Follow Daily Icon

Email Address:

Gary Cooper as Architect in the Fountainhead

Mirage.studio.7 has a collection of fictional architects in movies. Our favorite is Gary Cooper in The Fountainhead, an adaptation of the novel by Ayn Rand.

The Fountainhead, 1949, by Warner Bros.,

Icon: Johnson House (Riebe House) by Pierre Koenig

The Johnson house, Pierre Koenig’s only building in Northern California, was built on a 20-by-20-foot grid. Glass curtain walls open the house to the landscaping and expansive views. A see-through central fireplace forms the centerpiece of the open-plan living-dining area.
Koenig’s additions in 1988 included two new bedrooms, filling the former carport and entry, and providing a new carport in an added wing. The project also involved stripping away a dropped ceiling, wood veneer paneling that hid the steel siding, bay windows, and Victorian-style beveled-glass doors.
“It’s absolutely, completely functional and complete and honest in the delight of its revealed structure. It’s so simple and beautiful, so unadorned. It’s direct and a joy to live in,” Cynthia Riebe says of the house. “I love the night light and how it changes, and the reflections through the interior and the exterior. There’s no boundary between the two.”

The house was restored and expanded by Cynthia and Fred Riebe during the 1990s with the help of Koenig himself. Structure: Steel-framed and steel-sided. The ceilings and exterior walls are unadorned, corrugated steel decking. Laminated wallboard sheathes the interior walls.

Johnson House, 1962, Carmel Valley, California, USA, by, Pierre Koenig
via: Eichler Network, More: New York Times

Icon: Disney’s Monsanto House of the Future

One of two free attractions at Disneyland sponsored by Monsanto was this walk-through tour of a plastic house with plastic furnishings and fascinating modern appliances such as dishwashers, microwave, intercom system, and closets filled with polyester clothes. Designed by Marvin Goody & Richard Hamilton, the house only existed for the 10 year length of Monsanto’s lease, at which time they moved on to the Adventure Thru Inner Space attraction. Goody & Hamilton were MIT architecture faculty members sponsored by Monsanto to find new markets for their plastic products. They took 2 years to design the 1,280 sq. ft. home, at which time they formed their own private firm to take over the commercial planning of the project.

When it was dismantled, the house was so indestructible that the crew gave up and left some of the support pilings in place (they can still be seen in Neptune’s Grotto between the Tomorrowland entrance and Fantasyland). Supposedly the planned one-day demolition ended up taking two weeks as the wrecking ball just bounced off the exterior. Workers cut the house into pieces with hacksaws.

Monsanto House of the Future, 1957–1967, by Marvin Goody & Richard Hamilton, Disneyland, Anaheim, California, USA.
More: Daveland

Icon: Museu de Arte Contemporânea by Oscar Niemeyer

The Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói (MAC) is a landmark of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Oscar Niemeyer designed this museum perched on the cliff in the city of Niterói. The disk stretches out over the massive reflecting pool underneath. Similarities to a UFO is entirely intentional. The visitor approaches the disk in a snaking, red-carpet path through the air. The museum opened in 1996 after a huge scandal

Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, by Oscar Niemeyer

For Sale: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Millard House in Pasadena

Recognized by Frank Lloyd Wright as the earliest ‘Usonian’ house, La Miniatura is also the first residence to utilize Wright’s highly inventive textile block building system. The Millard House is internationally recognized as one of the world’s most important works of architecture. Now, following a multi-year restoration, the complex offers one of the most romantic, and creative living spaces anywhere. Sited on nearly an acre of gardens within the Prospect Historic District of Pasadena, the residence and studio include: 4 bedrooms, and 4 baths, 2 kitchens, living room, formal dining room, and semi-attached garages. The Millard House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Millard House (La Miniatura), 1923, Pasadena, California, $7,733,000,
Agents: Crosby Doe Associates

Icon: Travertine House by Gordon Bunshaft

The only house that Gordon Bunshaft designed is the Travertine House, built in 1963 for his own family. After his death, he left it to the Museum of Modern Art who sold it to Martha Stewart in 1995. Her extensive remodelling led to acrimonious disputes with neighbours so she sold it to Donald Maharam in 2005, who declared it decrepit and demolished the house.
Bunshaft was a partner in the New York office of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), and his earliest work, Lever House in New York, was SOM’s breakthrough.

Travertine House, Georgica Pond, New York, by Gordon Bunshaft, (demolished)
Read more: Arch News Now

Icon: Danmarks Nationalbank by Arne Jacobsen

The Nationalbank building in the middle of Copenhagen is a distinctive presence in the street scene. It was designed by the internationally renowned Danish architect Arne Jacobsen and is considered one of his finest works. The extensive building was constructed in stages, commencing in 1965. The first stage comprised the construction of a new note printing works. After Jacobsen’s death in 1971 the architectural firm Dissing + Weitling took over the building project. The central hall of “Nationalbanken” with it’s cathedral atmosphere, marble floor, walls and ceiling and the sculptural staircase is one of the most beautiful indoor spaces in the city.

Danmarks Nationalbank, Copenhagen, Denmark, by Arne Jacobsen.

Eames and Saarinen’s Case Study House #9 is For Sale

Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen’s Entenza House, otherwise known as Case Study #9, is on the market. The house, it seems, had been converted to a guest house or annex, while owner Barry Berkus built his oversized main residence adjacent to the Entenza House.
We’ll take the maid’s quarters any day.

Entenza House, Case Study House #9, by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen, Los Angeles, USA, $14 million (including adjacent house)
via: Curbed LA

The house is remarkably well-preserved:

This house, planned as a project for the Case Study House program, was first published in the Dec 1945 issue of Arts and Architecture Magazine. Full series available here: Amazon

Icon: John Lautner’s Chemosphere House

With it’s an octagonal design that’s part Jetsons, part Bond, John Lautner’s Chemosphere House is considered a masterpiece of California Modernism. Perched on concrete poles, the home is reached via an inclined cable railway. The landmark Chemosphere home in the Hollywood Hills and its owner, publisher Benedikt Taschen, were profiled in a 2005 Home cover story. “What was great about Lautner is that he had this dualism about nature and the city,” Taschen said at the time, noting that one side of the house was “pure nature,” with skunks, bobcats, coyotes and deer, while the other side was “pure city,” the vast San Fernando Valley.

The career of the maverick architect John Lautner (1911-1994) spanned more than six decades, yet he is little known outside the architecture world, even though his buildings have starred in movies like “Diamonds are Forever” and “Charlie’s Angels.” Man’s relationship to nature and the universe intrigued Lautner and informed his designs, from coffee shops to plans for endless cities. Unfolding from the hills, nestled in canyons, or hovering above city skylines, Lautner’s residential projects have had influence on some of today’s most important architects — Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid and Rem Koolhaas, among them.

Chemosphere House, 1960, Los Angeles, USA, by John Lautner

Long overshadowed by modernist contemporaries Rudolph Schindler and Richard Neutra, John Lautner and the homes he built in Southern California are set to receive unprecedented attention thanks to the publication of a book published by Rizzoli. The book details Lautner’s inspirations, philosophies and legacy, not the least of which is the Chemosphere, originally derided by some critics as a silly fantasy.
Between Earth and Heaven: The Architecture of John Lautner, Edited by historian Nicholas Olsberg
Buy it here: Amazon

Icon: Villa Planchart by Gio Ponti

Gio Ponti designed the Villa Planchart, a private home built in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1956. Ponti designed the interiors in a remarkable fashion; he selected (and often designed) furnishings, decorative objects, and even articles of daily use. The modernist principle of integration of the arts with the architecture was naturally carried out in this building.
As well as carefully planning and executing the relationship between architecture and landscape, Ponti believed that “architecture is made to be looked at.” It is public landscape. “Facades are the wall of the street, and a city is made of streets; the facades are the visible part of the city, they are all of the city that appears.”

Villa Planchart, Caracas, Venezuela, 1956, by Gio Ponti.
More: Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Editor's Picks

Konstantin B
…the compensation for all the things you simply did not do, polished to perfection. [more...]

Suggested Reading

The Story of Eames Furniture
Brimming with images and insightful text, this unique book is the benchmark reference on what is arguably the most influential and important furniture brand of our time. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Making of the Modern Museum
First-ever book to explore the process behind one of the greatest modern buildings in America. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

MoonFire: The Epic Journey of Apollo 11
A unique tribute to the defining scientific mission of our time, the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

Cars Freedom Style Sex Power Motion Colour Everything

Freedom Style Sex Power Motion Colour Everything. This lavish and beautifully designed book is the gift book for all car enthusiasts and design aficionados. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

Design Icons

Fjordfiesta Scandia Senior
by Hans Brattrud

A Norwegian furniture design classic from 1957, Scandia Senior is a comfortable high-back easy chair with a leather head cushion, on a satin swivel base. [more...]


More Books

Case Study Houses
“It’s a huge coffee-table book, which analyses each of the houses in chronological order, with plans, sketches and glorious photographs.” [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

The Eames Lounge Chair
The book examines the evolution of a design icon and places it in its cultural, historical and social context. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

The U.N. Building
Symbol of world humanitarianism, a beacon of unity after the Second World War. More than 50 years on, the 39-story building is regarded as one of the pinnacles of mid-century modernism. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

Loblolly House
Including a DVD of the film "A House in the Trees", a real-time documentary of the design, fabrication, and assembly of this amazing house. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

The Shape of Things to Come. An up-to-date comprehensive survey on furniture and object design today, showcasing the crème de la crème of designers. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

Marcel Wanders
Behind the Ceiling is the first monograph on one of the most influential, prolific and celebrated international designers today. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon

How to Wrap Five Eggs
A mid-60s classic of Japanese design. Stunningly laid-out paean to traditional Japanese packaging is rife with sumptuous black and white photos of all manner of boxes, wrappers and containers that appear at once homely and sophisticated, ingeniously utilitarian yet fine and rare. [more...]
Buy it here: Amazon