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Building Seagram

ISBN: 9780300167672 | 0300167679
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Yale University Press
Pub. Date: 4/16/2013

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The Seagram Building rises up over New York's Park Avenue with perfect lines of bronze and glass. Considered one of the greatest icons of 20th-century architecture, the building was commissioned by Samuel Bronfman, founder of the Canadian distillery dynasty Seagram. Bronfman's daughter, Phyllis Lambert, was twenty-seven years old when she took over the search for an architect and chose Mies van der Rohe (18861969), a pioneering master of modern "skin and bones" architecture. Mies, who designed the building clad in bronze and amber-tinted glass along with Philip Johnson (19062005), emphasized the beauty of structure and fine materials and set the building back from the avenue, creating the building's plaza as an urban oasis. Lambert's choice established her role as a leading architectural patron and singlehandedly changed the face of American urban architecture. Building Seagramis a comprehensive personal and scholarly history of the Seagram Building and its architectural, cultural, and urban legacies. Lambert makes use of previously unpublished personal archives, company correspondence, and photographs to tell an insider's view of the debates, resolutions, and unknown dramas of the building's construction, as well as its crucial role in the history of modern art and architectural patronage.

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