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Article

(b Harplinge, Halland, June 10, 1891; d Stockholm, March 12, 1984).

Swedish architect and writer. He graduated from the Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (1914) and from the Kungliga Akademien för de fria Konsterna in Stockholm (1918), before working in the office of Ivar Tengbom. From 1921 to 1924 Ahlberg was a writer for and editor of Byggmästaren, the Swedish journal of building and architecture. His architectural production encompassed the traditionalism and neo-classicism of the early 20th century, as well as the International Style, characterized by rational, pragmatic design. His Arts and Crafts Stand at the Göteborg Jubilee Exposition (1923), with its mannered, slender pavilions, was an early contribution to the neo-classical revival of the 1920s. The Freemasons’ Orphanage (1928–31) at Blackeberg outside Stockholm showed his development of this classicism into austere geometrical simplicity, while the buildings of the Trade Union High School (1928–50) at Brünnsvik, Dalecarlia, are based on the national timber-building tradition, with red panelling, white-framed windows and tiled, hipped roofs. The same combination of rational simplicity and romantic traditionalism occurs in Ahlberg’s ecclesiastical buildings, such as Mälarhöjden Chapel (...

Article

(b Stockholm, Aug 6, 1897; d Arvika, Oct 8, 1977).

Swedish architect and writer. While a student at the Kungliga Tekniska Högskola in Stockholm (1915–19), he participated in the Home Exhibition of the Swedish Society of Arts and Crafts at Liljevalchs Konsthall in Stockholm. He worked in the office of Gunnar Asplund (1921–3), and his early works are in the then-prevalent Neo-classical style. However, he soon adopted the Modernism of Le Corbusier’s Pavillon de l’Esprit Nouveau (1925) and the Weissenhofsiedlung at Stuttgart (1927), and he became a protagonist of rational and socially directed planning and architecture. His Students’ Union building at the Kungliga Tekniska Högskola (1928; with Sven Markelius), the Flamman Cinema (1929) and the Ford Motor Co. warehouse (1930), all in Stockholm, represent this new aesthetic. Furniture and industrial design were also an important part of his work during the 1920s and 1930s. As a prolific writer for the press and professional journals, he was an effective propagandist of Modernism, contributing to the Stockholm Exhibition of ...

Article

José Manuel Fernandes

(b Lisbon, April 28, 1910; d Lisbon, Feb 19, 1975).

Portuguese architect, theorist and writer. He studied with Carlos Ramos in the early 1930s and his first significant work was a Modernist pavilion (1937; destr.) for the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne, Paris (1937), a commission he won in competition against Raul Lino. Influenced by contemporary Dutch architecture and urban planning, he designed Lisbon’s airport (1943) at Portela and various works in the capital’s parks. The latter are intimate, modernist and successfully integrated projects, for example restaurants in the Campo Grande park (1948; destr.), in the Florestal de Monsanto park (1940; altered) and in the Eduardo VII park (altered). He also designed for the same parks a municipal swimming-pool (1965), a tennis club building (1952; with Hernâni Gandra and Alberto Pessoa) and the remodelled Estufa Fria (cold house for plants) respectively. A born teacher, researcher and polemicist, Amaral formed a school of theory and practice of architecture in which he fostered the idea of cultural and social awareness as a determining factor in design. In the years following World War II he was active in politics, adhering firmly to left-wing ideas. He was the main instigator of the survey of vernacular architecture in Portugal (...

Article

Kathryn O'Rourke and Ramón Vargas

(b Mexico City, Mar 29, 1915; d Mexico City, May 25, 1959).

Mexican architect, theorist, and writer, of Japanese descent. The son of a Japanese ambassador in Mexico, he studied philosophy, espousing neo-Kantianism and becoming politically a socialist. He became a supporter of Functionalism, with its emphasis on the social applications of architecture, and was a founder, with Enrique Yañez, of the Unión de Arquitectos Socialistas (1938), helping to draw up a socialist theory of architecture. He was one of the most active participants in the Unión and attempted to put his socialist theory into practice on two unexecuted projects in the same year: the building for the Confederación de Trabajadores de México and the Ciudad Obrera de México, both with Enrique Guerrero and Raúl Cacho. Later, when Mexico opted for a developmental policy, Arai became a standard-bearer for nationalism in architecture. He re-evaluated traditional building materials, such as tree trunks, bamboo, palm leaves, and lianas, using them in a plan for a country house that was adapted to the warm, damp climate of the Papaloapan region. The building of the Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico City, gave him his greatest architectural opportunity when he designed the Frontones (...

Article

Jean-Louis Cohen

(b Vichy, April 1, 1907; d Vichy, May 30, 1989).

French architect, urban planner and writer . Immediately after his studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, he presented designs for a ‘garden city for intellectuals’ at the Salon d’Automne of 1934. He then entered the Institut d’Urbanisme of the University of Paris, where he was much taken with the teaching of the architectural historian Marcel Poëte (1866–1951). He established a reputation in 1937 with La Rome de Mussolini, in which he unreservedly celebrated il Duce’s urban development policy. He worked with Jacques Gréber, the chief architect of the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne of 1937, and in 1941 he published Problèmes d’urbanisme, in which he set out for the first time a global manifesto linking both spatial and social factors. He was particularly opposed to the planning principles on which Le Corbusier based the sunburst layout of his Ville radieuse, but he commended the functionalist designs of Alexander Klein to a French audience in ...

Article

Blanca García Vega

(b Minas de Ríotinto, Huelva, Jan 12, 1871; d Vera de Bidasoa, Navarra, 1953).

Spanish printmaker, painter and writer . He was self-taught. He belonged to the Generación del 98 and the modernist literary movement. He began engraving in 1901 and won second prize at the Exposición Nacional, Madrid (1906), going on to win first prize in 1908. He also began etching c. 1908, and it became his favourite technique, although he also made lithographs. Both his prints and paintings have a literary content and focus thematically on life’s human aspects in a way reminiscent of the work of Toulouse-Lautrec. He illustrated Rubén Darío’s Coloquio de los centauros. Despite their lack of fine detail, his prints are realistic, for example Bar Types (etching and aquatint, c. 1906–9; Madrid, Bib. N.) and Beggars (etching and aquatint, c. 1910; Madrid, Bib. N.). His impressionistic painting style of the 1920s became more roughly worked later, possibly due to the loss of an eye in 1931. In ...

Article

Kathleen James-Chakraborty

(b Karlsruhe, April 12, 1883; d Darmstadt, Feb 20, 1959).

German architect and writer. Bartning studied at the Technische Hochschule in Karlsruhe and at the Technische Hochschule and the University in Berlin. In 1905 he established a practice in Berlin. By 1918 he had received c. 50 commissions, but he only began to publish his work after World War I. The upheavals of the period prompted him to propose the spatial and stylistic reorganization of German Protestant church building as a means of restoring social harmony. His book, On New Church Buildings, appeared in 1919 and spurred a revolution in German sacred architecture. During the 1920s Bartning joined the Novembergruppe, the Arbeitsrat für Kunst, and Der Ring, the principal German avant-garde artistic and architectural groups. His most interesting contribution to the brief period of German Expressionism was the Sternkirche project (1922). The centralized church is surmounted by a roof of layered concrete shells that are supported by a thicket of columns, intended as a reinterpretation of Gothic construction....

Article

Kathleen James-Chakraborty

After the closure in 1933 of the Bauhaus in Berlin, its staff and students dispersed. Many found their way to the USA, where they became highly influential teachers as well as artists and architects. The pedagogical methods developed at the school, particularly in the preliminary course, became commonplace in all levels of art education, as the former centrality in America of life drawing to instruction in the visual arts was now challenged by experimentation with abstract principles of composition and the qualities of individual materials.

Josef and Anni Albers family were the first Bauhäusler to immigrate to the USA. They arrived in 1933 and quickly took up positions at Black Mountain College, NC. In 1950 Josef became chair of the department of design at Yale University, New Haven, CT, from which he retired in 1958. His increasingly rigorous investigations into geometry and colour culminated in a series of paintings entitled ...

Article

Annalisa Avon

Italian architectural partnership of architects, designers, urban planners and critics, established in Milan in 1932. The firm’s name was derived from the first letters of the surnames of its four partners, Gian Luigi Banfi (b Milan, 2 April 1910; d Mauthausen, Austria, 10 April 1945), Ludovico (Barbiano di) Belgiojoso (b Milan, 1 Dec 1909), Enrico Peressutti (b Pinzano al Tagliamento, 28 Aug 1908; d Milan, 3 May 1976) and Ernesto Nathan Rogers (b Trieste, 16 March 1909; d Gardone, 7 Nov 1969). They all graduated from the Politecnico of Milan in 1932. As well as individual projects, they presented a joint written introduction that gained the standing of a manifesto, which referred to the declaration of Gruppo 7 (1926) and proclaimed their support for the Modern Movement. They maintained: ‘The individual personality does not concern us so much.’ Shortly afterwards they formed BBPR Architectural Studio (BBPR), keeping the name even after Banfi’s death in the concentration camp at Mauthausen....

Article

Dianne Timmerman and Frank van den Hoek

(b Amsterdam, Feb 1, 1891; d Amsterdam, May 5, 1951).

Dutch architect and writer. He studied civil engineering at the Technische Hogeschool, Delft, graduating in 1916. For a period he was editor of the architectural periodical Bouwkundig Weekblad, his articles revealing an admiration for Le Corbusier and Ernst May, particularly the latter’s efficient manner of working. He left the journal in 1924 because of its insufficient coverage of Functionalism. Between 1919 and 1926 he worked for the Department of Public Works in Amsterdam, mainly in the idiom of the Amsterdam school, for example a telephone exchange (1923) in East Amsterdam. His later projects, for example the houses (1927–8) in Aalsmeerderstraat and Sassenheimstraat, Amsterdam, are simpler, more rigid and make more use of glass. In 1928 Boeken joined the Amsterdam Functionalists of Architectengroep de 8 8, but he left before 1931. As a member of the main Dutch architectural society, Architectura et Amicitia, he supported Arthur Staal, who tried to push the society in the direction of Functionalism. In ...

Article

Hervé Paindaveine

(b Charleroi, Aug 29, 1897; d Brussels, July 24, 1962).

Belgian architect, theorist and urban planner. He grew up in the Pays Noir, the most heavily industrialized region of Belgium, an experience that led to his early and intense interest in social issues. He studied at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts et Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Brussels (1914–18) and began practising architecture immediately. In 1919–20 he was part of the technical department of the Société Nationale des Habitations à Bon Marché, which was created to find rapid solutions to the problem of workers’ housing. Upon his return from several trips to the Netherlands, he built his first major work, a small housing group (1922) in the Rue du Cubisme in the Koekelberg district of Brussels. It had an expressively modelled elevation and composition of separate volumes somewhat suggestive of similar developments of the time in the Netherlands, but its sober use of materials in their natural state also clearly showed its origins in the work of H. P. Berlage, for whom Bourgeois had great admiration....

Article

French, 19th – 20th century, female.

Active in Switzerland.

Born 1872, in Arras; died 1952.

Painter, watercolourist, illustrator, writer. Portraits, genre scenes. Posters, decorative designs.

Art Nouveau.

Marguerite Burnat-Provins was a pupil of Benjamin Constant and Jean-Paul Laurens. She married in 1896 and settled in Vevey, Switzerland. Very responsive to poetry, she wrote poems and plays from her early days, and when she was living in Vevey she wrote a long poem, ...

Article

Sylvia Ficher

(b Toulon, Feb 27, 1902; d Rio de Janeiro, July 13, 1998).

Brazilian architect, urban planner, architectural historian, teacher and writer of French birth. Son of Brazilian parents, he moved to Brazil in 1917 and entered the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro, graduating as an architect in 1923. From 1922 he worked with Fernando Valentim, adopting the style favoured by the Traditionalist movement, which took its inspiration from 18th-century Brazilian colonial architecture in an attempt to develop a national style. He designed several houses and won two important competitions, both with neo-colonial designs: the Brazilian Pavilion at the International Exhibition (1925) in Philadelphia, and the headquarters of the Argentine Embassy (1928), Rio de Janeiro (neither of which was built).

In December 1930, following the installation of the new revolutionary government in November, Costa was appointed to direct the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes in Rio and to reform its teaching system. At first his nomination was seen as a victory for the supporters of the neo-colonial style over the academics, but Costa broke with both and created a course, given by specially invited Modernist teachers including ...

Article

Friederike Mehlau-Wiebking

(b Weilheim an der Teck, June 13, 1894; d Stuttgart, Nov 9, 1968).

German architect, teacher and writer. He studied architecture at the Technische Hochschule, Stuttgart, with an interruption for military service in World War I, and completed a doctorate there (1923) under Paul Bonatz. He first attracted notice in 1921 with some Expressionist designs (unexecuted) for high-rise towers for central sites in Stuttgart, but after 1922 he became involved with Modernism. He was a member of Der Ring, the Deutscher Werkbund and CIAM, and he was a leading proponent of Neues Bauen in southern Germany. He achieved professional recognition in 1927 through his work as site architect in charge of construction at the Weissenhofsiedlung, Stuttgart, the Deutscher Werkbund’s exhibition housing estate for which he himself designed two houses (destr. 1939–45). Döcker’s commissions ranged from large private houses to standardized low-cost housing and commercial buildings. All his work is concerned with the need for human scale, good lighting, access to air and sunlight and the integration of new buildings into the existing environment. These requirements were particularly well satisfied by a low-roofed, terraced layout that became a feature of his work and found its definitive formulation in the Vetter House (...

Article

Allan Doig

(b Utrecht, Aug 30, 1883; d Davos, Switzerland, March 7, 1931).

Dutch painter, architect, designer and writer. He was officially registered as the son of Wilhelm Küpper and Henrietta Catharina Margadant, but he was so convinced that his mother’s second husband, Theodorus Doesburg, was his father that he took his name. Little is known of his early life, but he began painting naturalistic subjects c. 1899. In 1903 he began his military service, and around the same time he met his first wife, Agnita Feis, a Theosophist and poet. Between about 1908 and 1910, much influenced by the work of Honoré Daumier, he produced caricatures, some of which were later published in his first book De maskers af! (1916). Also during this period he painted some Impressionist-inspired landscapes and portraits in the manner of George Hendrik Breitner. Between 1914 and 1915 the influence of Kandinsky became clear in such drawings as Streetmusic I and Streetmusic II (The Hague, Rijksdienst Beeld. Kst) and other abstract works....

Article

Jordi Oliveras

(b Barcelona, Dec 27, 1849; d Barcelona, Dec 27, 1923).

Spanish Catalan architect, professor, historian, and politician. He is considered one of the protagonists of Catalan architectural Modernism, which is characterized by the doctrine of Rationalism, and which contrasted with the more expressionist Modernism headed by Gaudí. His essay ‘En busca de una arquitectura nacional’ in the magazine La Renaixença (Feb 1878) proposed the renewal of tradition and upheld the authenticity of architecture from a rational point of view. One of his first works was a building for the Editorial Montaner y Simón (1880) in Barcelona. For the Exposición International (1888), Barcelona, he built the Hotel Internacional (destr.) and the Café-Restaurante del Parque de la Ciudadela (now the Museu de Zoologia), a building that demonstrates two of his signature qualities: his rationalist concern and his predilection for brick. It was here, after the exhibition, that he and some other artists set up a workshop for architecture-related arts, in line with the Modernist ideal of artistic integration. Such integration is evident in the Instituto Pere Mata (...

Article

(b Kinderdijk, Alblasserdam, July 4, 1897; d Feb 21, 1988).

Dutch architect, urban planner, writer and teacher. Born into a family of building contractors, he was apprenticed to a firm of builders and carpenters in Dordrecht (1912–14) and then worked for Willem Kromhout in Rotterdam before studying architecture at the Academie van Beeldende Kunsten, Rotterdam (1915–17). He obtained his diploma in 1917 and continued his studies at the Academie van Bouwkunst, Amsterdam (1919–22). In 1922 he won the prestigious Prix de Rome with a design (unexecuted) for the Royal Netherlands Academy of Science building, which was clearly inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. The scholarship specified a study of traditional North German brick building but van Eesteren spent most of the year visiting the Bauhaus and various architects’ offices in Germany and Sweden, including those of Walter Gropius, Adolf Behne (b 1885), Hans Richter and László Moholy-Nagy. Behne introduced him to Theo van Doesburg...

Article

Gisela Moeller

(b Berlin, April 12, 1871; d Berlin, April 13, 1925).

German architect, designer, writer and teacher. After moving to Munich in 1892, he abandoned his plan to become a teacher, deciding on a career as a freelance scholar. He then studied aesthetics, psychology and philosophy, being particularly influenced by the lectures of the psychologist Theodor Lipps. He also studied German literature, art and music. In 1895 he intended to write a doctorate on the theme of ‘The Construction of Feeling’. In spring 1896 he met Hermann Obrist, who persuaded him to abandon his proposed academic career and become a self-taught artist. As well as book illustrations and decorative pieces for the art magazines Pan and Dekorative Kunst, he produced decorative designs for wall reliefs, carpets, textiles, coverings, window glass and lamps. In 1897 he designed his first furniture for his cousin, the historian Kurt Breysig. His first architectural work, the Elvira photographic studio in Munich (1896–7; destr. 1944), decorated on its street façade by a gigantic, writhing dragon, was a quintessential work of ...

Article

(b Budapest, April 12, 1901; d Budapest, Feb 23, 1995).

Hungarian architect, urban planner and theorist. He studied (1915–19) at the State Architecture High School, Budapest, taking his master builder examination in 1926. His entry in the design competition for the Imperial Baths (1924), Budapest, demonstrated his Modernist leanings, which he elaborated in articles for the avant-garde periodicals Munka (Hung.: work) and Tér és Forma (Hung.: space and form). After the Hungarian affiliate of CIAM was formed (1929) under the leadership of Farkas Molnár, Fischer became one of its most active members and one of the most important pioneers of Functionalism in Hungary. The Hungarian group, which existed for nine years, worked within CIAM’s overall focus on the need for affordable housing. Their utopian architectural and urban designs were illustrated by the collective house, Kolhāz (1931), and the collective town, Kolvāros (1932), but in practice the group’s members were primarily able to build only villas and residential blocks. Fischer’s architecture combines various Modernist influences with his own individual style. His early works are strictly geometric, while the later work includes increasingly rich formal elements. His cube-like villa (...

Article

Wilfried Posch

(b Baden, nr Vienna, July 15, 1885; d Stockholm, Jan 8, 1967).

Austrian architect, interior designer, teacher and writer. He studied architecture at the Technische Hochschule, Vienna, and then worked for a year with Bruno Möhring in Berlin. After a study visit to Italy he established himself as an independent architect in Vienna in 1910, building in the period before World War I a number of single-family houses distinguished by highly simplified forms and balanced proportions; examples include the Villa Hoch (1912) and Villa Wassermann (1914), both in Vienna. After the war he taught at the Kunstgewerbeschule, Vienna (1919–25), and collaborated with Adolf Loos and others in the Viennese garden city movement, which was based on English models. He took a leading role in the construction of cooperatively run garden suburbs and also contributed five residential buildings, several storeys high, to Vienna’s communal housing scheme, for example Winarskyhof (1924). Frank played a significant role in the propagation of artistic innovation in the early 20th century. As a member of both the ...