All posts filed under: Architecture

Modernism Rediscovered: Julius Shulman

TASCHEN’s Modernism Rediscovered brought to light for the first time some 300 forgotten architectural masterpieces, drawn from photographer Julius Shulman’s personal archives. Paying tribute to houses and buildings that had slipped from public view, Shulman’s stunning photographs uncovered a rarely seen side of California Modernism. This extensive volume brings hundreds more architectural gems into the spotlight. The photographs, most of which are published here for the first time in a book, depict buildings by Albert Frey, Louis Kahn, John Lautner, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Richard Neutra, and more, as well as the work of many lesser known architects. Not just restricted to the West Coast this time, the images were taken all across the United States as well as in Mexico, Israel, and Hong Kong. Widely considered the greatest architectural photographer of our time, Julius Shulman has once again opened his archives so that we may rediscover the world’s hidden Modernist treasures. The buildings burned in our memories, which to us represent the spirit of the fifties and sixties architectural design, were …

Carlo Scarpa

In Robert McCarter’s Carlo Scarpa monograph, Austrian architect Peter Noever tells an astonishing tale. In 1974, he and Scarpa toured the Adolf Loos made American Bar in Vienna. The moment they entered Scarpa started evaluating the space. He ordered champagne for the ladies…… who were present and a measuring tape for himself. Scarpa then continued to measure everything down to the exact millimeter. When completed he announced the space to be of “singular spiritual and emotional quality.” This is precisely how I envision McCarter analyze the work of the Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa—measuring tape in hand.  In this substantial volume, McCarter leads us by the hand through Scarpa’s achievements. He gives us a survey that is both vast, and in the spirit of Scarpa, meticulously detailed. Carlo Scarpa is a mystery. He has never achieved the iconic status in this country reserved for Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, or Louis Kahn, yet Scarpa was revered by all of them. McCarter’s comprehensive tome has the capacity to change this. With over 350 drawings, photos and plans …

Brion Cemetery Meditation Pavilion – Carlo Scarpa

Carlo Scarpa was one of the second generation of Modern architects – however, as a son of Venice, he was sensitive to that city’s old-fashioned culture (unlike most modernists), and made his reputation through a number of commissions and renovations in which he used Modern methods and spatial concepts to transform Venice, rather than crudely eliminate its ancient identity. He understood that the past is not dead and that we in the present must engage and intertwine with it. Scarpa did not restrict himself to Venice, however. Indeed, perhaps his most visited and well-known work was the last he completed in his lifetime – the Brion Cemetery at San Vito D’Altivole, a small village not far from the Dolomite Mountains. This was the country of Giuseppe Brion, founder of the prestigious Brionvega electronics company, who Scarpa admired as a man of the people, who had “started from the bottom”, as well as for the design quality of his products, many of which are museum pieces today. When Brion died in 1968, his family bought a …

Archi-Graphic

Are you a trivia whiz who knows his Alto from his Ando? Which bespectacled architect set the trend, nay stereotype, for round eyewear across the profession? Whose eyebrows are on fleek? The Distinguishing Features Game, is one of more than 60 infographics featured in Archi-Graphic, a book from publisher Laurence King. Author Frank Jacobus, an associate professor at the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas, dreamed it up as part of his goal to bring data visualization to his field—along with a much-needed dose of levity. “I love the humor in the book and that’s part of what we’re after,” Jacobus says. “There’s a tendency to take things too seriously in architecture. We’re trying to make things a bit lighter. Part of my interest is in data visualization and I thought, what a great way to bring architecture to a bigger audience.” Jacobus sketched out all of the infographics and worked with a group of about 20 architecture students to research and digitize them. The whole process took about a year and …

Beyond Bawa

All too often, the architecture books you see on other people’s coffee tables allow you to wallow self-indulgently in the pure sensuousness of the pictures, and the thinly worded script might as well not exist. Don’t get me wrong. I like to immerse just as much as the next man, but this is something Robson does not allow you to do. This is not to say the pictures in the book are bad. On the contrary they are extremely beautiful – and beautifully laid out – but they are very much a supporting act to Robson’s detailed analysis of where modern Sri Lankan architecture came from, and where it seems to be going. As you would expect, Geoffrey Bawa is presented in a big way. But Robson does something far more complicated here than just list Bawa’s achievements: he traces the bloodlines of Bawa’s architectural descendants all over Monsoon Asia, defined by him as stretching from India’s Malabar coast in the west to Irian Jaya in the east, right across the Indian Ocean. Descendants there …

In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones

In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones (1989) is an Indian National Award winning film featuring  Arundhati Roy, Indian superstar Shahrukh Khan ,Arjun Raina and Roshan Seth in the leads, the film directed by Pradip Kishen makes an excellent judgment on the environment of an architecture school in Delhi – which everyone from a creative discipline may relate to. It also takes a satirical glimpse of the ongoings in such creative schools where students prepare and present their ultimate submission- An Architectural Thesis. The film shows in brutal honesty what goes under the curtain of architectural education.

Elements of Venice by Giulia Foscari

Elements of Venice is an extraordinarily well-researched and presented research effort, led a written by a key member of the Venice Biennale team, architect Giulia Foscari, a daughter of Venice with impeccable credentials and profound insights into the nature and history of the great, enigmatic City of Venice. This work will be intriguing for those just beginning to dip their toes into the lagoon of Venice’s cultural and architectural history. It is also a boon for those now fully immersed into the deep historical waters of La Serenissima. “Developed as a research project parallel to FUNDAMENTALS – the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale, curated by Rem Koolhaas – this book introduces a radically new way of seeing Venice. With examinations of twelve different architectural elements, the guide allows readers to better understand the fundamental transformations that have shaped Venice over the past ten centuries.” This Biennale opened at the end of June 2014, with this book printed in June as well. The Foreword by Rem Koolhaas states that the presented research “…presents micronarratives revealed by focusing …

Le Corbusier: Acrobat of Architecture – B. V. Doshi

Today, we mark the 50 years since Le Corbusier died while swimming towards the Sun! It’s amazing how one man changes the world with his art, architecture and powerful idea. He is possibly the greatest architect of all times and expanded the notion of want it actually is to be an architect – a poet and a harmonizer who showed the way to the Modern Age of solidarity. The following is an interview from Vistāra – The Architecture of India, Catalogue of the Exhibition, edited by Carmen Kagal, 204-214. The Festival of India, 1986. Doshi, Balkrishna. “Le Corbusier: Acrobat of Architecture – B. V. Doshi interviewed by Carmen Kagal.” A youthful Doshi (in black coat) on site with Le Corbusier. Q. So much has been written about Le Corbusier that I think we can dispense with the basics. We know, of course, that he was a many-sided man – architect, painter, sculptor, poet, author – or rather polemicist. However, if you had to choose the one outstanding quality of his personality, what would it be? A. …