While visiting New York in 2015 I watched the construction of Calatrava’s Occulus AKA The Transportation Hub, at the World Trade Center sites. The experience was the beginning of my interest in this man of creative genius. He is admired and distained, loved for the wildly imaginative creations of his mind, and hated for his arrogance and more. For me it all comes down to the visual experience first, his work is clear and precise art, Beauty in the eyes of this beholder.
Approaching the Milwaukee Art Museum, which sits on the edge of Lake Michigan, was a heart pounding experience. The graceful, white structure against the blue sky and wispy clouds is so simply beautiful. The fact that it breathes in it’s location is an added bonus, too often there is distraction and competition, but this Calatrava owns the vista and it is glorious.
As my beloved mom use to say, “beauty is as beauty does” and the art museum fulfilled that dictum of beautiful form and successful function. It is truly a “precious” museum, full of substance but not overwhelming, a perfect amuse bouche.
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. 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
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
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.”
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
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/
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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 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
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-
Liquid architecture. It’s like jazz—you improvise, you work together, you play off each other, you make something, they make something. And I think it’s a way of—for me, it’s a way of trying to understand the city, and what might happen in the city.”
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
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
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
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
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 …
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
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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.”
Gae Aulenti Italian Architect and Industrial Designer Tostapane
tavolo con ruote
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
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