Friday, January 30, 2009

Experimental Eames Lounge Chair

Well this experimental chair is something that Charles and Ray Eames never put into production and the 1946 date on the photo predates the ubiquitous Eames Lounge Chair production by ten years. The chair is contemporaneous with the introduction of the Eames LCM and the seat shows some relationship to that design. But we can see that the many of the design elements of the Eames Lounge Chair are there. The curve of the seat, the back and arms as separate plywood pieces are all represented in the classic Eames Lounge Chair. Just add the beautiful leather upholstery.

The chair does show a rather crude, by Eames' standards, leg and arm attachment, which begs the question, was this a prototype to test the seating comfort only? Or was this simply early in Eames' career before their refinement skills were brought up to the highly refined standards we expect to see in Eames furniture today?

Via Shorpy

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Shipping Container House in Kansas City

I was forwarded a news story recently on a local home that is under construction being built with Shipping Containers. I managed to drive by and snap a few pictures one day last week. The home is being built in Brookside and is currently midway through construction, it is going to have a very industrial feel when it is completed given the nature of the shipping containers. Check out their website for a rendering of the finished product. It must have been quite the battle with the city to get their approval on such a radical approach to home construction [in Brookside].

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Community Christian Church by Frank Lloyd Wright - Modern Photo of the Week

KCMODERN friend, SkyVu, aka Jim Seelen, let us borrow this recent photo from his Flickr Photostream. Most of you will recognize it as Frank Lloyd Wright's Community Christian Church from from Main Street and the Country Club Plaza.

Name: Community Christian Church
Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright
Year Designed: 1940
Builder: Ben Wiltscheck, contractor for the Johnson Wax Complex
Year Built: 1941
Size: Unknown
Location: Main Street at the Country Club Plaza, Kansas City, MO
Type: Religious
Style: Modern
Status: Good
Photographer: Jim Seelen

Here is our description from the KCMODERN website.

The concept for the Community Christian Church represents Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision for a “church of the future” built of modern materials. Planned as a low cost steel frame structure with walls of a concrete material called gunite sprayed over a wire mesh, the church embraced the growing “car culture.” The design called for the ultimate convenience for parishioners by providing parking terraces to allow members to travel from car to sanctuary without being exposed to the weather. Unfortunately the terraces were never built. The hexagonal plan created a dramatic interior space which feels more like an intimate concert hall than a church with its auditorium style seating and stage-like alter. An organic, sculptural skylight sits over the alter of the church. As originally planned, a light tower was to be fitted with powerful lights creating a spire. Due to blackouts in World War II, this never was realized until local artist, Dale Eldred, designed a lighting solution similar to the original design, which was installed in 1994.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Modern Garden

As the weather gives a hope of warm Spring days ahead, my mind quickly turns to the garden after reading the Fall 2008 edition of Modernism. The Cultural Landscape Foundation and the Chicago Architecture Foundation joined forces for a conference in November and presented The Second Wave of Modernism in Landscape Architecture in America. Topics such as "what makes a landscape design modern?" were discussed by the nations leading landscape architects and garden design professionals of how they were influenced by the preceding generations of modernists.

Speakers included Andrea Cockran from San Francisco.

Walter Hood of Berkley
Tom Oslund of Minneapolis

Michael Van Valkenburrgh of New York City

Reed Hilderbrand of Watertown, MA
Thomas Woltz of Charlottesville, VA