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.
194 posts categorized "Architecture"
March 27, 2013
March 12, 2013
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
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.
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.”
March 03, 2013
Photo: Scott Jarson, azarchitecture.com
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.
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.
March 01, 2013
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.
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.
February 28, 2013
“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).
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.
February 26, 2013
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
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.
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
February 01, 2013
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.
January 24, 2013
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
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.
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."
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
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.
December 10, 2012
“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 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.
November 21, 2012
Red Sun by Arthur G. Dove, 1935. Oil on canvas. On display at Amon Carter Museum. © Estate of Arthur G. Dove; The Phillips Collection
Here are just a few exhibitions happening around the country. From the Phillips Collection in Fort Worth to Eero Saarinen in Los Angeles to Studio Gang Architects in Chicago, there is richness to enjoy everywhere.
Architecture and Design Museum, Los Angeles
Eero Saarinen: A Reputation for Innovation
Pasadena Museum of California Art
Greta Magnusson Grossman: A Car and Some Shorts
At last week's Yale symposium about George Nelson, one message was clear: You have to read George. In other words, George the writer trumps George the architect, George the designer and George the teacher, combined.
For two days, scholars, design nerds, editors and Murray Moss (there is no label to define him) talked about the legacy of this American icon. Known mainly for his furniture and design work for Herman Miller, Nelson also wrote and edited for Architectural Forum, Fortune, Pencil Points, Life and McCall's, and co-authored the bestselling Tomorrow's House with Henry Wright.
Finn Juhl's gold and purple sofa designed in 1957, shown with a coffee table he designed for professor Alf Ross in 1948. Ross was a Danish lawyer, legal philosopher and the author of Guilt, Responsibility and Punishment in which he wrote about "morality's capacity to guide human behavior." Which brings me to the question of the built-in vase in this coffee table. Are we to see the flowers as imprisoned in the tabletop and, if so, what pray tell was their crime?
November 16, 2012
Home for the holidays…