Wednesday, December 13, 2006

designing architecture...







the last of my alvin lustig posts is this super rare 1951 guide to contemporary architecture in southern california. the guide, edited by frank harris and weston bonenberger, was certainly a precursor to the great guides to architecture in los angeles by david gebhard and dr. robert winter. the photographs were taken by the master, julius shulman.

the cover is classic lustig, an amalgam of rectangles and X's, certainly in sympathy with the design of the recently completed eames house. the book itself is exceptional, with several different kinds of paper, well placed photos, and a sophisticated sense of space and type. images include area maps, floorplans, and shulman's beautiful photos.

because of the consistency of the floorplan drawings, i think lustig created these stylized versions from the architect's originals himself - exploiting the nature of the graphic as information as well as purely visual inspiration. on top of the design being consistent with lustig's cleaner late work, this is also one of the best reference books on the location of major and minor modernist architecture works in the los angeles area. with addresses to structures designed by r.m. schindler, gregory ain, richard neutra, quincy jones, rodney walker, harwell hamilton harris, greta grossman, criag ellwood and even lustig himself; it's unfortunate that the book is now way too coveted to live in the car.


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