West Bloomfield Township Public Library
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Architects and Architecture

Learn more about the visionaries behind some of the world's most iconic buildings.

Building the modern world : Albert Kahn in Detroit by Michael H Hodges

Building the Modern World: Albert Kahn in Detroit' by Michael H. Hodges tells the story of the German-Jewish immigrant who rose from poverty to become one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century. Kahn's buildings not only define downtown Detroit, but his early car factories for Packard Motor and Ford revolutionized the course of industry and architecture alike

Designing Detroit : Wirt Rowland and the rise of modern American architecture by Michael G Smith

In the early 1900s, Detroit was leading the nation in architectural innovation and designer Wirt Rowland was at the forefront of this advancement, yet few are even aware of his substantial contribution to the evolution of architectural style.During the early twentieth century, Rowland devised a wholly new or "modern" design for buildings, one not reliant on decorative elements copied from architecture of the past. As buildings became more specialized for their intended use, Rowland met the challenge with entirely new design methodologies and a number of improved technologies and materials that subsequently became commonplace. Designing Detroit: Wirt Rowland and the Rise of Modern American Architecture begins with a brief overview of Rowland's early life and career. Author Michael G. Smith goes on to analyze Rowland's achievements in building design and as a leader of Detroit's architectural community throughout both World Wars and the Great Depression. This book is concerned primarily with Rowland's influence on Detroit architecture, but spans beyond his work in Michigan to include the designer's broad reach from New York to Miami. A comprehensive appendix includes extensive lists of Rowland's publications, locations he had designed, and jobs taken on by his firm during his tenure

Yamasaki in Detroit : a search for serenity by John (John Timothy) Gallagher

Architects of an American landscape : Henry Hobson Richardson, Frederick Law Olmsted, and the reimagining of America's public and private spaces by Hugh Howard

"A dual portrait of America's first great architect, Henry Hobson Richardson, and her finest landscape designer, Frederick Law Olmsted--and their immense impact on America"--

Plagued by fire : the dreams and furies of Frank Lloyd Wright by Paul Hendrickson

"This is a Borzoi book published by Alfred A. Knopf."

The man in the glass house : Philip Johnson, architect of the modern century by Mark Lamster

Frank Lloyd Wright

Uses interviews and archival footage to tell the story of the melodramatic life and stunning architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. Discusses some of the 800+ buildings designed by Wright, including the Guggenheim Museum, the Johnson Wax Building, Fallingwater, Unity Temple, and Taliesin. Examines how Wright's buildings and ideas changed the way we live, work, and see the world around us. Documents the turbulence of Wright's personal life, including his three marriages, financial troubles, and many scandals

Architecture's odd couple : Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson by Hugh Howard

"In architectural terms, the twentieth century can be largely summed up with two names: Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson. Wright (1867-1959) began it with his romantic prairie style; Johnson (1906-2005) brought down the curtain with his spare postmodernist experiments. Between them, they built some of the most admired and discussed buildings in American history. Differing radically in their views on architecture, Wright and Johnson shared a restless creativity, enormous charisma, and an outspokennessthat made each man irresistible to the media. Often publicly at odds, they were the twentieth century's flint and steel; their repeated encounters consistently set off sparks. Yet as acclaimed historian Hugh Howard shows, their rivalry was also a fruitful artistic conversation, one that yielded new directions for both men. It was not despite but rather because of their contentious--and not always admiring--relationship that they were able so powerfully to influence history. In Architecture's Odd Couple,Howard deftly traces the historical threads connecting the two men and offers readers a distinct perspective on the era they so enlivened with their designs. Featuring many of the structures that defined modern space--from Fallingwater to the Guggenheim,from the Glass House to the Seagram Building--this book presents an arresting portrait of modern architecture's odd couple and how they shaped the American landscape by shaping each other"--

The Homes of Frank Lloyd Wright

Archival films and photographs are used to describe Wright's childhood homes, as well as the homes of his early adult life in Illinois and later adult life in Wisconsin and Arizona. Discusses how his development as an architect is best seen in the three homes he built for himself. Includes commentary by experts

Gropius : the man who built the Bauhaus by Fiona MacCarthy

The impact of Walter Gropius can be measured in his buildings--Fagus Factory, Bauhaus Dessau, Pan Am--but no less in his students. I. M. Pei, Paul Rudolph, Anni Albers, Philip Johnson, Fumihiko Maki: countless masters were once disciples at the Bauhaus inBerlin and at Harvard. Between 1910 and 1930, Gropius was at the center of European modernism and avant-garde society glamor, only to be exiled to the antimodernist United Kingdom during the Nazi years. Later, under the democratizing influence of American universities, Gropius became an advocate of public art and cemented a starring role in twentieth-century architecture and design. Fiona MacCarthy challenges the image of Gropius as a doctrinaire architectural rationalist, bringing out the visionary philosophy and courage that carried him through a politically hostile age. Pilloried by Tom Wolfe as inventor of the monolithic high-rise, Gropius is better remembered as inventor of a form of art education that influenced schools worldwide. He viewed argument as intrinsic to creativity. Unusually for one in his position, Gropius encouraged women's artistic endeavors and sought equal romantic partners. Though a traveler in elite circles, he objected to the cloistering of beauty as "a special privilege for theaesthetically initiated." Gropius offers a poignant and personal story--and a fascinating reexamination of the urges that drove European and American modernism.--

Where today meets tomorrow : Eero Saarinen and the General Motors Technical Center by Susan Skarsgard

Long before Microsoft or Apple occupied their legendary corporate campuses, there was the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan. Completed in 1956 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 2014, this icon of midcentury design was celebrated modern architect Eero Saarinen's (1910 - 1961) first major commission completed independent of his father, Eliel Saarinen, and its story offers a unique perspective on his work. Longtime GM designer Susan Skarsgard weaves a detailed insider's account of the early days of General Motors, the initiation of the technical center project under Eliel Saarinen, its design and construction under Eero Saarinen, and the enthusiastic acclaim the campus received upon its opening. Many leading lights of midcentury modernism were involved in the project as design consultants or artists, including Harry Bertoia, Alexander Girard, Florence Knoll, and Alexander Calder. This lavishly illustrated account is a unique document of a landmark project, presented in photographs and architectural drawings, interviews, documents, and ephemera, many never before seen

Aalto : a film

A captivating exploration of Alvar Aalto: the defining figure in Scandic design and one of Europe's greatest modern architects focuses on his remarkable and loving partnership with wife, Aino. Theirs was a profoundly humanist vision that put people at the centre of design, and ranged from work in furniture design through to huge architectural projects. They mixed with, and influenced, major figures of modernist art and design including Le Corbusier, Gropius, Moholy-Nagy, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Come on a cinematic tour of their iconic buildings all over the world, from a library in Russia, a student dormitory at MIT, an art collector's private house near Paris, to a pavilion in Venice. Narrated by experts in the field and featuring never before seen archive footage, this film tells the love story of an extraordinary couple with a great passion for human scale architecture

Eames : the architect and the painter

The husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames is widely regarded as America's most important designers. Perhaps best remembered for their mid-century plywood and fiberglass furniture, the Eames Office also created a mind-bending variety of other products. But their personal lives and influence on significant events in American life has been less widely understood. Narrated by James Franco, this is the first film dedicated to these creative geniuses and their work

Thanks for the view, Mr. Mies : Lafayette Park, Detroit

Lafayette Park, an affordable middle-class residential area in downtown Detroit, is home to the largest collection of buildings designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in the world. Today, it is one of Detroit's most racially integrated and economically stable neighborhoods, although it is surrounded by evidence of a city in financial distress. Through interviews with and essays by residents; reproductions of archival material; and new photographs by Karin Jobst, Vasco Roma, and Corine Vermeulen, and previously unpublished photographs by documentary filmmaker Janine Debanné, Thanks for the View, Mr. Mies examines the way that Lafayette Park residents confront and interact with this unique modernist environment. Lafayette Park has not received the level of international attention that other similar projects by Mies have. This may be due in part to its location in Detroit, a city whose most positive qualities are often overlooked in the media. This book is a reaction against the way that iconic modernist architecture is often represented. Whereas other writers may focus on the design intentions of the architect, authors Aubert, Cavar and Chandani seek to show the organic and idiosyncratic ways that the people who live in Lafayette Park actually use the architecture and how this experience, in turn, affects their everyday lives. While there are many publications about abandoned buildings in Detroit and about the city's prosperous past, this book is about a remarkable part of the city as it exists today, in the twenty-first century

Great architecture of Michigan by John Gallagher

Michigan modern : an architectural legacy by Brian D Conway

Michigan modern : design that shaped America

Mid-Michigan modern : from Frank Lloyd Wright to Googie by Susan J Bandes

Alexander Girard, architect : creating midcentury modern masterpieces by Deborah Lubera Kawsky

During the midcentury period, Michigan attracted visionary architects, designers, and theorists, including Alexander Girard. While much has been written about Girard's vibrantly colored and patterned textiles for Herman Miller, the story of his Detroit period (1937­-53)-encompassing interior and industrial design, exhibition curation, and residential architecture-has not been told. Alexander Girard, Architect: Creating Midcentury Modern Masterpieces by Deborah Lubera Kawsky is the first comprehensive study of Girard's exceptional architectural projects, specifically those concentrated in the ultra-traditional Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe. One exciting element of the book is the rediscovery of another Girard masterpiece-the only surviving house designed entirely by Girard, and former residence to Mr. and Mrs. John McLucas. Restored in consultation with iconic midcentury designer Ruth Adler Schnee, the McLucas house represents the culmination of Girard's Detroit design work at midcentury. Stunning color photographs capture the unique design elements-including the boldly colored glazed brick walls of the atrium-reminiscent of Girard's role as color consultant for the GM Tech Center. Original Girard drawings for the building plan, interior spaces, and custom-designed furniture document the mind of a modernist master at work and are made available to the public for the first time in this beautiful book
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