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198 posts categorized "Architecture"

April 15, 2013

Hi ho Hotel Valley Ho!

Porte Cochere Daytime

If you’re going to be anywhere near Arizona, you must soak in the midcentury charm of the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale. This is the place to recharge your love of all things modern and well designed. The pool, spa and swinging lounge beckon to those on vacation, while the comfortable rooms with large work area and plentiful outlets make the business traveler feel at home … or at work … maybe a bit of both.


Built in 1956, the Hotel Valley Ho is one of the few midcentury hotels still standing in Scottsdale. It rose from the desert just five years after Scottsdale was incorporated as a city and it still has the optimistic spirit of a young city of 2,000 residents on the verge of a boom.

Archival photo of the Hotel Valley Ho lobby.

Continue reading "Hi ho Hotel Valley Ho!" »

April 05, 2013

For sale: the Millard House by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Photo: Scott Mayoral

Built in 1923, the Millard House (aka, La Miniatura) was Frank Lloyd Wright’s first project using his modular textile block, a technology with which he hoped to “take the despised concrete block and turn it into a thing of beauty.” One look at this lovely home, with its richly textured brocade-like walls, and I'd say he succeeded.

Photo: Scott Mayoral

Recognized by Wright as his earliest “Usonian” house, the Millard House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also currently for sale. The property includes a residence and studio, nestled into an acre of gardens within the Prospect Historic District of Pasadena. List price: $4,495,000.

Photo: Scott Mayoral

TGIF quiz question.


Show us your modern smarts:

Where was this photograph taken?

Who was the architect who designed the building?


March 27, 2013

Toyo Ito named 2013 Pritzker Prize Laureate.

Toyo Ito, Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate, 2013
Photo by Yoshiaki Tsutsui

Japanese architect Toyo Ito has been awarded the 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize, the industry's highest honor. Acknowledged for being a “creator of timeless buildings,” the Pritzker Jury cites Ito for “infusing his designs with a spiritual dimension and for the poetics that transcend all his works.” [Call me a chair nerd, but the Series 7 Chair is the perfect choice for his Pritzker portrait.]

Architect: Toyo Ito. Tama Art University Library (Hachiōji campus), 2004—2007, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Tomio Ohashi

Architect: Toyo Ito. Tama Art University Library (Hachiōji campus), 2004—2007, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Tomio Ohashi

Continue reading "Toyo Ito named 2013 Pritzker Prize Laureate." »

Happy Birth van der Day.

Photo courtesy of the Chicago History Museum (

On this day 127 years ago, the modern master Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was born. "An interesting plainness is the most difficult and precious thing to achieve," said the architect and Bauhaus director who designed the Farnsworth House in Illinois and the Seagram Building in New York, to name just two of his architectural triumphs. Equally significant is his furniture – minimalist forms that exhibit an unerring sense of proportion. Mies van der Rohe may have designed the Barcelona® Chair for the king and queen of Spain, but in our book, he was the one who was truly royalty. A salute to Mies on this day.


March 12, 2013

You're invited to tour DWR CEO's home (and move in if you wish).


DWR CEO John Edelman is selling his NYC penthouse and this incredible space is featured in a Halstead Property online Open House. Step into Edelman's shoes and check out this fantastic urban pad.

March 04, 2013

Finn Juhl, the UN Chamber and his Ordrup home.

Trusteeship Council Chamber, 1952. UN Photo

You’ll be hearing Finn Juhl’s name in the news this month because the Trusteeship Council Chamber he designed for the United Nations headquarters in New York is being reopened. This chamber was a gift from Denmark to the United Nations and its construction cost roughly $20,000 in 1952. 

Renovation in progress, 2012. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Continue reading "Finn Juhl, the UN Chamber and his Ordrup home." »

Step inside the desert architecture of Will Bruder.

Architect: Will Bruder. The Jarson residence, Paradise Valley, AZ.
Photo: Gwendolyn Horton

When Debbie and Scott Jarson decided to build a house on the land they’d owned for 13 years, they were surprised that many architects didn’t understand the building site, and some told them it would be impossible to put a home there. Then they met Will Bruder – whose work Scott had been a fan of since the 1970s – and they found their match. “We invited Will to the site and he sat on a rock and drew the house,” says Scott. “That’s the house we built.”

Photo: DWR

Continue reading "Step inside the desert architecture of Will Bruder." »

March 03, 2013

The right way to save a Wright house.

Photo: Scott Jarson,

The David and Gladys Wright House was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for his son and daughter-in-law. Located in a citrus orchard in Phoenix, this 1950s masterpiece had been threatened with demolition until an anonymous benefactor purchased it for $2.387 million in December 2012. The buyer intends to transfer ownership to a not-for-profit organization, which will restore and maintain the home, while also making it available for educational purposes.

Photo: Gwendolyn Horton

This happy ending was an unexpected twist at the end of a seven-month battle between preservationists and a development company that planned to destroy the house in order to split the property.

Continue reading "The right way to save a Wright house. " »

March 01, 2013

Scottsdale: A very special DWR Studio.

Photo: Gwendolyn Horton

Our Scottsdale Studio is in a building designed by Frank Henry, who was inspired to become an architect after a chance meeting with Frank Lloyd Wright. A native of Southern California, Henry moved to Arizona in the 1940s, and in 1960 he became the first person to receive a Bachelor of Architecture degree in the state of Arizona.

Archival photo of the Frank Henry building where the DWR Scottsdale Studio is today.

With more than 50 years in the industry, Henry has designed airports, banks, churches, hospitals, university buildings and one DWR Studio, although it was originally a Valley National Bank headquarters. Today he is Studio Master emeritus, teaching Hand Rendering and Perspective Drawing at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

Continue reading " Scottsdale: A very special DWR Studio. " »

February 28, 2013

On location with architect Michael P. Johnson.

Architect: Michael P. Johnson. The Bradley residence, Scottsdale, AZ.
Photo: Bill Timmerman, Timmerman Photography, Inc.

“One percent of buildings are architecture,” says Michael P. Johnson. “The rest are just stuff.” Standing six foot four with a mop of white hair and a lot to say, Johnson has a rugged elegance that’s a lot like the juxtaposition between his sleek streamlined buildings and the rough terrain of the Arizona landscape. He drives a red pickup, drinks his coffee black and likes his scotch on the rocks. He’s married to the documentary filmmaker Suzanne Johnson, and the two of them live in a house that Michael designed in Cave Creek, Arizona. Inspired by Suzanne’s dream of living in a loft in New York City, Johnson gave his wife “a loft in the desert.”

Architect: Michael P. Johnson. The Johnson residence, Cave Creek, AZ.
Photo: Richard Mack

The Johnson house is set in a remote area north of Cave Creek, keenly attuned to the changing light throughout the day and subtle shifts of the seasons. It has luscious views of mountains, cacti and sky, and one of the few houses that can be seen is the Ellsworth house, which Johnson also designed (talk about taking control of your view).

Architect: Michael P. Johnson. The Ellsworth residence, Cave Creek, AZ.
Photo: Bill Timmerman, Timmerman Photography, Inc.

The Ellsworth was one of the houses where we photographed the DWR March catalog, and we chose the space for its bold simplicity, balanced proportions and sleek industrial surfaces. In other words, we knew our furniture would look fantastic in a house designed by Johnson.

Continue reading "On location with architect Michael P. Johnson. " »

February 26, 2013

Moby sings the praises (and not) of L.A. architecture.

The musician, DJ and photographer known as Moby (aka Richard Melville Hall) has more in common with DWR than he knows. His first studio, circa 1987, was in an old factory in Stamford, Connecticut, located next door to where our corporate offices and Stamford Studio are now. He's also a huge fan of architecture, and his latest video is about the "mind numbingly complicated" built landscape of Los Angeles.


February 19, 2013

Nordic Cool begins today.

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Today is the first day of the month-long Nordic culture festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The festivities include panel discussions on architecture, exhibitions by 30 innovative and acclaimed Nordic designers and, of course, Legos. Building block trivia: Lego was founded in Billund, a small town in Denmark, by carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen in the 1930’s. Today they are the world's third largest manufacturer of play materials.

Oslo Opera House, designed by Snøhetta. Craig Dykers, a senior partner at the firm, will be a panelist at the Feb. 24 forum.

A few highlights from the calendar:

Forum: Master Builder/Master Builders Performing Architecture
Forum: Living by Design: A Holistic Approach to Everything
Lego Exhibition and Play Space: open daily in the Nations Gallery
Exhibition: Nordic Design Illustrated in the North Atrium Foyer

February 06, 2013

Get "Stollerized" at the Yossi Milo Gallery in NYC.

Chamberlain Cottage by Marcel Breuer and Walter Gropius, Wayland, MA | Gelatin Silver Print by Ezra Stoller (1942)

The stunning work of photographer Ezra Stoller is on display at Yossi Milo Gallery through March 2, 2013. Michael Kimmelman reviews the show and discusses Stoller's work in today's New York Times.

Ezra Stoller
General Motors Technical Center, Eero Saarinen, Warren, MI | Gelatin Silver Print by Ezra Stoller (1950)

February 01, 2013

A Grand (Central) Centennial.


Happy anniversary to Grand Central Terminal, New York’s favorite Beaux-Arts style building.

Today marks the centennial of the historic New York landmark. We’re particularly excited because many of us use it to get to and from the office. In fact, of the 750,000 or so travelers who pass through Grand Central every day, many are DWR employees. We like to think of it as an old friend you can always depend on – or are sometimes stuck with for a while. Nevertheless, we’re truly happy to celebrate it.

Check out the Gothamist for a breakdown of Grand Central restaurants and shops that are rolling back to 1913 prices on food and more throughout the day.

Five Fun Facts

1. Grand Central is the largest train station in the world by number of tracks and of platforms.

Continue reading "A Grand (Central) Centennial." »

January 24, 2013

The ABCs of Architecture.

The ABC of Architects from fedelpeye on Vimeo.

Thanks to our friends at Metropolis magazine for sharing this video on their blog. Designed by Andrea Stinga and Federico Gonzalez, it's an engaging (and alphabetical) spin through iconic buildings by some of the world's best architects. "A lot of them have been left out with grief," says Stinga, "because we only need one for each letter and we have made an effort to have different nationalities."


January 08, 2013

Architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable dies at 91.

Getty Images

It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of Ada Louise Huxtable. The famed architecture critic for the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, Huxtable "changed the way most of us see and think about man-made environments," said an editor at the Times. In 1963, she became the first full-time architecture critic for an American newspaper, and in 1970, she won the first-ever Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.

Huxtable with Arthur Ochs Sulzberger in 1970. Librado Romero/New York Times

Still writing at 91, Huxtable's piece about the $300 million restructuring plan for the New York Public Library appeared in the Journal just a few weeks ago. In Undertaking Its Destruction, Huxtable's honest, eloquent, smart, witty and somewhat saucy style is in full gear as she writes "This is a plan devised out of a profound ignorance of or willful disregard for not only the library's original concept and design, but also the folly of altering its meaning and mission and compromising its historical and architectural integrity. You don't 'update' a masterpiece. 'Modernization' may be the most dangerously misused word in the English language."

"Buildings change; they adapt to needs, times and tastes," she continued. "Old buildings are restored, upgraded and converted to new uses. For architecturally or historically significant buildings with landmark protection, the process is more complex; subtle, subjective and difficult decisions are often required. Nothing, not even buildings, stands still."

Ada Louise Huxtable in 1974. Alfred Eisenstaedt/Life Magazine

Huxtable inspired us and made us think about the world that surrounds us. I love her for using "august" as an adjective -- referring to the library as "an august institution" -- which I rarely see except for in the poetry of Wallace Stevens. My compass and my mentor, you will be missed.


December 17, 2012

Long-vacant TWA Terminal could become boutique hotel.

Photo: John Bartelstone and Beyer Blinder Belle

In early 2011, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey issued a request for proposals to transform the Eero Saarinen-designed TWA Terminal at JFK Airport into the centerpiece of a hotel. A few big players – including Trump and Starwood – sent representatives to tour the vacant terminal, and now the Wall Street Journal (wsj subscription required) is reporting that hotel developer Andre Balazs is in talks to develop the site. Balazs developed the Mercer Hotel in SoHo and The Standard in the Meatpacking District, and according to the Journal’s sources, the Port Authority aims to finalize a deal with him in the next few months. If the project moves forward, Saarinen's iconic building could become the lobby (with restaurants and shopping) for a 150-room hotel to be built in the space between the old TWA terminal and the new (built in 2008) JetBlue building. Completed in 1962, the TWA Terminal has been vacant since American acquired TWA in 2001. It was added to America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list in 2003.

Photo: Gwendolyn Horton for DWR

December 10, 2012

Remembering Oscar Niemeyer.

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 11.50.08 AM
Oscar Niemeyer's Museum of Contemporary Art in Niterói, near Rio. Credit: Ricardo Moraes/Associated Press

“Here, then, is what I wanted to tell you of my architecture," said Oscar Niemeyer. "I created it with courage and idealism, but also with an awareness of the fact that what is important is life, friends and attempting to make this unjust world a better place in which to live.” Known for his sweeping curvaceous forms, the Brazilian architect truly did make this world a better place to live, for which we will be forever grateful. Mr. Niemeyer passed away on December 5, ten days before his 105th birthday. 

November 29, 2012

Jens Risom's Block Island retreat.

Jens Risom's Block Island Retreat by Gary Nadeau for Dwell from gary nadeau on Vimeo.

Step inside Jens Risom's Block Island home in this beautiful video from Dwell. “There’s something peaceful about the island," says Risom. "It is a unique feeling that you’re there. Not that it’s yours but you’re using it.” Learn more about this iconic designer, his thoughts on prefab and the simple summers he and his family enjoyed (and still enjoy) on the island.

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Jens Risom being interviewed by Gary Nadeau for Dwell magazine.