Architects Krueck & Sexton recently completed restoring one of legendary Modernist Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s most celebrated commissions: 860-880 Lake Shore Drive in downtown Chicago.
860-880, which was built between 1949 and 1951, consists of two 26-story, exposed steel and glass apartment towers set at right angles on an irregular travertine plaza. Based on ideas and theories Mies had been perfecting since his earliest days as an independent architect in 1920s Berlin, the buildings redefined highrise living for the post-war generation.
Many architects and critics believe 860-880 is the closest Mies ever came to achieving his goal of less is more “skin and bones” architecture. According to the American Institute of Architects’ Guide to Chicago, “No other building(s) by Mies had as immediate or strong an impact on his American contemporaries, and the influence of these structures was to pervade much of modern architecture.”
860-880 is the third and largest Mies commission Krueck & Sexton, a firm more noted for its original work, has completed in recent years. The other two, all are in Chicago: Crown Hall on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology and the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.
860-880 Lake Shore Drive, by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe,
Restoration by Krueck & Sexton Architects
Product design agency Teague, has an interesting post on the Kodak Bantam Special. Considered an icon in the classic design style of the 1930’s, the camera was designed by Walter Dorwin Teague in 1936. The Bantam Special is one of the finest examples of art-deco styling applied to any camera design. The Bantam Special had a 1937 list price of $110.00, targeting the affluent and fashionable set.
Kodak Bantam Special, by Walter Dorwin Teague for Kodak
This significant exhibition is the first in America to explore the work produced by German designer Konstantin Grcic, one of the most important industrial designers working today. Grcic is known for his logical designs, driven by an honesty of materials and an appropriateness of production methods, yet injected with an inventiveness and originality that set his work apart.
Konstantin Grcic: Decisive Design, November 20 – January 24,
at Gallery 184, The Art Institute, Chicago, USA
László Moholy-Nagy became known in Germany through his formative work as a teacher at the Bauhaus in Dessau from 1923 to 1928. In 1937 he went to Chicago, where he became the founding director of the New Bauhaus (later named the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology). The New Bauhaus, was the immediate successor to the Bauhaus dissolved in 1933 under National Socialist pressure. Bauhaus ideology had a strong impact throughout America, but it was only at the New Bauhaus that the complete curriculum as developed under Walter Gropius in Weimar and Dessau was adopted and further developed.
A retrospective at Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt will examine the complex picture of Moholy-Nagy’s oeuvre in order to present the range of his creative output to the public for the first time since the last major exhibition of his work in Kassel in 1991.
Exhibition: László Moholy-Nagy Retrospective, October 8 – February 7, at Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany.
Sometimes ordinary photographs of the Farnsworth House leave you wanting more. Peter Guthrie has filled the gap, by creating a set of beautiful 3D renderings of the iconic house, originally designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for his client, Dr Edith Farnsworth in 1946.
Farnsworth House, Designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe,
3D Renderings by Peter Guthrie, Flickr Set
The unsung hero in any product development is the model-maker. This is set to change with the inauguration of the Giovanni Sacchi Archive in Milan. Giovanni Sacchi’s model-making workshop was an important point of reference for many Italian master designers and architects including, Vico Magistretti, Enzo Mari, Achille Castiglioni, Ettore Sottsass, Marco Zanuso and Aldo Rossi who designed these espresso makers, the models were executed by Sacchi. An entire working environment has been reconstructed in the Archive, completed by an area equipped with new machinery where it will be possible to organize model-making workshops with teachers, students and professionals.
The digital archives of Google Books now hosts over 1,860 issues of LIFE magazine, other unpublished photos are also available on Google, including seldom seen images of Charles and Ray Eames at their Pacific Palisades home, also known as Case Study House No. 8. Other LIFE features include Raymond Loewy’s Palm Springs Pad.
LIFE photographer Gjon Mili visited Picasso in 1949. Mili showed the artist some of his photographs of ice skaters with tiny lights affixed to their skates jumping in the dark–and Picasso’s mind began to race. The series of photographs–Picasso’s light drawings–were made with a small flashlight in a dark room; the images vanished almost as soon as they were created.
Picasso’s Light Drawings, Photographed by Gjon Mili, for LIFE
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.
During World War II, the U.S. Navy called upon Charles and Ray Eames to create a lightweight, inexpensive leg splint. The resulting design is a highly sculptural yet functional device that could be mass-produced and, being modular, conveniently and inexpensively transported. Access to military technology and manufacturing facilities allowed the designers to perfect their technique for molding plywood, which they had been working on for several years. In its three-dimensional, biomorphic form, the leg splint suggests the Eames‘ subsequent, highly influential plywood furniture designs such as the Eames Lounge Chair
Molded Plywood Leg Splint, Patent No. 2548470, by Charles and Ray Eames, Manufactured by Evans Products, Molded Plywood Division
more: Metropolitan Museum of Art