Inspire Me Monday: Mid-Century Modern Schools Across the Globe

The modernism movement spread far and wide throughout the 20th-century, touching almost every corner of the globe. One surprising insight into the design styles of the time is a look at public buildings, like these mid-century modern schools from all over the world.

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Primary school in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil designed by Affonso Eduardo Reidy in 1948. Photo courtesy of Britannica.com.

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University of Nairobi in Kenya, designed in 1956. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

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Blousfield School in London by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon – 1955. Photo courtesy of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

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Blousfield School in London by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon – 1955. Photo courtesy of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

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Jefferson Davis Middle School in Jacksonville, Florida by architect Taylor Hardwick and Mayberry Lee – 1959. Photo courtesy of the Florida Times Union.

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Hope International University in Fullerton, CA designed by Eldon Davis – 1960s. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

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State School of Itanhaém, Brazil by João Batista Vilanova Artigas and Carlos Cascaldi, 1959. Photo courtesy of Archdaily.

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State School of Itanhaém, Brazil by João Batista Vilanova Artigas and Carlos Cascaldi, 1959. Photo courtesy of Archdaily.

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State School of Itanhaém, Brazil by João Batista Vilanova Artigas and Carlos Cascaldi, 1959. Photo courtesy of Archdaily.

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Harriet Tubman School in Manhattan, designed by Paul Williams in 1960. Photo courtesy of Docomomo-US.

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Rissho University Campus in Kumagaya, Japan, designed by Fumihiko Maki Associates – 1965-67. Photo courtesy of Fuck Yeah Brutalism.

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Rissho University Campus in Kumagaya, Japan, designed by Fumihiko Maki Associates – 1965-67. Photo courtesy of Fuck Yeah Brutalism.

February 8th, 2016|0 Comments

A Closer Look at the World’s Fairs of the 20th Century, German Edition

Germany has always used its national pavilions to define its own identity. This particular nation may have undergone more extreme identity changes during the 20th-century than any other.  Here are some of the most memorable 20th-century pavilions of Germany.

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German national pavilion, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition. Photo courtesy of Fundació Mies van der Rohe.

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German national pavilion, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition. Photo courtesy of Fundació Mies van der Rohe.

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German national pavilion, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition. Photo courtesy of Fundació Mies van der Rohe.

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German national pavilion, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition. Photo courtesy of Fundació Mies van der Rohe.

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German pavilion, designed by Egon Eiermann for the 1958 Brussels World Exhibition. Photo courtesy of Vereinigte Spezialmöbelfabriken GmbH & Co.

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German pavilion, designed by Egon Eiermann for the 1958 Brussels World Exhibition. Photo courtesy of Vereinigte Spezialmöbelfabriken GmbH & Co.

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German pavilion, designed by Egon Eiermann for the 1958 Brussels World Exhibition. Photo courtesy of Vereinigte Spezialmöbelfabriken GmbH & Co.

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German Pavilion designed by Frei Otto for Expo ’67 in Montreal. Photo courtesy of Archdaily.

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German Pavilion designed by Frei Otto for Expo ’67 in Montreal. Photo courtesy of Archdaily.

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German Pavilion designed by Frei Otto for Expo ’67 in Montreal. Photo courtesy of Archdaily.

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German national pavilion during Adolf Hitler’s reign, designed by Berthold Konrad Hermann Albert Speer for the 1937 Paris International Exposition. Photo courtesy of the Australian National University.

February 4th, 2016|0 Comments

Inspire Me Monday: Snowchitecture!

With last week’s “snowpocalypse” finally behind us, it’s easier to look at the winter freeze in a creative new light. There’s no place on Earth that celebrates the creative potential of ice and snow like Lapland, Finland, home to the ICEHOTEL and world-famous Snow Show.

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Zaha Hadid and Cai Guo-Quiang‘s ice sculpture for The Snow Show, Lapland. Image Courtesy of Fung Collaboratives.

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‘Oblong Voidspace’ by Jene Highstein & Steven Holl. The Snow Show, Lapland. Image Courtesy of Fung Collaboratives.

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‘Oblong Voidspace’ by Jene Highstein & Steven Holl. The Snow Show, Lapland. Image Courtesy of Fung Collaboratives.

 

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Ice Time Tunnel – Tatsuo Miyajima & Tadao Ando. The Snow Show, Lapland. Image Courtesy of Fung Collaboratives.

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Icehotel 25 by Anja Kilian, Sebastian Andreas Scheller, and Wolfgang-A. Lüchow. Image © Icehotel.

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Icehotel 25 by Anja Kilian, Sebastian Andreas Scheller, and Wolfgang-A. Lüchow. Image © Icehotel.

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Obscure Horizons by Lawrence Weiner & Enrique Norten. The Snow Show, Lapland. Image Courtesy of Fung Collaboratives.

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Fluid Fossils by Morphosis + Do-Ho Suh. The Snow Show, Lapland. Image Courtesy of Fung Collaboratives.

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Sculpture by Anamorphosis architects. The Snow Show, Lapland. Image Courtesy of Fung Collaboratives.

February 1st, 2016|0 Comments

A Closer Look at the World’s Fairs of the Mid-20th Century, USA Edition

When it comes to a bit of international flash and flaunt, a World’s Fair is the place to do it. Since the 1700s, governments, corporations, and citizens have crossed borders and boundaries to represent their ideals and interests in international expositions, or “World’s Fairs”. Some of our favorite world’s fairs of times past, of course, took place during the mid-20th century. Here’s a look at some of the USA pavilions for several mid-century international exhibitions.

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USA Pavilion at Exposición Internacional París 1937, designed by Paul Lester Wiener, Charles H. Higgins and Julian Clarence Levi.

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USA Pavilion at Exposición Internacional París 1937, designed by Paul Lester Wiener, Charles H. Higgins and Julian Clarence Levi.

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The USA pavilion at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair, designed by Edward Durell Stone.

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The USA pavilion at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair, designed by Edward Durell Stone.

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USA Science Pavilion for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, designed by Minoru Yamasaki.

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USA Science Pavilion for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, designed by Minoru Yamasaki.

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The New York State Pavilion for the 1964 World’s Fair, designed by Phillip Johnson.

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The Unisphere, designed for the 1964 New York World’s Fair, designed by Gilmore D. Clarke.

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The USA Pavilion for Expo 1967 in Montreal, designed by Buckminster Fuller.

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The USA Pavilion for Expo 1967 in Montreal, designed by Buckminster Fuller.

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USA Pavilion for the HemisFair ’68 in San Antonio, designed by Marmon Mok.

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USA Pavilion for the HemisFair ’68 in San Antonio, designed by Marmon Mok.

January 28th, 2016|0 Comments

Straight from the Architect’s Mouth: Lectures of Harry Seidler

While all of our favorite modernist architects have left behind a legacy of magnificent constructions, not all of them were filmed at length describing their ideals and principles. Australian great Harry Seidler, however, did leave behind a number of lectures that, lucky for us, are now on YouTube.

Harry Seidler: Interactions – Architecture and the Visual Arts

This lecture was recorded by the University of New South Wales on April 10, 1980. Here are a couple of our favorite excerpts:

“The visual basis of architecture is something that is in constant flux; it is moving, it is changing with time but there are certain fundamental criteria about the way twentieth century man’s eyes respond to characteristics of what is around them… Still so today as it was in 1925 or 1930, that rich, new developments in the arts have come about that have changed our attitude to what is beautiful, what is visually desirable and worth pursing in architecture.”
“The arts and technology have always moved hand in hand throughout history, that painting, sculpture and architecture have influenced and benefited and learned from each other throughout times. And the fact that they have been so related throughout history has been at various times to the point where they have virtually merged so as to render their particular boundaries to be quite indistinct.”

Harry Seidler: Four Decades of Architecture

This lecture was recorded by Harvard University in October 1994. Here are a couple of our favorite excerpts:

“This was an experience bar none for me to be confronted with Josef Albers who’s also a remarkable teacher. Had nothing to do with architecture but he just taught people how to understand how their eyes responded to certain visual impacts and one learned fundamentally that which meant that there is a certain common denominator that our age makes our eyes see, which changes with time.”

 

“[Cantilever beams] create vertical and horizontal planes intersecting and the greatest medium of all, space is created and it’s reminiscent and harks back to what Gropius said, that it should relate to the painting of the time. There are some obvious similarities in the way planes generate space and interact.”

January 27th, 2016|0 Comments