Tag Archives: architect

Eye On Design: Mid-Century Armchairs by Paola Buffa

paola buffa midcentury armchairs photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

Paolo Buffa (19031970) was an Italian architect and designer best known for his designs of mid-century furniture. Characterized by a melding of tradition and modernity, he used a combination of low-profile, rectilinear, and hardwood forms to produce his most classic pieces. This pair of Rose-colored Velvet Upholstered Armchairs from the 1960s are examples of his dedication to  superior craftsmanship.

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Eye On Design: Model No. 41 Lounge Chair By Alvar Alto

alvar alto 41 lounge chair photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

Alvar Aalto’s bentwood furniture designs were among the many ground breaking utilitarian items to emerge from the Bauhaus school designers. The Model 41 Bentwood Lounge Chair (1931 – 32), designed for Aalto’s Paimio Sanatorium, demonstrates the radical possibilities of bentwood in its graceful, scrolling form, devoid of right angles and sharp geometry.

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Eye On Design: Washington Skeleton Side Chair By David Adjaye

washington skeleton side chair photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

The Metropolitan Museum of Art does not often invite visitors to sit directly on the art, but they have made an exception for these Washington Skeleton Side Chairs (2013), designed by Ghanaian-British architect David Adjaye, which can be found in the gallery where the 2020 Holiday Tree is on display.

washington skeleton side chair photo by gail worley

These delicately balanced, precisely engineered chairs emerged from the design process for the façade of the National Museum of African-American History and Culture, which opened in Washington DC in 2016.  David Adjaye developed an intricate lattice form that was an investigation of the geometry, materiality, light and shadow.

washington skeleton side chair detail photo by gail worley

Both functional in its shading role, and poetic in its abstract visual qualities, this screen borrowed from African design patterns but also paid homage to the history of enslaved blacksmiths and their ironwork for ornamental gates in southern cities such as New Orleans and Charleston.

washington skeleton side chair photo by gail worley

Utilizing the smaller scale of furniture as an agile testing ground for these architectural ideas, Adjaye produced what he describes as a “narrative about skin, form and structure.“ Here, he shapes the skeletal, ribbed surfaces to mimic the form of a seated person, resulting in a cantilevered, ergonomic silhouette that almost disappears when in use. Made of die-cast aluminum, then powder coated and copper plated, the chairs are manufactured by Knoll International.

washington skeleton side chair photo by gail worley

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

washington skeleton side chair photo by gail worley

Eye On Design: Opalescent Glass Vase By Philip Webb

venetian glass vase by philip webb photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

Rediscovered Venetian glass techniques inspired James Powell and Sons to experiment with making light and lithe shapes at its Whitefriars Gassworks factory.

venetian glass vase by philip webb photo by gail worley

Among the new forms invented were these ethereal vases with rippling rims and opalescent colors. The firm also made simpler shapes, such as the footed goblet.

venetian glass vase by philip webb photo by gail worley

The featured ‘Straw Opal’ glass vase (circa 1890) was originally designed by Architect Philip Webb for Red House, the home his design partner, William Morris.

Photographed in the British Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Set of French Doors from Arthur Heun’s Sedgwick S. Brinsmaid House

brinsmaid house french doors photo by gail worley
Photos By Gail

This set of French Doors was originally installed in the Sedgwick S. Brinsmaid House, one of the earliest examples of Prairie-school architecture in Iowa. The horizontally oriented building, with its stucco-and-wood surface, pierced details, and abundance of geometric leaded glass, relates closely to works by Frank Lloyd Wright. A contemporary of Wright, Arthur Heun began his architectural career in Chicago and was an important member of the Chicago Architectural Club, where he exhibited a design for this house in 1902.

sedgwick s brinsmaid house photo by gail worley

Sash windows, chandeliers, and lanterns were designed en suite with the doors; the distinctive element is the chevron pattern, its angles echoing the broadly projecting gables of the house.

brinsmaid house french doors photo by gail worley

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.