A Pictorial Blog of Things I Make,
Items I Collect, Architecture I Love,
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Friday, August 5, 2011

Modernism in San Francisco

San Francisco Federal Building (2007) by Thom Mayne of Morphosis.

Hyatt Regency Hotel (1973) by John Portman. Now closed, the revolving rooptop restaurant once took patrons on a snail-like 360-degree spin above San Francisco and its bay.

 The atrium interior of the Hyatt served as the lobby in 1974's The Towering Inferno and was also used in 1977's High Anxiety and 1979's Time After Time. Created by Charles O. Perry, Eclipse, the 40-foot geodesic sphere, is made up of 1,400 pieces of curved metal tubing.

140 Maiden Lane Building (originally V.C. Morris Gift Shop, now Xanadu Gallery) by Frank Lloyd Wright.

The 1949 building has an interior spiral ramp that predates by a decade the lengthier one Wright designed for the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

Alcoa Building (1967) by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The 25-story edifice is the first skyscraper design to employ seismic X-bracing as part of the structural aesthetic, a look repeated a year later in SOM's 100-story John Hancock Center in Chicago.

580 California Street (1987) by Johnson/Burgee Architects.

Arranged around the Po-Mo glazed mansard of the 23-story structure are a dozen 12-foot-tall ghostly statues, described by their creator, sculptress Muriel Castanis (1926-2006), as "corporate goddesses." 

Contemporary Jewish Museum (2008) by Daniel Libeskind.

St. Mary's Cathedral (1971) by Pietro Belluschi; McSweeney, Ryan & Lee; and Pier Luigi Nervi.

Above St. Mary's altar dangles a baldachino of tiers of triangular annodized-aluminum rods that reflect light throughout the cathedral. It was designed by sculptor Richard Lippold (1915-2002), who also created Orpheus and Apollo for the lobby of Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.

On a graceful concrete pedestal rise 4,842 pipes of the organ, designed and built by Ruffatti in Padua.

Justin Herman Plaza's Québec libre! (1971), a 200-foot-wide concrete fountain by French-Canadian artist Armand Vaillancourt. 
To look at additional images, visit: More Modernism in San Francisco

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