Archive for the ‘Myron Goldsmith’ Category

Planes, trains of thought and peace

09/03/2008

The New York Times story on the retro-futurist design of the interior of the new Airbus A380 double-deck superjumbo jet for the Australian airline Qantas


reminded me of this timeless, unforgettable form follows function; beauty in structure shed designed by the late Chicago architect Myron Goldsmith.


What a perfect fit! Excitement when that beautiful plane enters that shed. A sense of completion. The shed’s straight lines contrasting with the curves and angles of the aerodynamic plane. To welcome the plane back home. To rest, before it takes off again.

It also reminds me that architect Norman Foster famously said,

when asked to make a film for the TV series Building Sights about his favourite building, Foster chose a Boeing 747. This was a homage not just to the aerospace industry that has so inspired him, but to the big-spiritedness of US design, the American belief in getting things up and flying, of taking on daunting challenges in the belief that they will succeed.

Ah yes, Boeing. They have their own Dreamliner coming out soon. Airbus has raised the stakes for design as a competitive tool and Boeing has understood. The 787 should be gorgeous.



Look at that. All curves inside. That’s calming too. As is the lighting. As in the A380 LEDs in the ceiling will give a sense of daylight or of a beautiful night sky.

The L.E.D.’s that illuminate the cabin are programmed to wash the interior with colors that change subtly throughout the flight. Each shade is selected to create the ideal mood for a particular activity, like sleeping, waking or eating, regardless of time zone.

Boeing thinks about these things, “Blue/green is nearly unanimously associated with peace,” it says in a Boeing article called, “The Psychology of Comfort in Airplane Interior Design – Shape, color, patterns and lighting influence how travelers feel.”

I would feel peaceful too, watching a jumbo jet pull into Myron Goldsmith’s shed at San Francisco International airport. Like finding the perfect puzzle piece. Modernist perfection it is. Too bad it was demolished in 1996. I guess its perfect shape for 1958, when built, would hardly fit today’s larger aircraft anyway. What we build today is often too big.

But I do find the new jets and their interior cabins thrilling.

A380 photo: Robyn Beck/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images via the New York Times
Boeing photo: Boeingmedia.com

BLDGBLOG wonders too about “the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk, or total work of art, here transformed into a total environment sent aloft into the sky.”
.

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02/02/2007


From “Memories of Myron Goldsmith. ” At the Arts Club of Chicago. Through April 13th. 201 E. Ontario Street.

The pristine nature of the projects shows such faith.

It opened last night. It was wonderful to feel Myron Goldsmith’s sensitive, kindly, optimistic and enquiring spirit (I never met the man), pervade the room, in his buildings, and in his friends.

A high point for me was to see and have a nice conversation with

George Danforth. George was a classmate of Myron Goldsmith at IIT; both studied with Mies when he arrived in 1938, and then worked closely with him. George is one of the finest gentlemen I’ve known.

A perfect evening. Even if the
cake served, looked more like

it came from Zaha than Myron.

-E

top photo: United Airlines Wash and Maintenance Hangar, San Francisco, CA. 1958
SOM, Myron Goldsmith, and James Ferris
Photograph by Hedrich Blessing and Myron Goldsmith,
courtesy of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.

02/02/2007


From “Memories of Myron Goldsmith. ” At the Arts Club of Chicago. Through April 13th. 201 E. Ontario Street.

The pristine nature of the projects shows such faith.

It opened last night. It was wonderful to feel Myron Goldsmith’s sensitive, kindly, optimistic and enquiring spirit (I never met the man), pervade the room, in his buildings, and in his friends.

A high point for me was to see and have a nice conversation with

George Danforth. George was a classmate of Myron Goldsmith at IIT; both studied with Mies when he arrived in 1938, and then worked closely with him. George is one of the finest gentlemen I’ve known.

A perfect evening. Even if the
cake served, looked more like

it came from Zaha than Myron.

-E

top photo: United Airlines Wash and Maintenance Hangar, San Francisco, CA. 1958
SOM, Myron Goldsmith, and James Ferris
Photograph by Hedrich Blessing and Myron Goldsmith,
courtesy of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.

01/23/2007

Me, Me, Me, Me, Mies

Myron on Mies and marketing: (from Myron Goldsmith’s oral history)

Mies was not one to seek publicity, to approach anybody aggressively. I’m sure he turned down a lot of things that he did not consider worthy. There was not the kind of aggressive publicity-seeking that you have now (1986) of architects wheeling and dealing. The word marketing, which has become such a well-used word in the architectural profession didn’t apply then.

He had this idea, and I think he instilled it in everything, that it was terribly important that everything that was being done was to be done in the best way, the most serious way and the most professional way. I think in all his public dealings, in a speech to, say, the faculty wives, he would spend weeks on it because he was making a statement. I think if he wrote a letter, other than a routine letter, it was very well thought out.

You can see that to a man who thinks like that, that architecture is a kind of holy profession, that he’s the heir to the medieval builders where even a statue at the top of the cathedral they would finish as if it were on the ground.

01/23/2007

Me, Me, Me, Me, Mies

Myron on Mies and marketing: (from Myron Goldsmith’s oral history)

Mies was not one to seek publicity, to approach anybody aggressively. I’m sure he turned down a lot of things that he did not consider worthy. There was not the kind of aggressive publicity-seeking that you have now (1986) of architects wheeling and dealing. The word marketing, which has become such a well-used word in the architectural profession didn’t apply then.

He had this idea, and I think he instilled it in everything, that it was terribly important that everything that was being done was to be done in the best way, the most serious way and the most professional way. I think in all his public dealings, in a speech to, say, the faculty wives, he would spend weeks on it because he was making a statement. I think if he wrote a letter, other than a routine letter, it was very well thought out.

You can see that to a man who thinks like that, that architecture is a kind of holy profession, that he’s the heir to the medieval builders where even a statue at the top of the cathedral they would finish as if it were on the ground.

01/23/2007

Me, Me, Me, Me, Mies

Myron on Mies and marketing: (from Myron Goldsmith’s oral history)

Mies was not one to seek publicity, to approach anybody aggressively. I’m sure he turned down a lot of things that he did not consider worthy. There was not the kind of aggressive publicity-seeking that you have now (1986) of architects wheeling and dealing. The word marketing, which has become such a well-used word in the architectural profession didn’t apply then.

He had this idea, and I think he instilled it in everything, that it was terribly important that everything that was being done was to be done in the best way, the most serious way and the most professional way. I think in all his public dealings, in a speech to, say, the faculty wives, he would spend weeks on it because he was making a statement. I think if he wrote a letter, other than a routine letter, it was very well thought out.

You can see that to a man who thinks like that, that architecture is a kind of holy profession, that he’s the heir to the medieval builders where even a statue at the top of the cathedral they would finish as if it were on the ground.

01/23/2007

My, my, Myron


At the Arts Club of Chicago last night, for the Joyce Awards. Got a sneak preview of the Myron Goldsmith exhibition, to open January 31. “Memories of Myron Goldsmith.”


Large-scale, black-and-white photographs of 10 works by the late Chicago architect.

Myron Goldsmith’s works include the offices and printing plant of The Republic newspaper in Columbus, Indiana. (1971, and gorgeous, and barely mentioned on the website for the Republic.)

The Cook County Administration Building (ne’ Brunswick), stared at constantly by no less than

Chicago’s Picasso. And

tragically, six people lost their lives there as a result of a fire in 2003.

The unbuilt ‘Ruck-a-Chucky’ Bridge (love the name! – done with T.Y. Lin and others) for a site in California
and the Solar Telescope, at Kitt Peak, Arizona, (1962).


He superintended the construction of the Farnsworth House, having trained with Mies since the late ’30’s.

“I’ve always considered myself extremely lucky that here I was in a sort of third-rate school, Armour, and due to no efforts of my own, in walks Mies in 1938…”

Lucky Man!, but,

“There was another factor: the war was now going on. It was very disturbing. It was awful. It was very well known, German anti-Semitism. That was not a very good period to study architecture, with the world falling to pieces around you…

See how he built up the world, in a very post-war way, beginning January 31, at the Arts Club of Chicago. And as you stare at the modernity in his work, remember these words of Myron Goldsmith, also from his oral history,

“If some architects believed that architecture would reform society, change society? I did not. I did not really have those aspirations. I had hoped to do something nice that would give pleasure and be a nice thing.”


-E.

Ruck-A-Chucky Bridge; Auburn, California, 1980. Rendering by D. Hansen. Photo courtesy of SOM.
Kitt Peak 1962. Photo by Ezra Stoller

01/23/2007

My, my, Myron


At the Arts Club of Chicago last night, for the Joyce Awards. Got a sneak preview of the Myron Goldsmith exhibition, to open January 31. “Memories of Myron Goldsmith.”


Large-scale, black-and-white photographs of 10 works by the late Chicago architect.

Myron Goldsmith’s works include the offices and printing plant of The Republic newspaper in Columbus, Indiana. (1971, and gorgeous, and barely mentioned on the website for the Republic.)

The Cook County Administration Building (ne’ Brunswick), stared at constantly by no less than

Chicago’s Picasso. And

tragically, six people lost their lives there as a result of a fire in 2003.

The unbuilt ‘Ruck-a-Chucky’ Bridge (love the name! – done with T.Y. Lin and others) for a site in California
and the Solar Telescope, at Kitt Peak, Arizona, (1962).


He superintended the construction of the Farnsworth House, having trained with Mies since the late ’30’s.

“I’ve always considered myself extremely lucky that here I was in a sort of third-rate school, Armour, and due to no efforts of my own, in walks Mies in 1938…”

Lucky Man!, but,

“There was another factor: the war was now going on. It was very disturbing. It was awful. It was very well known, German anti-Semitism. That was not a very good period to study architecture, with the world falling to pieces around you…

See how he built up the world, in a very post-war way, beginning January 31, at the Arts Club of Chicago. And as you stare at the modernity in his work, remember these words of Myron Goldsmith, also from his oral history,

“If some architects believed that architecture would reform society, change society? I did not. I did not really have those aspirations. I had hoped to do something nice that would give pleasure and be a nice thing.”


-E.

Ruck-A-Chucky Bridge; Auburn, California, 1980. Rendering by D. Hansen. Photo courtesy of SOM.
Kitt Peak 1962. Photo by Ezra Stoller

01/23/2007

My, my, Myron


At the Arts Club of Chicago last night, for the Joyce Awards. Got a sneak preview of the Myron Goldsmith exhibition, to open January 31. “Memories of Myron Goldsmith.”


Large-scale, black-and-white photographs of 10 works by the late Chicago architect.

Myron Goldsmith’s works include the offices and printing plant of The Republic newspaper in Columbus, Indiana. (1971, and gorgeous, and barely mentioned on the website for the Republic.)

The Cook County Administration Building (ne’ Brunswick), stared at constantly by no less than

Chicago’s Picasso. And

tragically, six people lost their lives there as a result of a fire in 2003.

The unbuilt ‘Ruck-a-Chucky’ Bridge (love the name! – done with T.Y. Lin and others) for a site in California
and the Solar Telescope, at Kitt Peak, Arizona, (1962).


He superintended the construction of the Farnsworth House, having trained with Mies since the late ’30’s.

“I’ve always considered myself extremely lucky that here I was in a sort of third-rate school, Armour, and due to no efforts of my own, in walks Mies in 1938…”

Lucky Man!, but,

“There was another factor: the war was now going on. It was very disturbing. It was awful. It was very well known, German anti-Semitism. That was not a very good period to study architecture, with the world falling to pieces around you…

See how he built up the world, in a very post-war way, beginning January 31, at the Arts Club of Chicago. And as you stare at the modernity in his work, remember these words of Myron Goldsmith, also from his oral history,

“If some architects believed that architecture would reform society, change society? I did not. I did not really have those aspirations. I had hoped to do something nice that would give pleasure and be a nice thing.”


-E.

Ruck-A-Chucky Bridge; Auburn, California, 1980. Rendering by D. Hansen. Photo courtesy of SOM.
Kitt Peak 1962. Photo by Ezra Stoller

01/12/2007

Adrian talks, Myron displayed

Adrian Smith in Metropolis magazine on leaving Skidmore, setting up his own shop, and what he wants to do with it,

“Gordon (Gill) and I want to do research that we can apply to buildings, and we want to collaborate with the local Chicago universities, but we also want to work with organizations like Boeing, NASA, and others that can help advance the technology of energy-producing mechanisms. For example, there are a couple of usable wind-turbine devices for buildings, but they really aren’t ­optimum. Who else better than the airplane industry to help us develop a turbine?

And on what he learned from Skidmore greats,

“With Walter Netsch, I learned what not to do. (Laughs.) There was a strong rigor that Walter had that I think boxed me in to solutions that were not necessarily solutions that solved clients’ problems. I learned from Bruce how one can be innovative and yet responsive to a client. And I also learned some aspects of what not to do. He was very condescending to his clients at times. Myron Goldsmith was a man of few words, but when he said something, it really meant something. He had a huge influence on my character.

If you’re in Chicago between Febrary and April 13 see “Memories of Myron Goldsmith” at The Arts Club of Chicago – which you ought to see anyway. The exhibition will feature large-scale photographs of works by Goldsmith, ranging from the Cook County Administration Building (facing Chicago’s Picasso statue) to



the Republic newspaper building in Columbus, Indiana.

And I love to link to the Art Institute’s oral histories,
here’s Myron Goldsmith’s.
I find them invaluable, and lively reading!

best,
-E


Top photo from Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture