Criticized for being cold, imposing, dehumanizing, one of Serra’s major public works was removed by a committee from New York City’s Federal Plaza. Emerging in the 1960s, he was part of a generation of artists who worked to redefine what sculpture could be. After experimenting with a variety of materials, he settled on thick sheets of steel as his preferred material, and went on to create some of the most frightening spaces imaginable. His prints are just as ‘impressive’.
Short Biography Richard Serra
When completed in 1969, the John Hancock Center was the tallest building in the world outside New York City. A mixed use building of offices and retail, it also contains the highest residences in the world. One of the most famous buildings of the structural expressionist style, the skyscraper’s distinctive X-bracing exterior is actually a hint that the structure’s skin is indeed part of its ‘tubular system’. This idea is one of the architectural techniques the building used to climb to record heights (the tubular system is essentially the spine that helps the building stand upright during heavy wind loads). The only drawback from my point of view is the ceiling height in the condominiums; I have entertained in several units and while the night light views are expansive and the morning views above the clouds are a real pleasure, and a heavy diagonal beam slashing through a window adds a distinctive interest, there is a certain interior claustrophobia that modernism should alleviate — bets are, it was a client decision to pack more floors in.
John Hancock Center, by Skidmore Owings Merrill
Innovation in form, Designed by Sergio Berizzi. (Italian, 1930-1976), Architectural Firm: Architetti Montagni, Berizzi, Butte. Metal and wood.
Phonola Television (model 1718). 1956. Metal and wood, by Sergio Berizzi, for Phonola
A classic house is up for Auction. Christie’s expects the house to sell for somewhere between $15 million and $25 million (€9.7 million-€16 million). It sits on 2.1 acres on a cul-de-sac in an exclusive section of Palm Springs.
It was the heyday of modernism in Palm Springs — some images from that time.
An oldie but a goodie.
Fan (model GB1). c. 1908, for Allgemeine Elektricitæts Gesellschaft (A.E.G.), Germany, by Peter Behrens
This Iconic bridge is a cable-stayed, masted structure, one of the finest structures built in this century. To accommodate the expansion and contraction of the concrete deck, each column splits into two thinner, more flexible columns below the roadway, forming an A-frame above deck level. The tapered form of the columns both expresses their structural loads and minimises their profile in elevation. The bridge enables motorists to take a drive through the sky, 270 metres (equivalent to the height of the Eiffel Tower) above the Tarn River valley for a 2.5 kilometre stretch through France’s Massif Central mountains.
Millau Viaduct, by Foster and Partners Co-architects: Chapelet-Defol-Mousseigne
As a university student, I used to smoke about a pack of these every day — it helped me think. Clearly the best brand of cigarettes ever made, even then it was hard to find in the shops. The logo was created by the industrial designer Raymond Loewy in 1940.
Lucky Strike, by Raymond Loewy, for American Tobacco Company
Build your own Bugatti Veyron, the quickest accelerating production car in the world, able to achieve an staggering top speed of 407 km/h — if you have the open space and are into that sort of thing.
Bugatti Veyron, € 1.1 million, by Bugatti
Isamu Noguchi, American (1904-1988), was the illegitimate son of Yone Noguchi, a Japanese poet who had gained great acclaim in the United States. More of a sculptor than a designer, the everyday objects he created are best seen as sculptures with a practical value, “things for everyone’s pleasure”. His sculptural style exerted a lasting influence on the whole organic design language of the 1950s. The furniture he designed for Herman Miller Vitra and Knoll are still in production today.
Isamu Noguchi Products: (top to bottom) Herman Miller Table, Knoll Cyclone Dining Table, Radio Nurse Speaker, Akari lamp