Houses by Le Corbusier, Pierre Chareau, Alvar Aalto, Carlo Scarpa, Mies Van Der Rohe, Greene & Greene, Charles Eames and Richard Neutra.
Le Corbusier: Villa Savoie (images 1-15)
Villa La Roche-Jeanneret (images 16-24)
Pierre Chareau: Maison de Verre (images 25-46)
Alvar Aalto: Villa Mairea (images 47-65)
Carlo Scarpa: Villa Ottolenghi (images 66-83)
Mies Van Der Rohe: Tugendhat House (images 84-92)
Farnsworth House (images 93-108)
Greene & Greene: Gamble House (images 109-126)
Charles Eames: Eames House & Studio (images 127-133)
Richard Neutra: Neutra Residence (images 134-143)
Le Corbusier (1887-1965): A French citizen, Le Corbusier was born Charles-Eduard Jeanneret in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. His career can be split into four phases: early works in Switzerland (1906-16); Parisian atelier with his cousin Pierre Jeanneret as partner after 1922 (1917-40); pro-Vichy period (1940-44); thence return to international practice (1945-65), Pierre Jeanneret resuming partnership for work in Chandigarh from 1951 onwards.
Villa Savoie, Poissy, Paris (1929-31): This was a weekend house for a family where the eldest son was wheelchair-bound. After 1940 the house was stripped, and left to decay but was later restored and is now a national monument (images 1-15).
Villa La Roche-Jeanneret, 8-10 Square du Docteur Blanche, Auteuil, Paris (1923-25): This was a pair of houses, one being a gallery and home for Baron La Roche (Le Corbusier's banker) and the other a house for a musician (Le Corbusier's cousin). Both houses are now part of the Foundation Le Corbusier (images 16-24).
Pierre Chareau (1883-1950): Pierre Chareau was educated at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris (1900-08). After the Great War, he practised in Paris, some of the time in collaboration with the Dutch architect Bernard BijvoeL He emigrated to the USA in 1940, where he practised in New York until his death. He had a great feeling for materials and each detail of his constructions was treated with equal care. Yet the only one of his architectural creations that is revered today is the Maison de Verre for Dr. Dalsace. The only person among his contemporaries who then recognised the value of his contribution to architecture was Le Corbusier.
Dalsace House, the Maison de Verre, 21, Rue St. Guillaume, Paris (1928-31): Designed in collaboration with Bernard Bijvoet. Mme Dalsace's father had bought an 18th century house flanked by party walls, with a small forecourt and a rear garden. He intended to demolish it and build afresh but a protected tenant on the second floor refused to move. So Chareau underpinned the second floor with steel, sparing only the access stairs. Three new levels were designed beneath it. Daylight fills the house through walls of translucent glass lenses. The interior is organised as a series of vertical planes and layers, and sub-divided horizontally by split levels emphasised by floor treatments (images 25-46).
Alvar Aalto (1898-1976): Alvar Aalto, the most enigmatic of the architects of the Modem movement, claimed not to have been influenced by either Wright or Le Corbusier. In fact he aimed for a completely autonomous architecture, uninfluenced by formal conventions or foreign culture, and created by local master-builders. He considered that modern building should be 100% functional. "Yet in everything he designed" says his friend Goran Schildt, "the entirety grew from a detail loaded with deeper meaning".
Villa Mairea, Noormaku, Finland (1937-39): The villa was designed (with his wife and partner Aioo Aalto) for Maire and Harry Gullichsen. Both Aalto and his clients championed social equality, and they regarded the Juxcry Villa as an experimental building that could lead to the production of good standardised cheap housing. Here we find Aalto's love of stone, brick, wood, tile and copper, of curves, of open planning and of architecture as part of the landscape. The villa sits alone on a bill surrounded by a continuous conifer forest. In 1981, it changed hands and now the Mairea Foundation looks after the art collections there, and arranges exhibitions and viewings of the house (images 47-65).
Carlo Scarpa (1906-78): Carlo Scarpa was born in Venice, educated at that city's Academy of Arts and later became Director of the Institute of Architecture at the University of Venice (1972-74). From 1927 until his death he was in private practice in Venice. His work is deeply rooted in the local tradition yet also greatly influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Villa Ottolenghi, Bardolino, Verona, Italy (1974-79): Built partly into a mountain above Lake Garda, on a restricted site surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, the house was commissioned in 1974 for the Ottolenghi family, but was completed by Scarpa's associate Guiseppe Tommasi after his Master's death (images 66-83).
Mies Van Der Rohe (1886-1966): Mies was born in Germany and practiced in Berlin until he emigrated to the USA in 1937 to head the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago until 1959. He practiced in that city as an American citizen until his death. It was the Barcelona Pavilion in 1929 that established him as an architect of importance. Its separation of structural and non-structural elements, a free plan, and a new kind of space articulated by free-standing walls, were features that reappeared the following year in the Tugendhat House, and later in the Farnsworth House.
Tugendhat House, Brno, Czechoslovakia (1930): This house, built originally as a family wedding gift, was abandoned in 1939, damaged in World War II. It was then used as a children's home, and was then restored for formal use by the Mayor of Brno. It stands on a steep slope. The upper, street entrance level contains the- sleeping area (images 84-92).
Farnsworth House, Piano, Fox River, Illinois (1945-50): Built for the scientist Edith Farnsworth, it was necessary to raise this house above ground because it is situated near a river which floods every spring. The steel-framed floor and roof slabs are supported by white-painted, wide-flange, steel columns, cantilevered at both ends. Exterior walls consist of clear plate-glass in steel frames, with natural coloured curtains (images 93-108).
Greene & Greene (1868-1957 & 1870-1954): The two brothers, Charles Summer Greene and Henry Mather Greene were both born in Ohio and professionally trained at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1898-91). They practiced together as architects in Pasadena, California (1894-1922) and then independently until the 1940's.
Gamble House, Pasadena, California (1908): Built for the soap manufacturer David R. Gamble, the house is now owned by the University of California at Los Angeles and is a museum. It contains some of the most beautifully detailed woodwork ever seen (images 109-126).
Charles Eames (1907-1978): Charles Eames was educated at Washington University School of Architecture (1924-26), and married the artist Ray Kaiser (1942) who practised with him in the Los Angeles area from that time. They designed furniture, exhibitions, showrooms and toys, and made films. By the 1950's the whole design climate was permanently changed by their work.
Eames House & Studio, Santa Monica, California (1947-49): These are two adjacent buildings overlooking a canyon. They were sponsored by the magazine Art & Architecture as one of its Case Study houses (images 127-133).
Richard Neutra (1892-1970): Richard Neutra was born in Austria and educated at the Technische Hochschule, Vienna. He emigrated to the USA in 1923, and worked with Frank Lloyd Wright and Rudolf Schindler before starting independent practice in Los Angeles in 1925. He took his son Dion into partnership in 1965. Neutra is one of the seminal figures of 20th century American architecture. He developed an appropriate regional architecture for Southern California, using a simple post and beam construction, and stressing the relationship between interior and exterior spaces.
Neutra House/Van der Leeuw Research House, Silverlake, Los Angeles (1933): Neutra used this house to research his ideas in architecture. It was paid for by the same Dutch financier responsible for the Van Nelle headquarters in Rotterdam. In 1964 it was rebuilt by the Neutra's after a fire (images 134-143).
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