AD Classics: Soreq Nuclear Research Center / Philip Johnson

and Gideon Ziv, Sorek Nuclear Research Center, Israel, 1956-9 (from: Zvi Efrat, The Israeli Project: Building and Architecture 1948-1973)

American architect and Prizker Prize winner Philip Johnson – who would have turned 107 today – is well known for his contributions to 20th century architecture, from the modernist in 1949 to his later infamous post modernist AT&T building in 1984. But did you know that Johnson designed a brutalistic nuclear plant in Israel? More on this monolithic concrete structure after the break…

AD Round Up: Iconic Houses in America

© Robert Ruschak – Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

Five great architects, five great houses. This 4th of July, take a look at five of the most iconic houses in the . The main image is of a house that redefined the relationship between man, architecture and nature — Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater House. If you’re searching for the meaning of less is more, you must check out the Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House or The Glass House by Philip Johnson. You should also check out one of the first built examples of Postmodern architecture, The Vanna Venturi House by Robert Venturi. Finally, revisit ’s Norton House, known for its eccentric form and eclectic materiality. Which one is your favorite?

The Glass House: “Conversations in Context”

The House just concluded their second annual Conversations in Context, which presents visitors with the opportunity to join in a weekly evening tour and intimate conversation with industry leaders, including Robert A.M. Stern, Michael Graves, and more.

Since the 1940s, The Glass House has served as a place of inspiration, education and conversation across creative disciplines. Its 49-acre landscape, 14 architectural structures and world-class art collection continue to draw members of an international creative community to participate in its rich story. Conversations in Context continues Philip Johnson’s legacy of using the Glass House as a place to conduct ongoing seminars with architecture students and present emerging and established architects the opportunity to discuss the current state of the industry.

The video above features Architect, critic, and historian Kenneth Frampton, along with Dean Mark Wigley from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Follow us after the break for a few of our favorite conversations from this year’s series.

NYU Bobst Library Renovation / Joel Sanders Architect

© NYU

As reported by David W Dunlap for the NYTimes, the safety-restoration applied to Philip Johnson and ’s Elmer Holmes Bobst Library on the NYU campus near Washington Square is close to completion.   While the library, which was constructed in the early 1970s, remains intact, the tremendous atrium space – a soaring 150 ft void – is proving to be more of a safety hazard than the magnificent architectural experience the architects intended.  Since 2003, the library has been marred by claiming the lives of three students who leaped to their deaths (even after the university installed 8ft polycarbonate barriers).   Charged with the task of eliminating the possibility for such a future occurrence, Joel Sanders Architect responded with a perforated alumium screen that completely walls off the atrium from the library’s levels.

More after the break.  

Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island

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, , 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.

Happy Birthday Philip Johnson! (1906-2005)

From left: Andy Warhol, David Whitney, Philip Johnson, Dr. John Dalton, and Robert A. M. Stern in the in 1964. Photography by David McCabe

Today, July 8th, is Philip Johnson‘s Birthday! (1906-2005)

The recipient of the very first Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1979 and the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal, Johnson has been labeled by Prtizker jurors as someone “whose work demonstrates a combination of the qualities of talent, vision and commitment that has 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.”

On what would be his 106th birthday, ArchDaily celebrates with a special House logo:

Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1997, The Glass House is still considered a modern marvel. Inspired by Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, the Glass House by Johnson, with its perfect proportions and its simplicity, is one of the first most brilliant works of modern architecture. Johnson built the 47-acre estate for himself in New Canaan, Connecticut.

 

© Creative Commons – Photo Credit: Melody Kramer

The house was the first of fourteen structures that the architect built on the property over a span of fifty years.

© Wikimedia Commons / Quique Huertas

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.

Films & Architecture: “My Architect”

This week we will propose the first documentary of the list within our section of Films & Architecture. There is not much to say about the figure of Kahn, since it has been worldwide recognized. Nevertheless this is a film that captures in a magnificent way the greatness of Kahn’s work through his son’s journey. I guess everyone related somehow with architecture will feel touched by this extraordinary recording. Let us know in the comments what is (or was) your experience watching the film.

Iconic Houses by Grant Snider

© Grant Snider, 2012

Curbed lead us to Colorado-based webcomic Grant Snider and his clever blog Incidental Comics. Snider uses the classic “glass houses” proverb in his own unique depiction of midcentury “Iconic Houses”, highlighting The Glass House by Philip Johnson, Farnsworth House by Mies Van der Rohe, Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier and Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Curious about the red beavers gnawing at the Farnsworth House? Snider clears up the confusion stating, “In an earlier draft of this comic, it appeared the Farnsworth house was being gnawed by ordinary beavers. My architect brother informed me that Mies van der Rohe was known for his innovations in and glass, not wood. So just to clarify: those are MUTANT beavers.”

AD Classics: Puerta de Europa / Philip Johnson & John Burgee

Flickr / Strocchi

The twin office towers known as I and II located in Madrid, Spain defy the typical conventions of skyscraper construction. Designed by American architects Philip Johnson & and commissioned by the Kuwait Investment Office (KIO), these structural expressionistic towers straddle one of Madrid’s most important boulevards – the Paseo de la Castellana. More details after the break.

From the Library of Philip Johnson

© Birch Books

A Kickstarter campaign started by Birch Books Conservation owner Birch Cooper will see the library collection of Philip Johnson’s Glass House collated in a new book – The Library of Philip Johnson: Selections from the Glass House. Conceived as a resource for architects, architecture aficionados, and the general public, the book will illuminate many of the philosophies and ideologies that Johnson contributed to American . Featured under the cover will be 100 selections that have been photographed and researched with a brief synopsis by the authors, in addition to the inventory list of all the books contained within the Library Studio of Philip Johnson. With an anticipated publishing date later this fall, it will be Birch Books Conservation’s first publication. Containing over 350 photographic illustrations, the 250 page volume is sure to be an excellent addition to any architecture collection.

AD Classics: Rothko Chapel / Philip Johnson, Howard Barnstone, Eugene Aubry and Mark Rothko

© Photo by Chris Erdos - http://www.flickr.com/photos/chris-erdos/

In 1964 Mark Rothko was commissioned by John and Dominique de Menil (who are also founders of the nearby Menil Collection that is housed in the Renzo Piano-designed Menil Museum and Cy Twombly Gallery) to create a meditative space filled with his site-specific paintings. The original architect assigned to work alongside Rothko was Philip Johnson, with whom Rothko clashed over their distinct ideas for the building. Rothko would object to the monumentality of Johnson’s plan as distracting from the artwork it was to house. For this reason the Chapel would go through several revisions and architects working on the meditative space. Rothko continued first with and then Eugene Aubry, but ultimately did not live to see the chapel’s completion in 1971. It was after a long struggle with depression that Rothko committed suicide in his New York Studio on February 25th, 1970.

   

Architecture City Guide: Richmond

This week our Architecture City Guide heads to Richmond, Virginia. Admittedly, it was Richmond’s pair of Cinderellas in this year’s NCAA Tournament that first caught our attention. However, with our interest peaked, we spent the last week exploring its architecture and found much to be admired. Richmond is by far the smallest city we have featured; with only 200,000 residents, the next closest on our list is twice its size. Architecturally, this Cinderella city can compete in her own way with the architectural powerhouses we have previously featured. Richmond’s architectural appeal comes from the city’s ability to keep its rich historic fabric intact while experimenting with new modes of design. While the city strongly embraces the gritty manufacturing buildings of its past, Richmond has resisted the imitation trap and has promoted modern interpretations of the older forms and materials. The majority of the buildings we chose to feature are emblematic of Richmond architecture, rehab/addition projects. We couldn’t possibly fit all our favorites in our list of twelve, so please take a look and add ones that visitors should not miss in the comment section below.

The Architecture City Guide: Richmond list and corresponding map after the break!

Architecture City Guide: Denver

This week our Architecture City Guide heads to the “Mile-High City”. In the shadows of the Rocky Mountains, Denver’s architecture can be as dramatic and serene as its surrounding landscape. From the moment your plane touches down at the Denver International Airport you are immersed in state-of-the-art architecture. We have included a dozen places to go once you arrive. Where else would you visit? Please leave suggestions of buildings a Denver visitor shouldn’t miss.

The Architecture City Guide: Denver list and corresponding map after the break!

Architecture City Guide: Dallas

is hosting both the Super Bowl this coming Sunday and this weeks Architecture City Guide!  If you are heading there for the big game be sure to take a look at our list of buildings featured after the break.  We want to hear from you, so take a minute to add your favorite can’t miss buildings in in our comment section below.

The Architecture City Guide: Dallas list and corresponding map after the break!

Architecture City Guide: Los Angeles

The Architecture City Guide series heads to the West Coast this week.   area is huge and it was nearly impossible to narrow down 12 buildings for this weeks list.  Here’s what we suggest visiting if you are in LA, but we want to know what additional buildings you think we should add to our list!  Visit the comment section and provide your can’t miss buildings in LA.

The Architecture City Guide: Los Angeles list and corresponding map after the break!

Architecture City Guide: Houston

is our focus this week for our Architecture City Guide series.  We know is packed with lots of great architecture so we are expecting to hear about your can’t miss buildings in the comment section below.  Remember this list is intended to be added to by you, our readers.  We will be updating our Architecture City Guides in the future to reflect your suggested buildings to visit.

Follow the break for our Houston list and corresponding map!

Architecture City Guide: Atlanta

This week the Architecture City Guide series heads south to warm up a bit, featuring . We’re looking forward to hearing from you, what are your can’t miss buildings? Add them to the comment section below.

Follow the break for our Atlanta list and a corresponding map!

Architecture City Guide: San Francisco

This week we are featuring for our Architecture City Guide series.  Thank you to all of our readers for adding their can’t miss buildings last week.  We hope to see your comments below this week too.

Follow the break for our San Francisco list and a corresponding map!