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Marcel Breuer: 1902-1981: Form Giver of the Twentieth Century (Taschen…

por Arnt Cobbers

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From steel tubes to reinforced concrete: the magical Modernist   In 1956, Time magazine called him one of the "form-givers of the 20th century": with his invention of steel-tube furniture,Marcel Breuer (1902-1981) has made his mark in the history of design at the tender age of 23. He started his architectural career as one of the Bauhaus's most influential architects with the 1932 Harnischmacher House. Even Breuer's earliest work was marked by the search for a symbiosis between local and global, big and small, smooth and rough. His sparse use of materials emphasized the balance among textures, colors, and shapes. In 1943, he conceived the "binuclear" house concept--the splitting of living and sleeping areas into separate wings--which he first applied to the Geller House I (1944-1946), and which would attain great popularity. After designing the UNESCO headquarters in Paris (1953-1958), reinforced concrete, with its formal plasticity und structural elasticity, continued to give monumental character to buildings such as the Abbey and Campus of St. John's University in Minnesota (1953-1961), the IBM Research Center in France (1960-1962), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (1963-1966) in New York City. With his keen sense of proportion, shape, and material, Breuer is one of the most important Modernists and is still very much central in the discussion of contemporary architecture.   About the Series: Each book in TASCHEN's Basic Architecture Series features: an introduction to the life and work of the architect the major works in chronological order information about the clients, architectural preconditions as well as construction problems and resolutions a list of all the selected works and a map indicating the locations of the best and most famous buildings approximately 120 illustrations (photographs, sketches, drafts and plans)… (mais)
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Another fine addition to the Taschen architecture series. Marcel Breuer, originally from Pécs, Hungary, was one of the earliest Bauhaus students. later put in charge of its furniture lab where he invented the classic tubular-steel chair designs. Working under the wing of Gropius, he followed his master to the US but remained in his shadow for too long. After WWII, he became famous and was one of the first with bureaus on multiple continents.

Breuer's architectural portfolio shows a remarkable contrast between his marvelous, cozy private houses and the large concrete fortresses he built for UNESCO, IBM and the Whitney Museum. I wish to visit at least one of the private residences, especially the Saier House in Normandy. It would be helpful if Taschen included any information about the current status (open to the public, websites etc.) to the buildings presented. ( )
1 vote jcbrunner | Nov 4, 2007 |
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From steel tubes to reinforced concrete: the magical Modernist   In 1956, Time magazine called him one of the "form-givers of the 20th century": with his invention of steel-tube furniture,Marcel Breuer (1902-1981) has made his mark in the history of design at the tender age of 23. He started his architectural career as one of the Bauhaus's most influential architects with the 1932 Harnischmacher House. Even Breuer's earliest work was marked by the search for a symbiosis between local and global, big and small, smooth and rough. His sparse use of materials emphasized the balance among textures, colors, and shapes. In 1943, he conceived the "binuclear" house concept--the splitting of living and sleeping areas into separate wings--which he first applied to the Geller House I (1944-1946), and which would attain great popularity. After designing the UNESCO headquarters in Paris (1953-1958), reinforced concrete, with its formal plasticity und structural elasticity, continued to give monumental character to buildings such as the Abbey and Campus of St. John's University in Minnesota (1953-1961), the IBM Research Center in France (1960-1962), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (1963-1966) in New York City. With his keen sense of proportion, shape, and material, Breuer is one of the most important Modernists and is still very much central in the discussion of contemporary architecture.   About the Series: Each book in TASCHEN's Basic Architecture Series features: an introduction to the life and work of the architect the major works in chronological order information about the clients, architectural preconditions as well as construction problems and resolutions a list of all the selected works and a map indicating the locations of the best and most famous buildings approximately 120 illustrations (photographs, sketches, drafts and plans)

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