Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WHEN: West Week 2012, March 21-22



Highlights of this year’s West Week at WeHo’s Pacific Design Center include a keynote by Margaret Russell of Elle Decor; showroom presentations such as a talk by fabric master Alexander McKenzie; and lectures, open houses and special events throughout the week.


For more information, please visit pacificdesigncenter.com. Images courtesy Google.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

WHAT: The 1940s X Chair



The rediscovery of designer William Haines continues with the 1940s X Chair – a Bel Air creation now powder coated for indoor/outdoor use.
For more information, please visit wiliamhaines.com. 






Info courtesy C: California Style magazine.  Images courtesy williamhaynes.com.

Monday, February 27, 2012

WHO: Hutton Wilkinson, Director, Tony Duquette Studios



[Hutton Wilkinson] started working for [Tony] Duquette as a teenager in 1971, later becoming a full-fledged partner and now president of the firm and guardian of the master's flame. The two men were soul mates in design, and during their many years of collaboration, it was hard to know where the one talent merged into the other. By the Duquette standard, then, Wilkinson's new home isn't "strange"; it's merely theatrical. The black-coral-gold color scheme is an idea he first devised with Duquette ("My idea of white is coral," says Wilkinson), and the basic three-story floor plan echoes Duquette's famous Dawnridge home nearby.

 - From “A Fashionable Life: Hutton Wilkinson,” Harper’s Bazaar, March 2012





 For more information, please visit tonyduquettestudio.com.  Images via Harper’s Bazaar.   

WEEKLY Ws: California Dreamin’


Ah, to be in California in late-Winter…  It’s one of the best places to be.  And though the Design Bloggers Conference wasn’t in the cards this year (ugh, the flu!) I’m joining the conference in spirit by sharing some California Ws this week.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Under the Weather



... Hope to be back soon!

Image ("God," by Damien Hirst, 1989) via Flavorpill. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

WHY: From “Modern Architecture in New York”


“To the visitor willing to take the city as he finds it, with its remarkable concentration of construction, its sophisticated mixture of sources, its enterprising alertness to architectural advance, its unceasing change and excitement, New York is an unparalleled visual drama.”
- “Four Walking Tours of Modern Architecture in New York City,” The Museum of Modern Art and the Municipal Art Society of New York, Prepared by Ada Louise Huxtable; Distributed by Doubleday & Company, Inc., Third Printing 1966.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

WHERE: 460 Park Avenue



“This building, a standard commercial solution of the curtain-wall structure, demonstrates the use of an unconventional, lightweight material – aluminum – for the outer skin.  The spandrel sections are stamped aluminum panels, standardized in size, shape and pattern, prefabricated at the factory, installed quickly and easily at the site.  (It is possible for a building of this type to be completely faced with such panels in as little as five days.)  The stamped pattern makes the material rigid and prevents the uneven, wavy highlights that would ordinarily be visible on a flat metal surface.  In this case, the design is an efficient but routine solution.”
- “Four Walking Tours of Modern Architecture in New York City,” The Museum of Modern Art and the Municipal Art Society of New York, Prepared by Ada Louise Huxtable; Distributed by Doubleday & Company, Inc., Third Printing 1966.
Image via Google.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WHEN: 1963: Pan Am Building



“The new terminal focus for the long sweeping vista of Park Avenue will be the Pan Am Building, a behemoth-sized office structure astride the Grand Central Station complex.  An octagonal structure 59 stories tall encompassing 2,400,000 sq. ft., it will house 25,000 office workers and executives when it is completed in 1963.  The erection of such an overwhelming structure – the largest single office building in New York – will radically alter the existing scale of the buildings along Park Avenue.  It will also add an extraordinary burden to existing pedestrian and transportation facilities, and in these aspects its anti-social character directly contradicts the teachings of Walter Gropius, who has collaborated in its design.”
- “Four Walking Tours of Modern Architecture in New York City,” The Museum of Modern Art and the Municipal Art Society of New York, Prepared by Ada Louise Huxtable; Distributed by Doubleday & Company, Inc., Third Printing 1966.
Image via nyc-architecture.com.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

WHAT: Seagram Building



“The Seagram Building is one of New York’s truly distinguished structures, by one of the world’s formost architects – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.  It is designed with classic simplicity, the tower and plaza being ordered in a formal, symmetrical plan.  This classicism is most evident in its proportions and construction – a carefully studied ratio of three to five bays dictates the organization of the steel cage and forms the basic unit of structure and design.  Flanking the central column are two balanced wings, which sere to enlarge the available office space and provide a setting for the main vertical shaft
“This extremely disciplined, rational scheme is executed in materials of exceptional richness and luxury.  The 90-foot deep plaza, with its twin fountains, is paved with slightly pink granite and enclosed on two sides with benches, or ‘hedges,’ of green Italian marble.  The lobby, approached from beneath a simple portico, has travertine sheathing the elevator banks, and an Italian glass-mosaic ceiling in tones of grey and brown; elevator interiors are richly surfaced with woven bands of bronze and stainless steel.  The luxurious restaurant, The Four Seasons, which is entered at the rear of the lobby, presents the visitor with an early Picasso ballet backdrop from ‘Le Tricorne’ (1929).  The restaurant, designed by Phillip Johnson, presents two handsomely proportioned and detailed rooms, one of them paneled in French walnut.  Two constructions, by Richard Lippold, of shimmering brass rods suspended from the ceiling are perhaps the most successfully integrated sculptures to be found in a modern interior.”
- “Four Walking Tours of Modern Architecture in New York City,” The Museum of Modern Art and the Municipal Art Society of New York, Prepared by Ada Louise Huxtable; Distributed by Doubleday & Company, Inc., Third Printing 1966.
Image via archdaily.com.

Monday, February 6, 2012

WHO: Frank Lloyd Wright, Mercedes-Benz Showroom, 430 Park Avenue,1955



“This de luxe showroom, at the corner of Park Avenue and 56th Street, was, until the completion of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1959, Frank Lloyd Wright’s only visible work in New York.  The spiral ramp motif, which Wright had used earlier for the Morris Shop in San Francisco, and which was to be so beautiful an element in the Guggenheim, is employed here, though far less effectively, in part because of the low ceiling and partly because the cramped, abrupt turning motion all too clearly recalls the ramps of multi-floor parking garages.”
- “Four Walking Tours of Modern Architecture in New York City,” The Museum of Modern Art and the Municipal Art Society of New York, Prepared by Ada Louise Huxtable; Distributed by Doubleday & Company, Inc., Third Printing 1966.
Image courtesy wirednewyork.com.

WEEKLY Ws: “Four Walking Tours of Modern Architecture in New York City” – Part 4


This is the last of our four-part series based on MoMA’s amazing little book of walking tours.  Thank you for joining us for the trip!

Friday, February 3, 2012

WHY: From “Modern Architecture in New York”


“One should not overlook the flavor of the fast-disappearing older structures which testify to the sophisticated, cosmopolitan and international atmosphere of Manhattan’s yesteryears…  The contrast of the old with the new, of century-old cast-iron facades with sparkling chrome, glass and steel, is part of the city’s drama and endless fascination.”
- “Four Walking Tours of Modern Architecture in New York City,” The Museum of Modern Art and the Municipal Art Society of New York, Prepared by Ada Louise Huxtable; Distributed by Doubleday & Company, Inc., Third Printing 1966.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

WHERE: Olivetti Showroom, 584 Fifth Avenue



“One of New York’s most striking shops, the Olivetti showroom is a particularly interesting example of Italian display design.  Extravagant and exuberant, its sensuous and imaginative use of expensive, exotic materials makes it one of the showplaces of Fifth Avenue…
Because Italian taste characteristically eschews understatement for the spectacular (even the handsome entrance door of Italian walnut is 17 feet high and of incredible craftsmanship) there is a disturbing lack of restraint in the intricately designed special details.  Arbitrarily shaped stands and tables of contrasting rich marbles, elaborate displays and self-conscious devices hamper the integration of the whole.  Although this calculated unconventionality often stretches creative imagination to the breaking point, the results are notable in a field marked by increasing standardization of design.”
- “Four Walking Tours of Modern Architecture in New York City,” The Museum of Modern Art and the Municipal Art Society of New York, Prepared by Ada Louise Huxtable; Distributed by Doubleday & Company, Inc., Third Printing 1966.
Image courtesy Olivetti.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

WHEN: Rockefeller Apartments, 17 West 54 Street, built 1936



“Built over twenty years ago, this apartment house still offers lessons in planning to many of the ‘luxury’ apartments of the postwar period…  This block-through structure, covering less than the maximum permissible site, is designed with a central garden court, which adds the rare amenities of light, air and respite from street noises to city living.  The whole structure is remarkably free from the stylish ornamental mannerisms that would mark it as ‘early modern’; its simple, straightforward detailing, although somewhat heavy, makes the building as pleasantly contemporary today as when it was first erected.”
- “Four Walking Tours of Modern Architecture in New York City,” The Museum of Modern Art and the Municipal Art Society of New York, Prepared by Ada Louise Huxtable; Distributed by Doubleday & Company, Inc., Third Printing 1966.
Image via bridgeandtunnelclub.com.