Mid-Century Modern Furniture Then and Now - Paradigm Gallery Blog

Archive for the ‘International Modern Architecture’ Category

Architects and Their Chairs “L”

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On December 15th

 

                                “L” Is For Loos

Adolf Loos, 1922 /Trude Fleischmann /sc                                                       Adolf Loos, 1922 /Trude Fleischmann /sc

 “What I call culture is that balance between our physical, mental and spiritual being which alone can guarantee sensible thought and action.”       Adolf Loos

 

Adolf Loos was born in Brünn in the Austro-Hungarian Empire (now Brno, Czech Republic) in 1870 and died on August 23, 1933. “He was one of the most influential European architects of the late 19th century and is often noted for his literary discourse that foreshadowed the foundations of the entire modernist movement.” archdaly

 

"Knieschwimmer" easy chair by Adolf Loos, 1905

              “Knieschwimmer” easy chair by Adolf Loos, 1905

                                      Adolf Loos and the Vienna Secession
A group of artists and designers in Austria become known as the Vienna Secession. In 1897 they withdrew from the Vienna Academy in protest because the Academy would not accept modernist works. Gustav Klimt the painter headed up the group.

In Austria the Vienna Secession group of artists and designers created a form of Art Nouveau. The Vienna Secession group of creative individuals had a great impact on what we call modern design.    CreativeBuzzingwordpress.com

 

Set of 6 Adolf Loos Thonet Vienna Café Museum Art Nouveau Bentwood Chairs

Set of 6 Adolf Loos Thonet Vienna Café Museum Art Nouveau Bentwood Chairs

 

Adolf Loos studied architecture in Bohemia and Dresden and was influenced by a three-year stay in the United States (1893-96) where he was impressed by the innovative efficiency of American industrial buildings. Speaking about the development of his Raumplan design in 1930, Adolf Loos said: “My architecture is not conceived in plans, but in spaces (cubes). I do not design floor plans, facades, sections. I design spaces. For me, there is no ground floor, first floor etc…. For me, there are only contiguous, continual spaces, rooms, anterooms, terraces etc. Storeys merge and spaces relate to each other. Every space requires a different height: the dining room is surely higher than the pantry, thus the ceilings are set at different levels. To join these spaces in such a way that the rise and fall are not only unobservable but also practical, in this I see what is for others the great secret, although it is for me a great matter of course.”                               http://www.e-architect.co.uk/architects/adolf-loos

socks-studio.com bit.ly/2hKZQxY

                                     socks-studio.com bit.ly/2hKZQxY

Villa Müller in Prague was designed by architect Adolf Loos, assisted by architect Karel Lhota, in 1930 for František Müller and his wife, Milada Müllerová. The client was the owner of a company that specialized in reinforced concrete, so the house was to be a showcase of this (at the time) pioneering technique as well as of the influence of the architect’s theories. The Villa, with its cubic shape and its white and austere façade, embodies in its exterior appearance the principles expoused by the architect in his seminal essay “Ornament and Crime”.     socks-studio.com

 

Adolf Loos, Villa Muller, 1928-1930.                                                             Adolf Loos, Villa Muller, 1928-1930.

mullerovavila.cz                                                             Adolf Loos, Villa Muller, 1928-1930.

 

“The best draftsman can be a poor architect, the best architect a poor draftsman.” Adolf Loos

‘Adolf Loos led the way towards the International Style with several built projects and essays, like his seminal 1908 work ‘Ornament and Crime’. In Le Corbusier’s own words: ‘Loos swept right beneath our feet, and it was a Homeric cleansing — precise, philosophical and logical. In this Loos has had a decisive influence on the destiny of architecture.’    Read more at: wallpaper.com

 

His work has influenced so many architect’s and continues to make it’s impact still today. “The Raumplan concept, developed by Loos in the 1920s as an alternative to traditional stacked floor levels. Instead, he proposed dividing a house’s interior into interconnected multi-level spaces arranged on the basis of their importance.

 

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Adolf Loos Armchair FO Schmidt Austria, 1900 mahogany, brass, leather, brass-plated steel

Adolf Loos Armchair FO Schmidt Austria, 1900 mahogany, leather, brass-plated steel

Elegant Pair of Club Chairs with Bolster Att to Adolf Loos image via 1stdibs

Elegant Pair of Club Chairs with Bolster Att to Adolf Loos image via 1stdibs

1930's Design, Furniture, Applied & Decorative Arts Adolf Loos

1930’s Design, Furniture, Applied & Decorative Arts Adolf Loos
Austria. Loos Drinking Set, c. 1930 // designer Adolf Loos: Lobmeyer

 

Adolf Loos was involved with the group but became concerned with what he thought was a superficial decorative slant in the movement. His work includes bentwood furniture for Thonet.

Adolf Loos was involved with the group but became concerned with what he thought was a superficial decorative slant in the movement. His work includes bentwood furniture for Thonet.

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.

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.

 

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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

 

Architectural Lighting Nuances Nature

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On December 18th
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The beautiful Solvesborg bridge in Sweden

The beautiful Solvesborg bridge in Sweden       

 Completed in 2013, the Solvesborg Bridge in Sweden is the longest pedestrian bridge in Europe. The bridge consists of a higher part made out of three characteristic vaults and a long wooden bridge for pedestrians. ljusarkitektur has developed a unique lighting scheme to enhance its landmark status. the use of color changing LED fixtures from lumenpulse graze the suspension cables of what is considered Europe’s longest bicycle and pedestrian viaduct.

The team of architectural lighting experts planned the lighting “with respect for the birdlife and is inspired by the migration of the birds during the whole year. In this way the character of the bridge changes over the year and the night. In addition to this there are a number of scenarios to be used for different events in the city.” http://www.ljusarkitektur.com/en/portfolio/solvesborg-bridge/

“The overall design was achieved without impacting on the local wildlife – to limit glare, the firm integrated deep, custom glare shields, which also hide the light sources. influenced by the surrounding fauna and flora, ljusarkitektur pushed the fixtures’ flexibility and controlability to program different color sequences throughout the year. managing to be both dynamic and understated, the glowing, reflective installation has turned the bridge into an attraction in its own right.” http://bit.ly/1hlrDLJ

 

I close with the words of Louis Kahn who was an architect known for his philosophy of incorporating natural light in his architecture. Indeed this project is LED lighting but the use of light takes it to another level and enhances the architectural grace of the structure and it’s setting.

“I sense a Threshold: Light to Silence, Silence to Light – an ambiance of inspiration, in which the desire to be, to express, crosses with the possible … Light to Silence, Silence to Light crosses in the sanctuary of art.”

Those who cross this bridge may not say these exact words but I am certain they experience “the sanctuary of art” this bridge gifts to the world.

 

Solvesborg bridge in Sweden

Solvesborg bridge in Sweden

 

 

Due to the length of the bridge, at intervals along the way parts of the nature have been accentuated with light, for example trees and reeds are lit.

Due to the length of the bridge, at intervals along the way parts of the nature have been accentuated with light, for example trees and reeds are lit.

 

 

 

Solvesborg bridge in Sweden

Solvesborg bridge in Sweden

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

Starchitecture’s Positive Impact on Museum Traffic

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On October 16th

 

 

Maman by Louise Bourgeois in front of The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain image via koikile on Flickr

Maman by Louise Bourgeois in front of The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain image via koikile on Flickr

 

Today’s museums are as much about the architecture as they are the collections within. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain was designed by Frank Gehry and was the starting point of a trend that still continues, often referred to as the Bilbao Effect. Simply put, Bilbao’s $200-million gamble bringing the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum to the Basque region of Spain paid off, culturally and economically.  The Guggenheim Museum’s success in Bilbao did more than perhaps any other cultural institution to convince leaders and developers that where mega-projects go, economic transformation follows. (The Atlantic Cities.com.).

Jacqueline Pfeffer Merrill writes that over the past fifteen years, other cities sought to imitate Bilbao’s success by building new museums or museum additions designed by starchitects as part of civic renewal projects. Examples include the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland designed by Steven Holl, the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, England and the Royal Ontario Museum addition in Toronto, both designed by Daniel Libeskind, the Denver Art Museum addition designed jointly by Daniel Libeskind and a local architecture firm, and the Connecticut Center for Science and Exploration in Hartford, Connecticut designed by César Pelli. The Ars Aevi Museum in Sarajevo designed by Renzo Piano is to be opened in Sarajevo in 2014. All of these projects are meant to use the drawing power of a spectacular building to attract tourists and other visitors to cities that would not otherwise be major destinations.s, by OMA. (Philanthropy Daily).

To learn more about the Guggenheim Bilbao: visit little aesthete wonderful images and information….

 

In addition to being an architect, Steven Holl is also a watercolorist who uses this medium to explore the possibilities of light. Above is a watercolor "sketch" of one of his studio's latest projects, the Nanajing Museum. Read more: INHABITAT INTERVIEW: 7 Questions with Architect Steven Holl

In addition to being an architect, Steven Holl is also a watercolorist who uses this medium to explore the possibilities of light. Above is a watercolor “sketch” of one of his studio’s latest projects, the Nanajing Museum. Read more: INHABITAT INTERVIEW: 7 Questions with Architect Steven Holl

 

I offer to you, just for fun, Wikipedia’s lists of: Starchitects, Former Starchitects, and Canonic Architects

Starchitects: feel free to offer any names you feel should appear on these lists

Former Starchitects

Canonic Architects

 

Royal Ontario Museum-Studio Daniel Libeskind

Royal Ontario Museum-Studio Daniel Libeskind

 

The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (beeld en geluid).Image by Iwan Baan

The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (beeld en geluid). Image by Iwan Baan

 

Museum of Biodiversity (or Biomuseo) Panama City, located in the alleged epicenter of biodiversity, Panama’s Biomuseo strives to tell compelling stories about nature’s wonders and thus stress the importance of their safeguarding. Architect Frank Gehry

Museum of Biodiversity (or Biomuseo) Panama City, located in the alleged epicenter of biodiversity, Panama’s Biomuseo strives to tell compelling stories about nature’s wonders and thus stress the importance of their safeguarding. Architect Frank Gehry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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A Forest of Pillars, Recalling the Unimaginable – New York Times

Posted by Lynne van den Berg On April 15th

See on Scoop.itToday’s Modern Architects and Architecture

The quiet abstraction and stark physical presence of the memorial in Berlin memorializes past sufferings but also forces us to acknowledge the Holocaust’s relevance today.

 

ParadigmGallery‘s insight:

Today I came across a quote that got my attemtion, “The architecture we remember is that which never consoles or comforts us.”  Peter Eisenman, Architect…I then did my homework and discovered the astounding portfolio and the brilliant intellect and soul behind this memorial to the Holcaust in Berlin. I can only imagine the impact of viewing this in person and assume it would be a life altering experience.

 

This is an excerpt from the NY Times article..
A vast grid of 2,711 concrete pillars whose jostling forms seem to be sinking into the earth, it is able to convey the scope of the Holocaust’s horrors without stooping to sentimentality – showing how abstraction can be the most powerful tool for conveying the complexities of human emotion.

 

Awesome and emotional read….worth it!

 

 

See on www.nytimes.com