Saturday, July 25, 2009

Knoll Kids Collection

A scaled-down version of Saarinen's iconic Womb char.
Photo courtesy of Knoll/Vastu

As any good modern snob, I've been teaching by 6-year old daughter about classic mid-century modern design from the time she could talk. She now can authoritatively point out the work of George Nelson, the Eameses, Saarinen and Breuer. Maybe she deserves her very own Womb chair (see above) or Barcelona chair made by Knoll especially for kids. For those in D.C., you can find out more about these tike-friendly versions at Vastu on 14th Street.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mid-Century Mod Wallpaper

Bradbury & Bradbury Atomic Doodle in Turquoise

This piece in the Washington Post's Express says wallpaper is hip again. The article quotes Heather Cole of wallpaper company Bradbury & Bradbury saying: "It's very contemporary to paper one wall. It's like an art installation." I have bad flashbacks to the 1970s wallpaper hanging in my house in New Jersey growing up, but after seeing these 1950s Atomic Age patterns and these from the 1960s, I may be willing to cover up some of my white walls.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fallingplastic? LEGO Does Frank Lloyd Wright Designs

Now you can get your kids hooked on modern architecture at an early age with new sets by LEGO based on Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum and Fallingwater. Read/listen to the NPR story here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Two MCM Sites on 2009 National Trust Most Endagered List

The Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles and Miami Marine Stadium were included in the National Trust for Historic Preservation's 2009 list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places, which was announced today in LA by National Trust President Richard Moe and actress Diane Keaton, who has been working to save the Century Plaza.

From the National Trust:

Century Plaza Hotel, Los Angeles, Calif.— Opened in 1966, the 19-story curved hotel, designed by renowned architect Minoru Yamasaki, who would later design New York’s World Trade Center twin towers, has been a prominent Los Angeles landmark for more than four decades. Despite a $36 million facelift just over a year ago, the hotel’s new owners now intend to raze the building and replace it with two 600-foot, “environmentally sensitive” towers.

Miami Marine Stadium, Virginia Key, Fla.— Completed in 1963, Miami Marine Stadium is both a South Florida landmark and an icon of modern design [Hilario Candela was the principal architect]. Built entirely of poured concrete and featuring a dramatically cantilevered folded-plate roof, the stadium is a sentimental favorite of many Miami residents. After sustaining damage during Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the stadium, a prime target for developers, closed and has since suffered from years of deterioration, vandalism and neglect.

Good piece from the LA Times on the history of Century City and the hotel. Learn more about Miami Marine Stadium and see good historical photos here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Palm Springs Looks to Make First Historic Designation

It's cold, so how about something about Palm Springs? "A mid-century modern structure by architect Rudolf Schindler, a 1930s ranch house built for ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and the city’s first apartment building, now a restaurant, are among the buildings on a short list to become Palm Desert’s first officially designated historic site," The Desert Sun reports here.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hot Fjord

The designs of Jens Quistgaard, the Danish industrial designer who died nearly a year ago at the age of 88, are hot. Dansk, which introduced Quistgaard to the United States has reissued the very flatware that launched in the company in 1954. According to the New York Times obituary, "Dansk was founded in 1954 by Ted Nierenberg, an American entrepreneur and engineer. ... Mr. Nierenberg was visiting Copenhagen, where he caught sight of hand-forged flatware by Mr. Quistgaard in a museum. It was made of stainless steel with teak handles, an unusual marriage of materials at the time. He sought out Mr. Quistgaard, persuaded him that his singular creations could be properly mass-produced, and Dansk was born."

You can buy the reissued Classic Fjord Flatware for $59.95 for a five-piece set at the Dansk website. Dansk also has reissued Quistgaard's 1955 Kongo flatware set of black enamel and stainless steel. Modernism also reports that Dansk will soon be selling Quistgaard's No. 810/811 teak ice bucket. The reissue will be made from acacia, a fast-growing wood.

Check out Teak Pepper, a blog focused on collecting Quistgaard and Dansk by Mark Perlson, the author of Danish Pepper, a book on Quistgaard's teak pepper mills.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Case Study House #9 by Eames and Saarinen For Sale

Can you imagine owning Case Study House #9 by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen and its merely your guest house? The home, built for Arts & Architecture Publisher and Editor John Entenza who created the Case Study House program, now serves as a guest house (I can't believe it either) to a massive contemporary by Barry Berkus. Both houses can be yours for $14 million. As a number of people here on Curbed LA commented, this situation calls for an ironic twist: tear down the new house and keep the old one. CSH #9, by the way, sits next to another famous home in Pacific Palisades designed by Eames and Saarinen, Case Study House #8, better known as the Eames House.