Marcel Breuer and son Thomas, lost in a game of chess. Wife Constance relaxes with the family dog in the background. Breuer Cottage, Wellfleet, Massachusetts, 1950. Photo by Walter Sanders / Time & Life Pictures / Getty Images.
Part of a series of photos I will be posting (via Knoll) leading up to Fathers Day, which takes a more intimate look at the life of these design icons.
Also, if you happen to be in New York this Thursday June 13th, don't miss the grand opening of Knoll's first ever retail showroom, Knoll Home Design Shop, at 1330 Avenue of the Americas (at 54th Street). Richard Schultz will be present and signing every Petal end table sold.
Special thanks to Elizabeth Mallory and Sarah McLellan.
Rare views of Gunnar Birkert's lost masterpiece Schwartz's Residence, which was located in the middle of an apple-orchard in Michigan. One of my favorite features is a simple but beautiful sunken fireplace alcove. The furnishings were a treasure trove of modernism, including works by Paul McCobb, Poul Kjaerholm, Eero Saarinen, and Arne Jacobsen.
From an essay by Martin Schwartz:
Birkerts’ Schwartz Residence,3 built in Northville, Michigan in 1960, admits light from three sides into the living room. The three walls of glazing in this room provide the additional pleasures of a continuous visual panorama and a strong connection with the landscape. This may be considered to be a variation on the idea of the courtyard in which one feels protected by a surrounding wall while connected to the sky above, the source of light. In this house however, the enclosure and flow of open space are reversed. With a roof overhead and an open perimeter, the daylight streaming in from the sides introduces less light than would be available from the sky, but the feeling of being “inside” a defined room and protected is maintained while the connection with the adjacent landscape is strengthened.
The home was demolished in 1986.
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|DAN JOHNSON's gazelle chair in sculpted aluminum|
Wright opens their 2013 auction season with Modern Design, an auction featuring works by the most celebrated designers of the past century. These are my favorite picks.
|EDWARD WORMLEY sofa for dunbar|
|POUL KJAERHOLM PK80 daybed|
|UELI BERGER, ELEANORA PEDUZZI-RIVA AND HEINZ ULRICH's organic sofa|
|ROBERT SONNEMAN Table lamps|
|Dezza sofa by GIO PONTI|
|coffee table by GIO PONTI|
|set of superleggera chairs by GIO PONTI|
|ARREDOLUCE floor lamp|
|Angelo lelli ceiling lamp|
|LUDWIG MIES VAN DER ROHE barcelona chair elevation for gerald griffith|
(note the crisp and clean base intersection vs. knoll's below)
|LUDWIG MIES VAN DER ROHE blueprint for knoll's barcelona chair|
|cloud sculpture by harry bertoia|
|a beautifully worn Jean Prouve compass table|
|A set of stitched leather chairs by jacques adnet|
|a rare desk organizer by paul mccobb|
|a rare set of donald knorr chairs for knoll with even rarer upholstery pads|
Help Leslie make this book a reality! Handcrafted Modern Europe will feature an intimate look inside the homes of thirteen of the most important mid-twentieth century architects and designers in Europe, including Alvar and Aino Aalto, Bruno Mathsson, Finn Juhl, Carlo Mollino, and more.
Visit here for all the project details, and please share this post!
Exterior detail of the Eero Saarinen/Alexander Girard/Dan Kiley masterpiece, Miller House, as captured by the late great photographer Balthazar Korab. See my earlier full feature on the Miller House and Garden here.
I had the pleasure of discussing the “Modulor” at some length with Professor Albert Einstein at Princeton. I was then passing through a period of great uncertainty and stress; I expressed myself badly, I explained the “Modulor” badly, I got bogged down in the morass of “cause and effect”… At one point, Einstein took a pencil and began to calculate. Stupidly, I interrupted him, the conversation turned to other things, the calculation remained unfinished. The friend who had brought me was in the depths of despair. In a letter written to me the same evening, Einstein had the kindness to say this of the “Modulor”: “It is a scale of proportions which makes the bad difficult and the good easy.” There are some who think this judgement is unscientific. For my part, I think it is extraordinarily clear-sighted. It is a gesture of friendship made by a great scientist towards us who are not scientists but soldiers on the field of battle. The scientist tells us: “This weapon shoots straight: in the matter of dimensioning, i.e. of proportions, it makes tour task more certain.”
- Le Corbusier, The Modulor (1954)
RAW Gallery of Architecture & Design presents Y_WG: The Quiet Influence. Curated by Craig Alun Smith, the exhibition (and forthcoming book) features an important collection of contemporary design by both emerging and established designers from the city of Winnipeg.
Each generation of Winnipeg’s designers is forced to create its own path, to navigate on its own, to invent and reinvent itself over and over in order to move forward. We continually innovate, we continually create our own design language anew because with so few reference points to benchmark ourselves against we can not tell if we are failing or succeeding, Failure becomes irrelevant. We are always creating something new, our design vernacular continually shifts and we invent new languages based on our environment and understanding of place in the world. Winnipeg will always be on the periphery of the design world but this may be the advantage. Designers from established design centres such as Germany, Italy or Holland may have rich creative and cultural history on which to draw but this richness also forces them to design to specific languages in order to comply. German design and its functional, minimalist, Bauhaus-inspired aesthetic, Italian design, a balance between classical elegance and modern creativity, and Dutch design with its experimental, innovative, quirky, and humorous vocabulary – these are all national design identities but they are also limiting to some extent by the pressure to adhere to a specific design language. Canadian Designers and more specifically Winnipeg designers, have no such confinements. We can take inspiration from the outside world. We can take our inspiration from anywhere, and we do, because we have to, we have few reference points on the prairies.
RAW Gallery of Architecture & Design is located at 290 McDermott Avenue. The exhibition runs until February 16th.
Craig Alun Smith
Many thanks to Jacqueline Young for these photos.
My favorite feature: the incredible metal doors which I think are by Gilbert Poillerat.
See many more photos and project details at desiretoinspire.