Luis AIA is a global American Architect specializing in organic architecture. While working on her Master of Architecture degree at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture,  she lived at the two Taliesins (West and in Spring Green).

  “Words that come to mind about Mr. Wright’s architecture:

  Appropriate to time and place

  True to the nature of materials

   Form and function are one

My work tends not to imitate his style but rather be inspired by his Organic Architecture Principles.”   Lira Luis AIA

 

Harold F. “BUD” Dietrich, AIA shared a wonderful story with me of how FLW touched his family….

    In the summer of 1991 I was being transferred to the Chicago office of the company I worked for.  As part of that transfer we must have looked at 100’s of houses, searching for just  the right one. We decided to look at the Chicago suburb of Oak Park to see what we thought of it and, while there, visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio.

     During our tour of the Home and Studio we arrived at the 2nd floor Playroom.  This room was an addition that Wright built to accommodate his growing family.  The room was designed and built very much with a child’s sensibilities.  A fact that my five year old daughter made me aware of.  While we were standing in the playroom enjoying the sense of space and views out to the Gingko tree, my daughter tugged on my arm and said “daddy, we should buy this one.”  She was mightily disappointed when I told her the house wasn’t for sale.

    The lesson I learned was how Wright, who had a tumultuous personal life to say the least, designed remarkable homes that truly accommodated a family life.  And this fact, at the end of the day, was where his true genius was.  Bud Dietrich AIA

Dwight Dobberstein AIA

 “To understand FLW’s greatness you have to look at the state of architectural design when he began.  Greek revival and gingerbread houses.  His buildings are the opposite, simple and clean incorporating natural materials and blending with the landscape. I like the long horizontal lines of his buildings and how they meld with their sites.

 While simple and modern, his buildings are not void of ornamentation.  There is plenty of ornamental detail beautifully incorporated in his work.  Much of the ornamentation is derived from nature which reinforces the connection to the site.

 The open floor plans flow from room to room in a seemingly simple layout yet complex organization.  Falling Water is a good example.  The plan seems easy but try to sketch it.

Dwight Dobberstein AIA

NCARB Newsletter !979 Pierce and Dwight's history began here...the nation's first intern-architect to complete IDP gets certified.

NCARB Newsletter !979
Pierce and Dwight’s history began here…the nation’s first intern-architect to complete IDP gets certified.

The body of the house looks so International and Mies inspired, but a part of it’s heart and soul are perhaps more tied to Frank Lloyd Wright then I will ever know. This process is helping me to understand the collaboration (influence on thought and design) between Pierce, Mies, and Frank…. La dolce vita

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XOXO All Seasons

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