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68 posts categorized "Newsletter"



February 24, 2014

Beadle-built and beloved in Arizona.

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Al Beadle. Photo by JJ Brinkman.

“If visual pollution were toxic, we’d all be dead,” said architect Alfred Newman Beadle (1927–1998). A curmudgeon and perfectionist, the always-dressed-in-black Beadle also had a romantic side, believing that “every house should have a surprise for its owners.”

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Beadle House No. 6 (1954), aka White Gates. Photo by Gwendolyn Horton.

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Beadle House (1958), located around the corner from House No. 6. Photo by Gwendolyn Horton.

Recognized today as one of Arizona’s best architects, Beadle began his career as a builder in 1950. He never attended architecture school and never intended on being anything more than a builder. Fortunately, for those who live in and love his houses, he started designing.

Continue reading "Beadle-built and beloved in Arizona. " »

December 27, 2013

On location: Where is gwendoland?

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Life takes a U-turn into Usonia.

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Reisley House, 1952, by Frank Lloyd Wright. Photo: Roland Reisley

Imagine driving through a neighborhood of midcentury modern homes, admiring the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, Aaron Resnick, David Henken and others. You playfully say to your mate, “That’s my favorite. That’s the one I would want,” before finding out that it’s for sale. A few months later, you’re living in it. That’s how one modern-day couple – an architect and a designer – came to live in Usonia, a very special community of 47 homes in Westchester County, New York.

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Benjamin Henken House, 1949, by David Henken. Photo: Roland Reisley

“It was like discovering a midcentury Brigadoon,” says one, referring to Alan Jay Lerner’s story about a mysterious village that appears for only one day every hundred years. Fortunately, Usonia has stood on the same spot for 65 years, and the people who love it are going to make sure that it never disappears. “You can feel the sense of community,” she continues. “It’s woven into the landscape.”

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Kahn House, 1962, by Aaron Resnick. Photo: Gwendolyn Horton

David Henken, an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright, initiated the idea for this cooperative housing community in 1943. A year later, he and his wife Priscilla had 13 families interested in being part of “the Usonian dream,” which they described as: creating a more fulfilling community life than they’d known previously, being part of a community of caring neighbors and living in harmony with one’s surroundings.

Continue reading "Life takes a U-turn into Usonia." »

November 26, 2013

Giving thanks for Paolo Soleri.

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Barrel vaults used as an office and workshop at Cosanti. Photo: Gwendolyn Horton

If there were an official sound to Arizona, it would be the chime of Paolo Soleri’s wind-bells. Although this fascinating man left our world in April 2013, his voice has not been silenced. His bells – like doorbells that announce your arrival to another way of living – serve as reminders of what is possible when we approach our world with kindness and a sense of community.

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Wind-bells in front of earth-cast Cosanti structure. Photo: Gwendolyn Horton

Born in Turin, Italy, in 1919, Paolo Soleri was an architect, writer, thinker, philosopher, artist and visionary. When he was in his twenties, he spent a year as an apprentice for Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin West, returned to Italy for several years, then made his way back to the U.S. and settled in Arizona. In 1955, Soleri purchased a five-acre property in Paradise Valley, which he named Cosanti, a combination of the Italian words cose and anti. Together the words mean “before things,” expressing one of his hopes for humankind’s role in this world.

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Ceramics Studio (1958) at Cosanti. Photo: Gwendolyn Horton

Cosanti and the experimental town Arcosanti, which he founded in 1970, are human habitats that Soleri created to explore alternative methods of architecture and ways of group living. While Arcosanti is the stronger expression of his concept of arcology, which asserts that architecture and ecology are one integral process, many believe that Cosanti is his greatest work.

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October 28, 2013

The Gift of Know-How.

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Our gift to you: the timeless gift of know-how. Learn about style, drinks, books and food from some of our favorite aficionados. Watch their engaging videos and enter for a chance to win an Eames® Hang-It-All from DWR and a $500 gift certificate from emerging retailer Of a Kind.

Continue reading "The Gift of Know-How." »

October 16, 2013

Help save the Weidlinger House.

 

Due to a lack of resources from the Park Service, this irreplaceable piece of our cultural heritage ended up abandoned and slated for demolition in the pristine landscape of the Cape Cod National Seashore. The Cape Cod Modern House Trust (CCMHT) has initiated a Kickstarter campaign to raise at least $50,000 toward the structure’s restoration and conversion into an artist/scholar residence by July 2014.

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The living room in it’s original state. Photo: Madeliene Weidlinger-Friedli

In 1952, Paul Weidlinger bought this secluded parcel of land in Wellfleet. Inspired by his friend, the famed architect Marcel Breuer, who had settled just across the pond, he set out to combine his vision of experimental modernism with the particular requirements of a Cape Cod summerhouse.

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October 03, 2013

Exploring Maison La Roche in Paris.

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Photo: Gwendolyn Horton

His sense of humor masked by a French facade, the museum curator handed me a pair of blue booties for my tour of the stair- and ramp-laden architecture of Maison La Roche in Paris. Designed in 1923 by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret, this house with art gallery was commissioned by Swiss banker Raoul La Roche.

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LC3 Chair by Corbu Group in the art gallery. Photo: Gwendolyn Horton

Continue reading "Exploring Maison La Roche in Paris." »

August 30, 2013

This Kahn can be yours.

As featured in our September catalog, this stunning house by Louis Kahn is currently for sale.

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Photo: William Whitaker

Architect Louis Kahn believed there should always be a beam of light in the house, and in the home he designed for Margaret Esherick this mantra is indeed true. The light is what current owner Lynn Gallagher likes best. “You can’t be depressed in this house,” she says. “It’s truly uplifting.”

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Photo: William Whitaker

In 1959, bookstore owner Margaret Esherick commissioned Kahn to design a house for her in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Chestnut Hill. It was completed two years later and sadly Esherick lived in it for only a few months before dying of pneumonia at the age of 43.

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Photo: Gwendolyn Horton

Continue reading "This Kahn can be yours." »

May 21, 2013

UN Trusteeship Council Chamber reopens.

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Photo: Salto & Sigsgaard

“When I walked into the room yesterday – seeing it for the first time – it was like walking into Alice in Wonderland,” says designer Kasper Salto. “It was like walking into the drawings we’ve been working on for two years.”

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Photo: Hans Ole Madsen

The room he’s describing is the fully restored Trusteeship Council Chamber that Finn Juhl designed more than 60 years ago for the UN headquarters in New York. After decades of use and off-target alterations, the chamber has been renovated with the furniture, lighting fixtures, draperies and other objects originally specified by Finn Juhl. The updated space also includes a new chair and table designed by Kasper Salto and Thomas Sigsgaard, who won a competition sponsored by the Danish Arts Foundation.

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The Council Chair by Salto & Sigsgaard. Photo: Hans Ole Madsen

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March 04, 2013

Finn Juhl, the UN Chamber and his Ordrup home.

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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. 

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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.

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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.”

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Photo: DWR

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

March 01, 2013

It takes a village ... and a VW bus.

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Photo: Jim Bastardo

The 14-hour days and challenging conditions don't scare our photo crew. Here are a few of the lighter moments from our recent Arizona photoshoot for the March catalog.

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Photo: Jim Bastardo

We like to say that "Umbrellas are for cocktails, Tuuci systems are made for shade." In this case, it appears the team is enjoying both.

Continue reading "It takes a village ... and a VW bus." »

Scottsdale: A very special DWR Studio.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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).

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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.

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January 28, 2013

Pop the Champagne – winners have been chosen!

Congratulations to the winners of our 2013 DWR Champagne Chair Contest. Choosing the top three was one of the toughest decisions our judges ever had to make in this contest. Our judges -- DWR President and CEO John Edelman; COO John McPhee; VP of Merchandising Kari Woldum; and VP of Marketing and Creative Michael Sainato -- send their sincere appreciation to all of the entrants this year. 

First Place and $1,000 DWR Gift Card goes to Miwa F. for her "Rockin' Chaise." This design is truly masterful with a functional drink holder that moves. Our judges loved the innovation of this design using mid-century aestethics and were impressed with how the materials come together into one seamless piece.

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Second Place a $500 DWR Gift Card goes to Jeffery Molter who designed a modern folding chair as well as a case to store it in. Our judges were so impressed with this design and we cannot remember ever receiving anything like this before. Form meets funciton in this whimsical yet useful piece.

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Third Place and a $250 DWR Gift Card goes to Aaron Padilla. Named "F8 Chaise," this is beautifully constructed, unique design. The underside of the seat is fully sculpted of cork and the the upholstery overlaying it is a foil basketweave. Thank you Aaron for this clean and well thought out design. We also loved the packaging it came in! 

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On behalf of our judges and everyone here at DWR, we would like to congratulate the winners and all of the contestants on their beautiful, innovative and functional designs this year. Thank you for taking the time to create a champagne chair for our special contest. Please browse all 319 submissions here

We'll see you next year!

January 08, 2013

Architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable dies at 91.

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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.

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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."

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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.

 

January 04, 2013

Express yourself in cork and foil.

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Previous contest winner by Tony Nemyer. Chair name: Grape Divine Chair.

Still haven’t taken out the recycling from New Year’s Eve? Luckily, it’s not too late to enter the DWR Champagne Chair Contest™. The challenge is simple: Create an original miniature chair using only the foil, label, cage and cork from no more than two champagne bottles.* Three winners will receive a DWR Gift Card. The deadline for submissions is January 14. Cheers!

Learn more at dwr.com/champagnechair. After you've designed your chair, feel free to share it on Instagram and Twitter with #dwrchampagnechair

*If champagne is not your thing, we also accept chairs made from the foil, label, cage and cork of Prosecco or any other sparkling wine.

December 20, 2012

Miles, the modern dog.

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Miles on the Milo Recliner.

If DWR had a mascot, it would most certainly be Miles, who has appeared in our catalogs as well as on our blog and facebook page. He is also a regular at our photoshoots. Here are a few of our favorite photos of DWR’s favorite dog.

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On location in Armonk, New York. House in background was designed by Arthur Witthoefft in 1957. Read more about the house here. Keep reading to see MORE PHOTOS.

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December 17, 2012

Long-vacant TWA Terminal could become boutique hotel.

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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.

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Photo: Gwendolyn Horton for DWR

November 21, 2012

You have to read George.

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George Nelson posing for Herman Miller advertisement "Traveling Men," ca. 1954. Courtesy of Vitra Design Museum Archive.

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.

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Cover of November 1959 issue of Architectural Forum, where George Nelson was associate editor (1935-1943) and consulting editor (1944-1949).

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