As reported by David W Dunlap for the NYTimes, the safety-restoration applied to Philip Johnson and Richard Foster’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.
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.
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.
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 steel and glass, not wood. So just to clarify: those are MUTANT beavers.”
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 modernism. 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.
Director Christopher Nolan is preparing to shoot his third and final Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises,” which promises to bring the events of its blockbuster predecessors full circle. The filmmaker will experience new ground with the conclusion to his trilogy by shooting a portion of the film in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Shooting locations for Nolan’s Batman installments are shot all over the world, in places such as, India, Iceland, Romania, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, and now Pittsburgh. Each location offers unique elements of architecture to create the look and feel of Gotham City and Batman’s world. More information after the break.
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!
The Architecture City Guide series heads to the West Coast this week. Los Angeles 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!
Houston is our focus this week for our Architecture City Guide series. We know Houston 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!
This week the Architecture City Guide series heads south to warm up a bit, featuring Atlanta. We’re looking forward to hearing from you, what are your can’t miss Atlanta buildings? Add them to the comment section below. Follow the break for our Atlanta list and a corresponding map!
This week we are featuring San Francisco 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!
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!
Robin Pogrebin of The New York Times recently reported that Raj Ahuja, an Indian-born architect who joined Philip Johnson’s firm back in 1971 and became a partner in 1984, will be selling the architect’s archive of sketches. And, this isn’t any ordinary sketchbook. Johnson’s collection includes over 25,000 design sketches, working drawings, renderings and photographs that cover more than 120 projects from 1968 to 1992. After a bankruptcy claim left the work in Ahuja’s possession, he has been waiting to “transfer it to respectful hands” with the hope that a single institution will acquire the entire collection so as not to break up the archive.
More about the collection after the break.
So, if you had to choose between a pencil, a knife, or a hammer as the only tool you could ever own, which would you choose and why? – John Maeda, the President of the Rhode Island School of Design, and this week’s guest moderator for the Glass House Conversations, asks us. These conversations have a rich history rooted in Johnson’s New Canaan creation. Not only did the Glass House offer an elegant example of Modern Architecture, the residence also played hostess to some of the greatest creative thinkers of the twentieth century. Described as “the longest running salon in America,” the Glass House witnessed dozens of intense conversations about art, architecture and society between Philip Johnson and David Whitney and their invited guests, including Andy Warhol, Frank Stella and Robert A.M. Stern. The conversations, not doubt, spurred debate, yet the meetings were the perfect opportunity to share ideas and philosophies that ultimately impacted our culture.
Two of the most iconic projects from the modern movement built in the US take part in a play by June Finfer, directed by Evan Bergman. The design and building of Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House and Philip Johnson’s Glass House is the background for the penetrating dramatic plot that entwines the epic conflict between artist and patron. The Glass House explores the classic struggle of ambition, love and betrayal.
Post Performance Talks by Paul Goldberger (Architectural Critic and Author), Barry Bergdoll (MoMA), Annabelle Selldorf (Architect), Christy MacLear (Executive Director of Philip Johnson Glass House), Dietrich Neumann (Architectural Educator), Whitney French (Executive Director of Farnsworth House) and Barry Wood (Architect).
Dates and more info after the break.