The Architecture Thread

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Connemara, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. Douglas

    Douglas Stupid ass member

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    Anybody see this?

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323372504578469410621274292.html

    WSJ article on the pleasures and pitfalls of owning a FLW home.

    Article is less interesting than the title promises it to be, but interesting enough. I've never quite understood some of these houses where the architect's vision is so complete and so restrictive as to not really leave any room for you to make your own choices. I guess many find it to be a higher art but not sure if that's what I want to live in, myself. Also sort of curious how some of these so-called geniuses make what sound to me like pretty basic mistakes that get heralded as character.
     


  2. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    I think most of them should fallow in the footsteps of Hermes. Their furniture/home goods are generally very nice with exception the H-printed crap and horse sculptures, which they don't do that much of.
     


  3. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    The Hermes stuff is quite beautifully made, which is what happens when you keep buying companies who make things beautifully. The style is way too tailored for me. The tablewear is often great.
     


  4. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    My perspective:

    They weren't really building them for resale, they were purpose-built. Also, I think it's easy to look back from a 2013 perspective on something built many years ago and criticize it. We are not at all shocked by the international style or modernist styles of FLW's houses (I believe he called it Usonian), however they were groundbreaking at the time of creation.

    I think their goal was much more so to build what they wanted to build than to satisfy every whim of their client. After all, you don't hire one of the worlds most famous architects, then tell him what to do. Secretly their job is to be the foremost architect in their field. They were admired and detested for sticking very closely to their ideals.

    Some of the decisions seem a bit ridiculous to me, but I try to understand their perspective.

    I like Corbu's idea that it was a machine for living, and I think that his were likely the most livable of all of the houses because of his perspective. He was good about the considerations of the person living in the house, how they might tour guests through a more restricted path, use certain rooms in the evening and others in the day time, ect.

    You can see how many of these groundbreaking pieces inspired much more livable pieces of architecture as they moved into the mid-century.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2013


  5. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Bearded Prick Dubiously Honored

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    That's cool and all, but a house which fails keep out the elements is fundamentally flawed. Doesn't matter how groundbreaking or beautiful it is. It does not perform its essential sheltering function.
     


  6. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    didn't FLW also design clothes for the occupants of a certain house? I'll have to check on that fact with the wife when she is home.
     


  7. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    He dictated everything about his houses when his clients were showing them (when newly built) to my understanding. Most of it I actually think they should have strictly abided by (furniture 18" from the wall, ect).

    Fallingwater gets all the attention but my favorite of his houses is actually the Millard House

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    I'm not much of a frank llyod wright -ophile but I appreciate a lot of his work.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2013


  8. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Bearded Prick Dubiously Honored

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    I appreciate the way he used ceiling height to define various spaces.
     


  9. meister

    meister Senior member

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    The most amazing story about him is his dilly dallying on Fallingwater for years and then when Edgar Kaufmann Snr finally fronted him and demanded the plans he drew the "most beautiful house in America" literally on the back of an envelope. Even then it was to win a dare to show he could be "contemporary" and build a masterpiece in the Moderne style.

    Total architectural genius but seriously flawed human.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2013


  10. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    He was commissioned in Dec. 1934 and draw up the plans in september 1935, so it took 9 months and some claim he created the preliminary design in a few hours. Not sure about the dare part, as you can see the stepping stones to the design in his previous work.

    The greater part of his career, to my eye, is a competition with the European architects of the Bauhaus. His style differed mainly in his use of material that originated at the site which helped his work appear to be at one with its location, where the Bauhaus architects seemed to design with less of a reference to the site. Le Corbusier, for instance, suggested that architecture was imposed upon the site. Architecture, as a whole, owes a great deal of it's most important modern work to that competition. In my opinion.

    They were all flawed, but he may of been the worst offender in that regard.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2013


  11. meister

    meister Senior member

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    Sorry when I said "dare" I meant that they had been joshing him by suggesting he was a dinosaur/old hat and not adaptable to the 30s coming style and all that entailed. After all he started his career in the 1880s from memory.

    With Fallingwater he then confounded them completely.

    The fact is that he will endure when others like Corbusier are the subject of ridicule for all sets of reasons. Most criticisms of him I have seen are about technological issues like the quality of his concrete!

    I think his greatness was in that his architecture tried to eliminate the human footprint somewhat with his organic architecture.

    But then - like all architects - he was really just a guy with a vision he wished to impose on nature and a concrete truck.

    The greatness is to do with how good his design was and how lightly he stepped on nature.

    The fact his work and ideas have endured with limited criticism is testimony to his genius.

    For instance (with some technological upgrades) you could move into this house and live a (Californian) 21st century life IMO.


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    Last edited: May 20, 2013


  12. UnnamedPlayer

    UnnamedPlayer Senior member

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    Who is ridiculing Corbusier?
     


  13. StephenHero

    StephenHero Black Floridian

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    Le Corbusier is almost universally rejected for his prescriptive ideas of urbanism. His list of enemies begins with all the people who opposed his idea to tear down Paris and replace it with this, and it continues with the people who find many of his buildings to be inhumane, cold, aggresively utopian, plasticized, etc. In the postwar years, his housing prototypes were the default concept for most public housing in the U.S. and Europe, and they've been utter failures. His influence has also helped to destroy the skilled carpentry profession. He was undeniably a great genius and built some outstanding buildings, but he was also an aesthetic tyrant and a monster of unparalleled scale. The line of demarcation between his heralded work and his rejected work is almost perfectly placed between his single use buildings (good to great) and his master-planned and mixed-use schemes (awful to criminal).

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    Last edited: May 20, 2013


  14. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    I see what you meant, I agree. Sorry for taking your comments a bit too literally.

    In regard to Corbusier, I think the term 'brutalist' is accurately applied, though I also believe he will continue to be well known for his contributions. Something I find to be ironic is that he seems to have disliked the wealthy, yet his best works were mostly villas commissioned by wealthy clients. He also imposed his ideals and ideas on the lower class, however it only seems to have worsened their living conditions.
     


  15. StephenHero

    StephenHero Black Floridian

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    The most telling sign of both LeCorbusier's legacy and modern architecture in general is that LeCorbusier's most acclaimed buildings are all located on farmland in the middle of nowhere. No other modern architect of stature finds himself so marginalized by urbanism.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2013


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