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Spotlight: Gordon Bunshaft

12:30 - 9 May, 2016
Spotlight: Gordon Bunshaft, Lever House. Image © Flickr user gaf licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Lever House. Image © Flickr user gaf licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

As lead designer of the Lever House and many of America’s most historically prominent buildings, Pritzker Prize winning architect Gordon Bunshaft (9 May 1909 - 6 August 1990) is credited with ushering in a new era of Modernist skyscraper design and corporate architecture. A stern figure and a loyal advocate of the International Style, Bunshaft spent the majority of his career as partner and lead designer for SOM, who have referred to him as “a titan of industry, a decisive army general, an architectural John Wayne.”

AD Classics: Hajj Terminal, King Abdulaziz Airport / SOM

07:00 - 17 December, 2015
AD Classics: Hajj Terminal, King Abdulaziz Airport / SOM, Image courtesy SOM. Image © Jay Langlois | Owens-Corning
Image courtesy SOM. Image © Jay Langlois | Owens-Corning

The Hajj Terminal at the King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah, is no ordinary airport terminal. Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill as part of the master plan for the broader airport and air force base facility, the Hajj Terminal, officially inaugurated in 1981, was purpose-built for the influx of religious pilgrims that stream into Saudi Arabia for just a few weeks each year as part of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. The Hajj has been a part of Islam since the religion’s founding–it is one of the “five pillars” of Islam–but with the advent of jumbo jets and government subsidized pilgrimage trips from Muslim countries around the world, the number of Hajjis soared from an average of 50,000 in the 1960s to 500,000 in 1975.[1] SOM’s massive Teflon-coated fiberglass tent-like structure would accommodate 950,000 Hajjis by 1985, and today millions of pilgrims pass through the facility each year during the Hajj.

Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island

13:00 - 16 August, 2012

The relationship between social dynamics and architecture has always been intimate.  It is a constant dialogue between social norms and politics, stylistic trends and aesthetic choices, individual preferences and the collective good.  The Modernist Period was a time when architecture took on the challenge of many social problems.  In all the arts –  architecture, design, music and film – the period was highly politicized and the choices often gave way to a utilitarian ideal that was a hybrid of efficiency, simplicity and comfort.  Jake Gorst’s new film Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island, supported by Design Onscreen, is a message of preservation that takes us through the history of the modernist housing boom that took place on Long Island, NY in the period between the Great Depression and the 1970s.

On August 14th, Cook+Fox Architects hosted a private film screening at their office on 641 Ave of the Americas, presenting the treasures along the island’s shore that have fallen between the cracks of history.  The film looks at works from Albert Frey, Wallace Harrison, Frank Lloyd Wright, Marcel Breuer, Philip Johnson, Charles Gwathmey, Barbara and Julian Neski and many others.

Follow us after the break to catch up on the history of the development of these houses on Long Island.

Endangered Monuments Update: Preservation Efforts for the 510 Fifth Avenue Manufactures Trust Company Bank Branch

15:00 - 22 February, 2012
Manufacturers Trust Company by SOM © Landmarks Preservation Commission
Manufacturers Trust Company by SOM © Landmarks Preservation Commission

ArchDaily previously ran an article about the Manufacturers Trust Company Bank Branch at 510 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan designed by Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and interior designer Eleanor H. Le Maire, a building designated as protected under the Landmarks Preservation Commission with first the exterior in 1997 and later the interior in early 2011.  But as recently as October 2011, the building was already listed under the 2012 World Monuments Fund  in the 2012 World Monuments Watch as the current owners, Vornado Realty Trust, began compromising the landmarked conditions of the interior of the building as it was being adapted for reuse.  With preservationists in an uproar, support for the protection of the building was enough to bring Vornado Realty Trust to New York State Supreme Court where a settlement was reached.

Read on for more details on the settlement and continuing efforts to protect endangered monuments.

Architecture City Guide: Washington D.C.

08:30 - 15 December, 2010
© flickr: joshbousel. Used under <a href=''>Creative Commons</a>
© flickr: joshbousel. Used under Creative Commons

Welcome to the Architecture City Guide series.  Here at ArchDaily we thought this series could especially be put to use during the upcoming holiday season.  Many will be traveling to see family, having family visit, or taking a New Year’s vacation to a new city.  Here is a small City Guide list, starting with Washington D.C.

We want to hear from you, share with us your City Guide list for buildings in Washington D.C.  More cities to come, so be sure to check back.

Follow the break for our Washington D.C. list and a corresponding map!