On October 4th, we hosted the West Coast Modern League, to celebrate the creative contributions of Bruno Freschi, Don Vaughan, Paul Merrick, Peter Cardew, Richard Henriquez, and their pivotal roles in the shaping and evolution of the west coast design ethos.
This was the second instalment of the Masters of West Coast Modernism, this series aims to reflect on the creative contributions to our built environment of West Coast Modern Masters, and to offer insight into influences of personal and continued significance to their careers, design philosophies, and creative processes.
Alex Schweder coined the term “Performance Architecture” in 2007 to encapsulate the understanding of architecture that gives cues for how we are to behave and offers itself as a prop for inhabitants to form and perform their identities. His work along these lines has been exhibited and collected internationally in prestigious institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Britain, Perform 17, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. He is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome and currently lives and works in New York City.
Well known for his exemplary work on the Fogo Island Inn, Todd Saunders’ firm is led by a strong contemporary design sensibility. The studio believes that architecture must play an important role in creating place through the use of form, materials and texture to help evoke and shape memory and human interaction. The office operates within existing natural, as well as, manmade contexts. Examples range from an award nominated dramatic viewpoint structure set amidst a rich protected landscape to several new-build houses within more traditional suburban settings.
*This video contains mature language and may not be suitable for all viewers.
On October 26th, we hosted the launch of the latest in the SALA Modern House Series, Copp House by Adele Weder with photography by Michael Perlmutter.
In 1950, a young Vancouver architectural apprentice was handed a small house project that his boss was too busy to take on. The apprentice, Ron Thom, took the simple plan and rectangular foundation that had been roughed in, and transformed it into a groundbreaking work of architecture that gained national fame. Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra, but using local wood and paying careful attention to its verdant oceanside setting, Thom created a landmark for the new architectural movement known as West Coast Modernism. The client, Dr. Harold Copp, was himself a trailblazer, the first head of the physiology department in the University of British Columbia’s new Faculty of Medicine and a research pioneer. Generously illustrated with both vintage and contemporary architectural photography, line drawings, and photographs of the architect and residents, the Copp House is the story of a cultural landmark on the shores of Vancouver.
Merrick House is a documentation of one of the jewels of West Coast Modern architecture, a home that, as a young architect, Merrick built by hand on the steep wooded slopes of West Vancouver, BC in the early 1970s. The photographs by Michael Perlmutter bring out the wonders of the architectural space and materiality, and the text by Tony Robins explores Merrick’s influences, the many spatial moves he employed and the changes made over time with successive renovations.
Continue reading “UBC SALA Modern House Series”
Last month, we had the pleasure of hosting Mario Bellini – iconic Italian Architect and Designer – who shared his thoughts on his work and inspirations since the 1960’s. Prior to his talk, we took Mr. Bellini to see the Museum of Anthropology, designed by our local favorite Arthur Erickson. This mildly Brutalist building seemed to please Mr. Bellini – it’s sensitivity to the environment, and use of materials spoke to some of Bellini’s work which he described at length to us later that evening…
Bellini is a fascinating designer, and someone who has helped mold Modern design since he graduated from Milan Polytechnic with a degree in Architecture in 1959.
He is the winner of 8 Compasso d’Oro awards and the MoMA holds 25 of his designs in their permanent collection. Throughout his career he has moved between the worlds of design, architecture and interior design by applying design principals on a variety of scales. His many influences are diverse and range from the human body to classical architecture, fashion, and animals.
Last week, we welcomed Leslie Van Duzer of UBC’s SALA and Judah Shumiatcher to our showroom. They discussed significant moments during Architect Shumiatcher’s career, inspirations and how he came to build a very special Vancouver home for his family.
There are still copies of the publication available in-store and for online purchase. Signed copies are available upon request.
From LA to Vancouver, a legacy of inspired living by the pioneers of West Coast Modernist Architecture. The film will be shown at Vancity Theatre July 6 through 13. The will be Q&A periods during some of the nights.
Inform is located in the oldest commercial district of Vancouver – Gastown. Circa 1900, Water Street (then called Front Street) was where Vancouver first started to become a city. Many of the building’s facades have been maintained and kept true to the spirit of old Gastown.
Gastown in the early 1900s.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was born on March 27th, 1886, as Ludwig Michael Mies, in Aachen, Germany. Classically trained as a stonemason, at 19 he moved to Berlin where he worked for Bruno Paul, an art nouveau architect and industrial designer.
Mies’ professional focus was to define new architectural and design styles that reflected a more modern and industrialized time. Along with Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier, Mies is widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of Modern architecture. His infamous quotes “Less is more” and “God is in the details” ring true to his architectural projects as well as his furniture and interior designs. He promoted purity in his minimalist style which was often referred to as “skin and bones” architecture by Mies himself.