Architecture

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Harmonious Modularity
During the second World War, the French city of Le Havre was severely bombed. August Perret, a pioneering French modernist architect, was tasked with rebuilding the city. Perret’s reconstruction is considered exceptional for its seamless integration of the city’s extant historic structures with modern concrete construction and design innovations. Perret’s new buildings for Le Havre...
Birdhouse Model of the Carlyle Hotel
A Model for Singing
Why does this trompe l’oeil architectural model that is also a bird house have anything to do with night clubs? It was a wonderful present to Bobby Short in honor of his many years crooning at the Café Carlyle in the Carlyle Hotel. It combines the artistic talent of Richard Haas, an unknown model maker,...
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Stepping it Up
Step Up on Fifth, located in the heart of downtown Santa Monica, is a five-story affordable housing complex built to offer support services and rehabilitation for the local homeless and mentally disabled population. Completed in 2009 by Los Angeles-based architecture firm Brooks + Scarpa, the building, a former parking structure, integrates 46 studio apartments with...
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Spread Your Wings
Santiago Calatrava’s work explores the significance of place and its human context by considering both topographical and cultural landscapes. In this sense, Calatrava believes that it is fundamental to form a relationship – a feeling and sense of spirituality – with a physical site. In the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on...
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Flying into the World of Tomorrow
“Located on a larger tract of land in the transportation area, the aviation exhibit gives the visitor a realistic picture of a busy metropolitan airport. The dome-like rear portion holds  an invisibly suspended transport plane in full flight against a projected night sky.”[1] Published in the 1939 New York World’s Fair brochure, this description and...
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A French Renaissance Love Affair
Before architecture firm Warren & Wetmore erected Gilded Age estate houses on Long Island, Newport country clubs, Park Avenue apartment blocks and the Beaux-Arts style Grand Central Station[1], Whitney Warren (1864-1943) spent ten formative years in Paris – from 1884 to 1894. Trained by historicists Honoré Daumet and Charles Girault at L’École des Beaux-Arts,[2] the...
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Proof is in the Study
New York City Art Deco forerunner Ely Jacques Kahn (1884-1972) would have been nothing if it weren’t for the few formative years spent at Paris’ hallowed École nationale supérieure des Beaux Arts (National Superior School of Fine Arts); from 1908-1911. Contributing to Midtown Manhattan’s 1910 to 1930 building boom, the architect conceived more than a...
Jack Lenor Larsen, Interplay
Play of Light
Architectural commissions were an important part of Jack Lenor Larsen’s work, and frequently provided the impetus for the development of new technologies. His first commission was for Lever House, designed by Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Completed in 1952, Lever House was one of the first glass curtain-wall office towers in the country....
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Norman Villa sur Seine
Recognized for an Art Nouveau style all his own, French architect Hector Guimard (1867-1942) designed over a hundred buildings during a prolific fifteen-year span: 1898-1913. He is perhaps best known for having devised the iconic Paris Metro entrance in 1907, a wide-spread scheme employing standardized components that recreate natural forms through the structural and sculptural...