In the 1880s the Kurfürstendamm was developed with opulent apartments for Berlin's Grossbürgertum, or haute bourgeoisie. It was designed to be the counterpart to the Champs-Elysées. Luxury Apartments with a Tenement Heart: The Kurfürstendamm and the Berliner Zimmer analyses the plans of these apartments, whose dining rooms—called Berliner Zimmer—retained a planning peculiarity from Berlin's infamous tenements, or Mietskaserne. Through careful comparison, Douglas Mark Klahr shows that the Berliner Zimmer interrupted the circulation pattern for visitors and residents in a manner and to a degree not seen in comparable Parisian residences of the same period. Although building ordinances and economics shaped important aspects of Berlin's domestic architecture, this humble plan feature endured in the architecture of the wealthy because of the rootedness of Grossbürgertum identity in the values and architecture of the lower middle and working classes.
Kevin D. Murphy reexamines the introduction of European modern architecture in New England during the late 1920s and 1930s. Emphasizing the importance of regional vernacular forms to the reformulation and popularization of modernism, The Vernacular Moment: Eleanor Raymond, Walter Gropius, and New England Modernism between the Wars also highlights Raymond's pioneering role in this process. A decade before Gropius associated modernism with New England's vernacular building tradition in the choice of materials for his own house in Lincoln, Massachusetts (1938), the design of the Cambridge School of Architecture (1928), to which Raymond contributed, had brought together modernism with both industrial and domestic vernacular idioms. Closely analyzing the architecture and written statements of Gropius and Raymond, the article explores how the architects grounded their modernism in tradition and created well-publicized buildings that served their pedagogic purposes.
An Army of Soldiers or a Meadow: The Seagram Building and the "Art of Modern Architecture" focuses on the New York headquarters of Joseph E. Seagram & Sons (1954–58), designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in association with Philip Johnson. Drawing upon archival documents and the history of the building's design and reception, Felicity D. Scott demonstrates the participation of the tower and its plaza in an important transformation of modern architecture—usually identified as the rise of Postmodernism. She closely analyzes the shifting assessment of a key interpreter of the building, Arthur Drexler (of New York's Museum of Modern Art) and carefully tracks the construction and reception of the landmark building's image within American consumer culture. Although Mies demanded that art grow out of the immanent forces of its time, he was ultimately sorrowful that cultural and economic forces made his design vocabulary the lingua franca of postwar commercial architecture. The author situates this landmark building in a manner that complicates our reading of its importance both to the field of architectural history and to the career of Mies van der Rohe.
The making of People's Park in Berkeley, California, in 1969 was accompanied by some of the most violent student protests of its era. While these events can be seen as an episode in the movement of student radicalism that focused on the Vietnam War, Peter Allen suggests that conflicting visions of architecture and urban space stood at the center of the People's Park violence. The End of Modernism? People's Park, Urban Renewal, and Community Design argues that the movement to create the park was a reaction to a university program of campus expansion, which had razed existing older housing to build modernist high-rise residential towers, and the urban renewal scheme jointly supported by the city and the university. The events drew on new paradigms in planning and architecture, as People's Park attracted the support of many design professors and students. For them, it was a test case for theories of community-based development in architecture and planning, and their story provides a glimpse into profound divisions in the design professions in the late 1960s.