Architects and Their Chairs “K”

Architects and Their Chairs “K”

“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

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Architects and Their Chairs “I”

Architects and Their Chairs “I”

                         “I” is for Isozaki

Image via Architects Architecture Archtectuul

Image via Architects Architecture Archtectuul

Arata Isozaki was born in Oita City, Japan, in 1931. He studied with Kenzo Tange, one of Japan’s leading modern architects, at the University of Tokyo from 1950 to 1954.  He worked for Tange for a number of years and then went out on his own, but continued to collaborate with KT into the 70’s. This attitude is in keeping with native Japanese practices that stress collaboration and cooperation, rather than competition, among professionals. Encyclopedia.com

Architecture writer Martin Filler called Isozaki and his wife, sculptor Aiko Miyawaki, “true cultural citizens of the world.” Raised in a home where his businessman father wrote haiku poetry, he later was attracted toward the avant-garde and readily called his tastes “radical” in everything from music to literature. LA Times:Tastemakers

 

              Furniture & Architecture

 One can see how Japanese design is as much about emptiness as it is about structure – a perspective that comes naturally to the country that gave Zen Buddhism to the world. Japan-ness In Architecture  Arata Isozaki

“What is the essence of Japanese design? Perhaps it is best exemplified in the clean lines of the Marilyn Chair , designed by architect Arata Isozaki in 1972. Isozaki combined the curves of Marilyn with the narrow, vertical lines found in the Mackintosh high-back chair.”  Book: Japanese Design:A Survey Since 1950  Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928), was in turn influenced by Japanese design. In its curved side view, the chair makes reference to the body shape of Marilyn Monroe. The chair is constructed of bent laminated wood and a solid beech frame. It retains its original leather-covered upholsteredseat.  Denver Museum of Art

 

Marilyn Monroe Chairs image via www.invaluable.com

Marilyn Monroe Chairs image via www.invaluable.com

 

 

image via: Arata Isozaki at 1stdibs Oval Dining Table and Marilyn Monroe Chairs

image via: Arata Isozaki at 1stdibs
Oval Dining Table and Marilyn Monroe Chairs

 

 

A Pair of Arata Isozaki Monroe Chairs made of ebonized beech image via: https://www.aspireauctions.com/

A Pair of Arata Isozaki Monroe Chairs made of ebonized beech
image via https://www.aspireauctions.com/

 

 

 In 1963 he established Arata Isozaki & Associates, the base from which he continued to work ever since. From his 1960s work such as Oita Prefectural Library, to his 1990s work in locations as far afield as Barcelona, Orlando, Kraków, Nagi in Okayama Prefecture, Kyoto, Nara, La Coruña, Akiyoshidai in Yamaguchi Prefecture and Berlin, to his 21st century work in the Middle East, China, Central Asia, and elsewhere, Isozaki has created an architecture so personal in its ideas and spaces that it defies characterization in any single school of thought. At the same time he resists the temptation to apply a signature style to his jobs, preferring instead to create architectural solutions specific to the political, social and cultural contexts of the client and site in question.  YCAM Re-Mark

 

via Arch Daily Architects: Arata Isozaki Location: Barcelona, Spain Project Year: 2011 Photographs::© Filippo Poli

via Arch Daily
Architects: Arata Isozaki
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Project Year: 2011
Photographs:© Filippo Poli

 

Inflatable concert hall by Anish Kapoor and Arata Isozaki in Matsushima, Japan 52-Weeks-52-CIties-by-Iwan-Baan_Ark-Nova-Isozaki_dezeen_22 Baan is known for eschewing the traditional approach of shooting buildings in isolation. He says his aim with every shoot is to capture the life both within and surrounding the built environment.

Inflatable concert hall by Anish Kapoor and Arata Isozaki in Matsushima, Japan 52-Weeks-52-CIties-by-Iwan-Baan_Ark-Nova-Isozaki_dezeen_22  Baan is known for eschewing the traditional approach of shooting buildings in isolation. He says his aim with every shoot is to capture the life both within and surrounding the built environment.

 

GreatBuildings.com Image - Team Disney Building by ARATA ISOZAKI

GreatBuildings.com Image – Team Disney Building by ARATA ISOZAKI

 

Isozaki draws from a wide-ranging store of references. MOCA’s pyramid-shaped skylights do indeed reflect Egyptian pyramids, for instance, but they are also simple geometric forms. Influenced first by his teacher, the prominent Japanese architect Kenzo Tange, by Le Corbusier and, later, by Otto Wagner, the architect builds on rather than discards his traditional training.

 

Image via The Vintage Poster

Image via The Vintage Poster

 

As the first museum ever to be entirely dedicated to the human species, Domus shines as a source of pride for Galicia. Japanese architect Arata Isozaki designed the Domus complex, which contains a museum, restaurant and IMAX theater, to look like a ship sail. davidsbeenhere

Domus shines as a source of pride for Galicia. Japanese architect Arata Isozaki designed the Domus complex.

Domus shines as a source of pride for Galicia. Japanese architect Arata Isozaki designed the Domus complex

 

Arata Isozaki was instantly recognizable by his distinctive style of dress. He often wore traditional Japanese clothing, and he favored the color black. He appeared on the cover of the New York Times Magazine in 1986, dressed in a “dazzingly” fashionable Issey Miyake creation. By presenting himself as being sartorially distinct from the crowd, Isozaki provided a contemporary parallel to the flamboyant Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous American architect (and admirer of Japanese culture) who continued to affect Victorian dress long after it passed out of style. Encyclopedia.com

 

Bar Italia News Arata Isozaki

Bar Italia News Arata Isozaki

 

Irata Isozaki, Japanese architect, teacher and theorist. He will be remembered as the designer of such prestigious international projects as Barcelona’s Olympic Stadium, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Tokyo University of Art and Design, the Team Disney Building in Orlando, FL…..and the list goes on.

I feel compelled to share this other aspect to his architectural aesthetic that came up often in my research and should be considered when you look at his body of work. Being Japanese brought both light and darkness to the architecture.

 There is thus always an undercurrent of morbid scepticism lying beneath the exuberance of his aesthetic form—a darkness of spirit that became overt from time to time. In his Electric Labyrinth (1968), designed for the Triennale in Milan, for example, the exhibition was haunted by an image of the devastated Hiroshima, combined with traditional Japanese ghosts and demons representing the revengeful spirits of the nuclear disaster. MOMA.org

 

Iraklis/Tumblr

Iraklis/Tumblr

 

 

We work hard to accurately credit all of our resources, both words and images. If we have made any errors or omissions please contact us and we will correct our information.

Architects and Their Chairs “G”

Architects and Their Chairs “G”

                        “G” is for Gehry

 

Frank-Owen-Gehry

 

 Frank Owen Gehry was born in Toronto, Canada on February 28, 1929. He studied at the University of Southern California and Harvard University. Frank was creative at a young age, building imaginary homes and cities from items found in his grandfather’s hardware store. This interest in unconventional building materials would come to characterize Gehry’s architectural work.  information via, Ruarte Contract

 

      image via, http://ruartecontract.com/frank-gehry-architecture-decoration-materials/

image via  Ruarte Contract

 

Gehry creates unexpected, twisted forms that break conventions of building design. His work has been called radical, playful, organic, and sensual.

His selection of materials such as corrugated metal lends some of Gehry’s designs an unfinished or even crude aesthetic. This consistent approach has made Gehry one of the most distinctive and easily recognizable designers of the recent past. Critics of Gehry’s work have charged, however, that his designs are not thoughtful of contextual concerns and frequently do not make the best use of valuable urban space.

 

My first experience of his work in 2007...love at first sight...University of Iowa

My first experience of his work in 2007…love at first sight…University of Iowa

 

His style has been called Deconstructivist —a post-structuralist aesthetic that challenges accepted design paradigms of architecture while breaking with the modernist ideal of form following function.Frank Gehry looks for an architecture more and more free, with virtuous lines and complex forms, in which the light and its reflection is a principal matter. Furthermore, he is unique in the election of materials, each one more and more unusual giving his works an artistic quality unequaled.   information via, http://www.biography.com/people/frank-gehry-

 

Preliminary sketches for the Panama Puente de Vida Museo | © Frank O. Gehry https://www.foga.com/

Preliminary sketches for the Panama Puente de Vida Museo | © Frank O. Gehry

https://www.foga.com/


“a sculptor that studied architecture”

EMP’s futuristic Frank O. Gehry designed building is constructed of over 21,000 aluminum and stainless steel shingles and 280 steel ribs. If its 400 tons of structural steel were stretched into the lightest banjo string it would extend one-fourth of the way to Venus. Photo courtesy of EMP staff. A world-renowned architect, Frank O. Gehry has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Pritzker Architecture Prize (1989), the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Award (1994), the National Medal of Arts (1998), a Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects (1999), and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Americans for the Arts (2000). Photo courtesy of EMP staff.

EMP’s futuristic Frank O. Gehry designed building is constructed of over 21,000 aluminum and stainless steel shingles and 280 steel ribs. If its 400 tons of structural steel were stretched into the lightest banjo string it would extend one-fourth of the way to Venus.

A world-renowned architect, Frank O. Gehry has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Pritzker Architecture Prize (1989), the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Award (1994), the National Medal of Arts (1998), a Gold Medal from the American Institute of Architects (1999), and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Americans for the Arts (2000).

Photo courtesy of EMP staff.Situated at the base of the world-renowned Space Needle

 

In His Own Words:

“I approach each building as a sculptural object, a spatial container, a space with light and air, a response to context and appropriateness of feeling and spirit. To this container, this sculpture, the user brings his baggage, his program, and interacts with it to accommodate his needs. If he can’t do that, I’ve failed.”— from the 1980 edition of “Contemporary Architects”

“Building a building is like berthing the Queen Mary in a small slip at a marina. There are lots of wheels and turbines and thousands of people involved, and the architect is the guy at the helm who has to visualize everything going on and organize it all in his head. Architecture is anticipating, working with and understanding all of the craftsmen, what they can do and what they can’t do, and making it all come together. I think of the final product as a dream image, and it’s always elusive. You can have a sense of what the building should look like and you can try to capture it. But you never quite do.”— Conversations With Frank Gehry by Barbara Isenberg, p. 62

information via, http://architecture.about.com/od/greatarchitects/p/gehry.htm

 

EMP Museum – Seattle At the base of the Space Needle, Gehry framed the EMP Museum to look as if its steel-and-aluminum skin is flapping in the wake of Seattle’s famous monorail.
EMP Museum – Seattle
At the base of the Space Needle, Gehry framed the EMP Museum to look as if its steel-and-aluminum skin is flapping in the wake of Seattle’s famous monorail. The building’s remarkable architectural form and sophisticated use of colors and textures can be traced to a melted Stratocaster guitar that served as inspiration to the architect Frank O. Gehry. Architectural Digest

 

 

 Idiosyncratic as it is said to be, Gehry’s philosophy toward designing is simple. He stays original and attempts to balance out the current trends of plain modernism with his own spice. Gehry mirrors the crazy, chaotic, insane aspects of life in his buildings. Like Gehry said himself, “What is architecture? It’s a three-dimensional object, right? So why can’t it be anything?”   www.SilverCreek

 

                                                                                    Furniture

 

EMECO TUYOMYO BENCH DESIGN BY FRANK GEHRY 2009 Emeco with Gehry: A Collaboration in Support of Hereditary Disease Research “Tuyomyo” Yours and Mine: One-of-a-Kind

EMECO TUYOMYO BENCH DESIGN BY FRANK GEHRY 2009
Emeco with Gehry: A Collaboration in Support of Hereditary Disease Research
“Tuyomyo” Yours and Mine: One-of-a-Kind

 

furniture-by-frank-gehry-architect-decor/
furniture-by-frank-gehry-architect-decor/

Gehry had success in the 1970s with his line of Easy Edges chairs made from bent laminated cardboard. By 1991, Gehry was using bent laminated maple to produce the Power Play Armchair. These designs are part of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) collection in NYC.

 

Frank O. Gehry, Easy Edges lounge chair, 1972 www.sfmoma.org

Frank O. Gehry, Easy Edges lounge chair, 1972

www.sfmoma.org

One of the more spectacular 70s chairs is Frank O. Gehry's cardboard chair, Wiggle Side Chair, which is made out of 60 layers of closely compressed ... www.archithings.com

One of the more spectacular 70s chairs is Frank O. Gehry’s cardboard chair, Wiggle Side Chair, which is made out of 60 layers of closely compressed …

www.archithings.com

Frank Gehry Face Off café table and 4 Cross Check arm chairs ...
Frank Gehry Face Off café table and 4 Cross Check arm chairs …

  • The most prominent influence of Gehry’s childhood was the love of fish. The elements he loved in the fish can be constantly seen in all of his buildings. It got him into thinking freely.

“The fish is a perfect form.” –Frank O. Gehry, 1986

 

The shape of the fish is what got me thinking freely. Via silvercreek http://bit.ly/11HXlQU
The shape of the fish is what got me thinking freely. Via silvercreek

 

We always aim to give credit for all images and information, in the event we fail to do that please notify us and we will correct the error. LMV

 

Architects and Their Chairs  “B”

Architects and Their Chairs “B”

     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.

An Architect Reflects From Across The Pond

An Architect Reflects From Across The Pond

I am pleased to introduce my guest this month, Meto Mihaylov, Architect · Basel, Switzerland ·  Meto spent Christmas with our family in 2006 when he attended Westtown School in Pennsylvania, with my son Joshua.  Lo and behold, we recently connected again (thank you Facebook), and my charming Bulgarian friend is now an architect!  So naturally I queried….

 

Q:  What led you to become an architect, your favorite architect/s?  Did your time living in the U.S. influence you in any way?

 

A:  My name is Meto. I come from Bulgaria. I have lived and studied in high school for one year in the USA. After this I studied architecture at a University in Denmark and now work as an architect in Switzerland.

In my culture it is normal to pick a profession at a very early age. I was a little kid when I saw the ancient city of Plovdiv for the first time. I fell in love with its old buildings and with its atmosphere, and decided that I wanted to become an architect.

 

Untitled

 

NYC made the biggest impression on me when I was in the USA and solidified my intention to study and do buildings. Please visit this city at least once in your life if you can.

At University I learned more and more about the contemporary work of the 20th and 21st century. It is scary to see how Professors in Europe teach architectural theory no different than religion is taught in a religion class. “Le Corbusier is God, and if you question any of what I tell you- you are dumb”. I like it when people question things and point out defects in buildings. This is a constructive way to work and achieve better results. Architects must not be the ones who judge architecture because they are too immersed into it and lose the objectivity. We do not build for architects- we build for people, for children, for shopping, for doctors etc. I like to ask friends and family to give me their opinion on my buildings during the design process, because their view tends to be much more objective, human, and overall better than when I ask my colleagues.

My list of professional influences reflects my worldview. There are certain architects whom I like, but I always try to be fair and see the pros and cons in their work. I do not believe in unconditionally worshiping an architect like I see many architect friends do. The character of a person, in architecture, always shows up in the work, so I like to study architects also as individuals, in order to understand their thought process better.

I like the organic form of Oscar Niemeyer but even more I like his overall organic approach to life. The houses of John Lautner have a similar effect- a completely revised space which makes life better. He was also very good at sustainable budget houses, not only the houses for the rich, like the one in the movie “The big Lebowski”. When it comes to the ever-present-for-good-or-bad field of Modernism, I find Paul Rudolph to be the one who really cracked the code of the modern form and proportion, overcoming the haunting sterility of modernist structures.

 

nie

Lautner

 

I recently had the good fortune to hear SeARCH’s Bjarne Mastenbroek present his way of seeing things and I found a lot of common ground with him. He works in the real world, where he has a budget amidst a financial crisis, and has to build residential buildings and schools in Holland two times cheaper and three times better than twenty years ago. When you manage to do something like this, you are truly creative and innovative, and a real architect, unlike someone like Zaha Hadid, who gives someone sketches of an unknown spaceship, budget- unknown, energy requirements for building it and after- unknown, building time- unknown, “oh, and by the way- I designed it but you have to build it yourself, because I can’t”. So, back to Mastenbroek, and I will leave you with him. He will build the first passive hotel in the ski resort of St. Moritz in the Swiss Alps, where, until now, only the richest of the rich built the most unsustainable, most expensive villas possible (Norman Foster built his own house there). Mastenbroek made a research and he will heat the hotel with 60 cows, which in winter will produce more heat just in staying inside glass rooms, than a radiator or floor heating. No cars allowed, you will have to reach the place on a dog sled. The sloping roof will be a part of the ski slope. The Swiss government, based in the capital city of Bern, is going to discuss changing the law of the Canton (State) of Graubünden in 2014, so that the crazy Dutchman can do the cow hotel. Keep an eye out, you will see it happen soon.

 

SeArCH

 

Be careful with architects. I can tell you that this industry often makes people extremely selfish and gives them a mania for fame. They stop wanting to make the world a better place and start wanting only attention. Please do not trust that single persons create buildings just because the media find it much easier to give you a single name. Even Mastenbroek cannot complete a house alone. Buildings are done by dozens of people and it is real teamwork that brings about a great result in the form of a built structure. Thank you for reading this and look for the architecture that makes a true innovation.

 

Architect Meto Mihaylov Zentrum Paul Klee (by Renzo Piano) — in Bern, Switzerland. Paradigm Gallery's photo.

Architect Meto Mihaylov
Zentrum Paul Klee (by Renzo Piano) — in Bern, Switzerland.
Paradigm Gallery’s photo.