Posts tagged with "Le Corbusier":

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Corb's Unité d'Habitation Damaged By Fire

The Guardian is reporting that one of Le Corbusier's most famous works, the Unité d'Habitation in Marseille, France, has been damaged in a fire. Three apartments were gutted and many other units were damaged by the fire, which took 12 hours to contain. Five people were being treated for injuries. Originally built as low-income housing between 1947 and 1951, the Unité is now a protected landmark in France and home to approximately 1600 residents in 334 apartments.
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Dutch Dream Team to Redesign United Nations Lounge

Rem Koolhaas has been thinking about the United Nations since his early Delirious New York days. Earlier this century, he even made a bid to design a new Secretariat. While that project didn’t pan out, the Dutch architect is joining a team of countrymen and women to “reconceive” the North Delegates Lounge in the Conference Building. In addition to OMA, the team will include designer Hella Jongerius, graphic designer Irma Boom, artist Gabriel Lester, and “theorist Louise Schouwenberg.” Occupied since 1952, the original space is sandwiched between the Secretariat and General Assembly; it is a magisterial double-height room hundreds of feet long with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the East River. A swank bar at one end was replaced in 1978 with a mezzanine and smaller bar that will be removed to take advantage, once again, of the room’s corner views. Keenly aware of the complex’s complex identity and Le Corbusier’s grab for design credit, Koolhaas who once wrote that the U.N. was a building that “an American could never have thought and a European could never have built” has described the team’s approach as the “preservation of change.” The renovation will include handmade bead curtains, new carpets, a combination of original Knoll club and Eames lounge chairs with new furnishings, and a new installation for artworks donated by member states. The fate of a 300-foot tapestry of the Great Wall of China (50,000 yards of wool; 600 pounds) that once hung in the lounge and was donated during the ping-pong détente of the 70s was not mentioned in the press release. The project sponsored by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is scheduled for completion in 2012.
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Is Wright Wrong on Chandigarh?

On March 31, the Wright auction house gingerly dipped into controversy with its sale of 23 lots of office furniture from Chandigarh even as the Indian government launched a belated international campaign to recover the pieces designed by Pierre Jeanneret for the masterwork by cousin Corbusier. The mid-century furnishings, many made of teak, had notoriously been neglected on site, stashed away in storage by officials, or even used as scrap. Since the 1980s, restored pieces have started to show up abroad and attract high prices, as in $54,000 for a pair of chairs. Corbusier biographer and historian, Jean Louis Cohen, called such sales “sad for history” and tantamount to “looting.” In Chicago, the sale attracted an international crowd, but no museums. A pair of upholstered teak chairs from the High Court (estimated $15,000-20,000) sold for a record $104,500.  As for how it felt to court controversy, auctioneer Richard Wright, said “What I hope will come out of all this is that India will take steps in the future to protect these pieces but, even more important, the architecture.”
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QUICK CLICKS> Restored, Represented, Drafted (event tonight!)

Dilapidated modernism. Chandigarh, the northern Indian city planned and designed by Le Corbusier over 60 years ago, has become the focus of preservation efforts following years of neglect and piecemeal plundering, reports the UK's Guardian. Cycle support. Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation, spoke to attendees of the National Bike Summit in DC this week, encouraging them to lobby their congressional reps to take steps to make communities cycle-friendly. Streetsblog notes LaHood's appearance coincides with the release of the Urban Bikeway Design Guide by the National Association of City Transportation Officials. Pier on the half shell. The Battery Park City Authority has leased the languishing Pier A at the western edge of Battery Park to father-and-son restaurateurs Harry and Peter Poulakakos, who are promising to turn the pier and its landmark 1886 building into an oyster bar-beer garden with one heck of a view. More details in Crain's NY. Tonight: Drafted! In New York? Don't miss AN executive editor Julie Iovine in conversation with Michael Graves, Granger Moorehead, Gisue Hariri and Jeffrey Bernett at 7pm tonight, Thursday, March 10 at the Museum of Arts and Design for Drafted: The Evolving Role of Architects in Furniture Design, part of MAD's "The Home Front: American Furniture Now" series. Click here for tix.  
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Target Faux Pas

Though often a friend to the design world, especially to those of us who want to own a little piece of Michael Graves or Marcel Wanders on a writer's budget, Target has really missed the mark with a blatant Le Corbusier knockoff. Our friends at GenuineDesign.com spell it out nicely for us:

Only Cassina, the world famous Milan furniture manufacturer, makes authentic Le Corbusier® furniture. Cassina’s production of Le Corbusier designs is protected by an exclusive, worldwide rights license drawn up in 1964, granted by the Fondation Le Corbusier and the co-authors. According to the Fondation Le Corbusier “all pieces of furniture which do not bear the logotype Cassina, the signature of Le Corbusier and the production number are counterfeits”.

Target is selling two items that it calls the Le Corbusier Petite Sofa ($1118.99) and the Le Corbusier Petite Chair ($558.99), which are also available as a set ($1676.99). Both items are sold out online, and those savvy shoppers seem to have gotten a pretty close fake: Because the furniture for sale at Target is not made or licensed by Cassina, we can only assume that the big box retailer's legal team has been spending a little too much time in the boxed wine aisle. But hey, if they're lucky maybe Target will start selling Harvard Law degrees too.