Kevin Roche: The Favorite Architect of Corporate America
Kevin Roche’s path toward becoming one of corporate America’s favorite architects was paved in the 1950s, when, while working at Eero Saarinen and Associates, he helped design the first, and many would argue, the most groundbreaking corporate headquarters and research facilities for clients such as CBS, General Motors, IBM, John Deere and Company, and Bell Laboratories. These companies represented traditional manufacturing and emerging information technologies while prizing architecture as a symbol for power and prestige.
Learning from our Late-Modern Legacy
The Johnson & Johnson World Headquarters, completed in 1983, is a significant example of Late Modern architecture, defined by Charles Jencks in his seminal book Late Modern Architecture of 1980 as being committed to order, dramatic interior sections, and smooth exterior surfaces.
Big Blue and the Concrete Wave: IBM Corporate Office in Boca Raton, Florida
The International Business Machines Corporation, widely known for its acronym “IBM”, and nicknamed the “Big Blue”, commissioned its facility in Boca Raton, Florida, to the office of Marcel Breuer and Associates. The project architects were Marcel Breuer and Robert Gatje (longtime partner at this firm). Breuer, a respected, well-known architect and mature designer, received this commission at the height of his career.
Southern California’s Aerospace Modernism
No architects better captured the exhilarating spirit of Southern California’s aerospace era than William Pereira, Charles Luckman, and Albert C. Martin, Jr. Their corporate campuses and laboratories in steel and glass, with their strong horizontal lines, lavish landscaping, pools and fountains, and the deliberate blurring of interior and exterior space, perfectly expressed what journalist and author, David Beers called California’s “blue sky dream”, a postwar suburban paradise driven by defense spending, a sense of manifest destiny, and the scientific fervor of a place that had set its sights on the stars. As Beer explains, “aerospace and California were made not just for but by each other.”
Soft-selling Aluminum: Minoru Yamasaki’s Reynolds Metals Sales headquarters
The Reynolds Metals regional sales headquarters was the result of a corporate client who sought to build a showcase for aluminum and an architect who questioned modernism. The result was a “total work of art” of architectural branding, and an important example of “new formalism” that would be a travesty to lose.
City Council overturns HLC Conditional Approval
In an unsurprising 4-0 vote, Portland City Council tentatively struck down a condition of approval attached to the Historic Landmarks Commission's approval of the "Reconstruction" of the Portland Building. City Council also voted to deny Peter Meijer's (Peter Meijer Architect, PC) appeal of the decision without a word of debate.
In the media
With push from Yo-Yo Ma, floating concert hall may end up in N.Y.
Two years ago, Chicago had a chance to add a futuristic floating concert hall designed by one of the 20th century's great architects to its renowned collection of iconic structures. The vessel could have adorned the city's downtown Riverwalk and moved up and down the branches of the Chicago River, entertaining audiences on shore.
But the chance to buy Philadelphia architect Louis Kahn's "Point Counterpoint II," which opens like a clam shell to present classical music concerts for listeners on shore, came and went with the closing of the first Chicago Architecture Biennial exhibition in 2015.
Docomomo US/WEWA Wins Landmark Case in State Supreme Court
An almost decade-long fight to protect historic resources at the University of Washington in Seattle has culminated in a State Supreme Court ruling in favor of preservation advocates in the case, University of Washington vs. City of Seattle, Docomomo US/WEWA, Historic Seattle, and the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation.