Today, the recipient of the very first Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1979 and the American Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal, Philip Johnson (1906-2005), would have turned 108.
Johnson was described by Pritzker jurors as someone who “produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the environment. As a critic and historian, he championed the cause of modern architecture and then went on to design some of his greatest buildings.” In 1932, along with Henry-Russell Hitchcock, he curated the Modern Architecture: International Exhibition held at the Museum of Modern Art - at that moment, “The International Style” was born, and the course of modern architecture forever altered.
Johnson’s work was not limited to modernism, and in 1984 he designed the iconic AT&T building in New York (today the Sony Building), a 197 meter tall postmodernist sky scraper. The building became infamous for its ornamental style and resemblance to Michael Grave’s Humana building. Another iconic building designed by Philip Johnson, together with John Burgee, is the Puerta de Europa in Madrid, two leaning towers that have become an icon of the Spanish capital.
As we did for the last few years, ArchDaily is celebrating with a special Glass House logo. Inspired by Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, The Glass House, with its perfect proportions and its simplicity, is still considered a modern marvel. Check out more by Philip Johnson on ArchDaily, after the break.
Modernism induced a shift in lighting away from luminaires and towards invisible light sources that render spaces in a purer (forgive the pun) light. For the first time, lit walls were used to define rooms and to structure architecture. Today I’d like to explore early prototypes – including Philip Johnson’s Brick House and the Seagram Building – and discuss how their lighting techniques continue to influence architecture today.
If you haven’t heard of CyArk yet, make sure to check out their recent Kickstarter project. The not-for-profit company digitally preserves some of the world’s most important sites: including Easter Island, Mt. Rushmore and The Pantheon, to name a few. Now the group is headed to New York to preserve Philip Johnson and Lev Zetlin’s 1964 World’s Fair New York State Pavilion. Since the fair ended, the pavilion has fallen into disrepair and been heavily vandalized. With assistance from the University of Central Florida, they plan to release the digitally preserved 3D files to the public, for free. To help preserve this “National Treasure,” check out their Kickstarter page.
Celebrating the 65th anniversary of Philip Johnson‘s iconic Glass House, artist Fujiko Nakaya has created the building’s first ever site-specific art installation. The installation, titled “Veil”, will shroud the glass house in fog for 10 minutes every hour, creating a dialogue with Johnson’s design intentions by breaking the visual connection between inside and out, and covering the building’s sharp, clean lines with misty indeterminacy. At the same time it will make literal Johnson’s ideal of an architecture that vanishes.
Read after the break for more information and images
Richard Kelly illuminated some of the twentieth century’s most iconic buildings: the Glass House, Seagram Building and Kimbell Art Museum, to name a few. His design strategy was surprisingly simple, but extremely successful.
Lighting for architecture has been and still often is dominated by an engineering viewpoint, resigned to determining sufficient illuminance levels for a safe and efficient working environment. With a background in stage lighting, Kelly introduced a scenographic perspective for architectural lighting. His point of view might look self-evident to today’s architectural community, but it was revolutionary for his time and has strongly influenced modern architecture.
Read more about Richard Kelly’s remarkable, and unsung, contribution to architecutre, after the break.
Philip Johnson’s “iconic” New York State Pavilion has been listed as a “National Treasure” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This designation, which was announced today at the 1964-65 World’s Fair’s 50th anniversary celebration in Queens, declares the pavilion a “historically, culturally and architecturally important site” and will help raise awareness and funding for its preservation. It is now one of just 44 national sites bearing this recognition.
“In the last 50 years, Flushing Meadows Corona Park has grown from the site of the World’s Fair to the home of the World’s Park,” said Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski. “As we celebrate this anniversary, it is just as important that we look to the next 50 years and plan for the Park’s future. I would like to thank the National Trust for Historic Preservation for honoring the New York State Pavilion as a ‘National Treasure’. This designation will highlight the importance of the Pavilion as a national icon, and help us to continue the conversation about how it can best serve Queens’ residents.”
For the first time in decades, Philip Johnson’s New York State Pavilion will open to the public tomorrow (April 22) in celebration of its 50th anniversary. Built for the 1964-65 World’s Fair, “the Pavilion represents a pivotal time in American history when the allure of putting a man on the moon inspired renowned architect Philip Johnson to create this emblem for Space Age enthusiasm,” described Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
UPDATE: In honor of the 81st anniversary of the day the Bauhaus closed in 1933, we’re re-publishing this popular infographic, which was originally published April 16th, 2012.
From the “starchitect” to “architecture for the 99%,” we are witnessing a shift of focus in the field of architecture. However, it’s in the education system where these ideas really take root and grow. This sea change inspired us to explore past movements, influenced by economic shifts, war and the introduction of new technologies, and take a closer look at the bauhaus movement.
Often associated with being anti-industrial, the Arts and Crafts Movement had dominated the field before the start of the Bauhaus in 1919. The Bauhaus’ focus was to merge design with industry, providing well designed products for the many.
The Bauhaus not only impacted design and architecture on an international level, but also revolutionized the way design schools conceptualize education as a means of imparting an integrated design approach where form follows function.
The Crystal Cathedral was designed as a religious theater of sorts, acting as both television studio and stage to a congregation of 3,000. It was commissioned by renowned televangelist Robert Schuller and completed in 1980 near Los Angeles, California. Philip Johnson and John Burgee devised the glass enclosure in response to Schuller’s request that the church be open to the “sky and the surrounding world.”
Johnson Fain and Rios Clementi Hale Studios have been selected to transform Philip Johnson’s 1981 Crystal Cathedral, originally a Protestant mega-church, to make it more in keeping with its new, Catholic identity.
The Cathedral, which had filed for bankruptcy in October 2010, was bought in early 2012 by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange. Earlier this month, the architects were chosen for the renovation: Johnson Fain will focus on the interior, while Rios Clementi Hale Studios will oversee the masterplan of its 34-acre campus.
Sou Fujimoto has unveiled three design proposals for an extension to Philip Johnson’s Kunsthalle Bielefeld in Germany. Since its completion in 1968, the museum has built a reputation for hosting temporary exhibitions. However, with the construction of the new wing, Kunsthalle Bielefeld will expand their services to accommodate a contemporary art gallery.
Read on to review Sou Fujimoto’s three proposals…