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Gensler  

Sara Stevens

American architectural firm started by Arthur Gensler Drue Gensler, and Jim Follett in 1965 in San Francisco, CA. M. Arthur Gensler jr (b Brooklyn, New York, 1935) attended Cornell University to study architecture (BArch, 1957). The firm began doing build-outs for retail stores and corporate offices, and initially established itself in the unglamorous area of interior architecture. Thirty years later and without mergers or acquisitions, it had grown to become one of the largest architecture firms in the world, having pioneered the global consultancy firm specializing in coordinated rollouts of multi-site building programmes. By 2012 the firm had over 3000 employees in over 40 offices. From the beginning, Art Gensler conceived of a global firm with multiple offices serving corporate clients whose businesses were becoming more international. Instead of the ‘starchitect’ model of his contemporaries such as I. M. Pei or Paul Rudolph, Gensler wanted an ego-free office that existed to serve client needs, not pursue a designer’s aesthetic agenda at the client’s expense. By adopting new web-based computing technologies and integrated design software in the early 1990s, the firm stayed well connected across their many offices and were more able than their competitors to manage large multi-site projects. Expanding from the services a traditional architecture firm offers, the company pushed into new areas well suited to their information technology and interiors expertise, such as organizational design, project management, and strategic facilities planning....

Article

Michael Turner

(b Rio de Janeiro, Aug 5, 1923).

Israeli architect of Brazilian birth. Both his South American background and his student apprenticeship with Oscar Niemeyer (1944–8) influenced his approach to design. Emigrating to Israel in 1949, he worked in the office of Ze’ev Rechter and then as a partner of Heinz Rau until 1958. With Rau he designed two buildings at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem for which he was awarded the Israeli Rechter Prize for Architecture in 1964. In 1958 he opened his own practice in Jerusalem, designing many public buildings including the Engineers’ Institute and Journalists’ Association (both 1966). These buildings, executed in cut stone, represent simple block forms with horizontal openings and show modern influences. The Kennedy Memorial (1966), Soldier’s House (1970) and Jerusalem Centre for Near Eastern Studies (1988–9) are all inspired by local motifs of form and space, using load-bearing stone walls and arched openings....