Up with Down with love!

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GM

Postby SDR » Mon Jan 10, 2005 8:48 pm

Thanks, RM -- I found it: "Styling Division staircase: terrazzo slabs with white marble aggregate are suspended on pencil-thin rods of stainless steel held under tension." It looks huge. Gradual rise, two straight runs with landing, broad wood handrail, a planting bed below, a colored glazed-brick wall behind, rising past a gridded translucent ceiling in the foreground. Glazed brick colors (developed at Cranbrook): deep crimson, tangerine orange, lemon yellow, sky blue, tobacco gray and chartreuse, combined with greenish glass and gray porcelain-enamel panels on the exteriors. Extensive reflecting pools, with water ballet designed by A Calder. 132' stainless steel ovoid water tower, aluminum-skinned domed Design Auditorium. Interiors on a 5-foot module. 100 million dollars, 25 buildings, 320 acres in Warren, MI. Dates given: 1950-56.

SDR :cheers: :cheers:

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Postby johnnyapollo » Tue Jan 11, 2005 3:44 am

My basement staircase is suspended on one side with square metal rods suspended from the ceiling. These are welded into the metal treads - I'm assuming a metal stringer is imbedded in the wall beneath the panelling:

Image

-- John

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Re: GM

Postby moderns-r-us » Tue Jan 11, 2005 10:07 am

Last edited by moderns-r-us on Sat Apr 16, 2005 6:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby moderns-r-us » Tue Jan 11, 2005 10:14 am

Image


To read a recent article and see images of Saarinen's GM Technical center go to:

http://www.metropolismag.com/cda/story.php?artid=362

Be sure to click on the images to see them larger.

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Postby lavardera » Tue Jan 11, 2005 11:08 am

I'll try to reference it:
Image
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General Motors Technical Center

Postby SDR » Tue Jan 11, 2005 11:40 am

"Architecture Today and Tomorrow" (Cranston Jones; McGraw-Hill; 1961) has a few of Stoller's photos (2 color). The straight stair has something "growing" beneath, in the one b+w shot -- guess those are the potted plants -- and a few broad conical up-lights(?) at the bottom of the rods. . .and the list of brick colors is incomplete (add royal blue, brown, black and white), re your excellent resource. We also learn: that the landscaping was by Thomas Church; that the pools were part of an effort to reduce site maintenance [property owners take note]; that the center now consists of 37 bldgs on 640 acres; and that the whole is being meticulously maintained/restored by GM.

Sometime in the early 'sixties (?) MoMA mounted an exhibit (on Saarinen?) which included a memorable full-scale mock-up of a piece of exterior wall, with bright orange bricks. The R and D circular stair pops up in the mind (diagonals would help, wouldn't they) -- I'm going to the library to see if I can find other examples. The "teacup" reception desk (news to me) sits in front of a glass (?) mural that I would have taken to be more recent -- wonder who did that? The article also mentions a Harry Bertoia sculpture (not shown. Bertoia did the marvelous suspended screen behind the altar at Saarinen's cylindrical clinker-brick Kresge Chapel at MIT [nd]).

I know the John Deere bldg only by its exterior, an early use of Cor-ten "rusting steel" whose multiplicity of horizontal and vertical elements has always seemed to me like something Greene and Greene might have done, forty years on. . .I'd love to see interiors.

Jones's book has sections on Sullivan, Wright, Perret, Le Corbusier, Gropius, Van der Rohe, Aalto, Neutra, Breuer, Harrison, Stone, SOM, Saarinen, Yamasaki, Johnson, McCoy's essay "The Second Generation," Rudolph and Lundy, Kahn, Tange, Niemeyer, Maillart, Torroja, Candela, Nervi, and Fuller (!) Most of the works shown and discussed are public, institutional, commercial or governmental buildings. I'd be happy to quote on Saarinen or any others. . .

SDR

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Postby SDR » Tue Jan 11, 2005 11:45 am

Johnny A -- Do any of your neighbors have that neat stair in their houses? Such a nice detail. . .what's the date of construction, again?

Greg -- Thanks for the pic!

SDR :cheers:

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Postby moderns-r-us » Tue Jan 11, 2005 12:55 pm

Pools and fountains also used as chiller for ac.

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Postby johnnyapollo » Tue Jan 11, 2005 1:38 pm

Hey SDR,

My house was built in 1964 (my previous house in 1959 in the same neighborhood - called Northcrest). I've only seen two other suspended stairs like mine, but I've only been in a fraction of approximately 300-350 MCM homes in the neighborhood of about 600 houses. The Initial construction phase only featured 2 traditional designs among six offered (the other 4 are MCM "California Ranches") - however from my records it appears that many of the vacant lots were later filled with traditional homes. The second phase contained mostly traditional homes with a smattering of MCM houses (this area is actually called "Hidden Acres") then a new phase featured almost all MCM homes along a stretch of road called Lynnray (this phase is known as East Northcrest - tongue-twister!)

I've started a new website about my neighborhood - here's a sneak peek:

http://www.northcrestmodern.com

The website is in the beginning design stages so I mostly only have some placeholder pages and images. The content will be "blown out" as I have time - I'm still working out the design and style sheets. The rendering on the home page is of my house - I did this for a postcard two years ago. I've had some residents offer to let me photo their interiors and will add the pics, along with additional design elements as they become available. All other images were scanned or photographed by me. I intend to really go into some detail, as there is much to see (the trapezoidal community pool is a wonder).

-- Best, John

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Postby lavardera » Tue Jan 11, 2005 2:25 pm

Some sweet houses Johnny! Thanks for sharing and making a great site.

Some of the text is running out of the side of the frames on safari - but I'll check it again later and send you a screen shot if it persists.
Greg

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Postby SDR » Tue Jan 11, 2005 2:44 pm

Ditto that -- a most worthy projct. The results will be enjoyed by many!

I love that a thread called "Up with Down. . ." has evolved into. . .a discussion about stairs!

SDR :D

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Postby johnnyapollo » Tue Jan 11, 2005 5:18 pm

I think one of the styles I'm using isn't supported in Mozilla - I'll have to take a look in Firefox. Thanks for the heads up!

-- John

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Postby Satan's Sin » Tue Jan 18, 2005 5:58 am


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Postby Satan's Sin » Wed Jan 19, 2005 6:11 am

Ah, yes. The Eden Roc. Much smaller than the Fountainebleau, but quite the perfect midcentury Miami Romanza jewel.

If the flowing lines of the Fontainebleau puts one in mind of the swoops and swirls of an Esquivel masterpiece, then the lobby of the Eden Roc is the heart and soul of the Mexican arranger's love of precision and spectacle. It is here where the main bar is, and when the liveried barman prepared drinks for a friend and myself, the only sadness was the sure knowledge that everything in my life would be downhill after this.

The Eden Roc has undergone a recent and entirely correct restoration. The sleeping rooms have been redone in a style that I can only describe as "Lucy Ricardo Moderne." Orange walls. White trim. Great hulking Louis XIV chairs in blinding white paint and lovely leopard skin. Heavy, ornate mirrors with frames that are slightly askew, a la a "Beetlejuice" interior. I think we should pause here and toast the interior designer, and ponder the wise words of Picasso when he pronounced good taste to be the enemy of art.

I am happy to report that Mr. Lapidus got to tour the renovated Eden Roc before his demise at -- 98? -- and sharp as ever, pronounced the renovation to be absolute perfection.

Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis -- all were frequent visitors. But hold on to your hats, for Lucy and Ricky Ricardo had a permanent suite there (after they became investors). There was a special screening room (now a conference room), and it was here that Lucy and Ricky and their hotshot friends would gather, admire each other's tuxedos and evening gowns, smoke cigars and drink martinis that'd knock a 2005 person on their ass, and then settle down for an advance screening of "The Long, Long Trailer," all the while musing about the next rendezvous with their latest secret lover.

The Eden Roc has a history, and is important. The Fountainebleau was built by two men, and it was an immediate success. They had a falling out. Man 1 sold out to Man 2, and bought the parcel RIGHT NEXT DOOR. Man 1 then re-hired Lapidus to build his new hotel, with the stern instructions that it be even more fabulous.

Man 2 stomped around the owner's suite in the Fountainebleau, choked with rage and fury. Daily he would watch the Eden Roc go up, and daily he would smash his brandy glass into the fireplace and the flames would rise high and his prostitutes would cower. Finally he concocted a plan of revenge.

Man 2 hired another, lesser architect to build a new wing on the Fountainebleau, a wing almost as big as the original building. This new 10-story (I believe) wing swept right out to the property line next to the Eden Roc. And where this wing rested on the property line, the wall was left completely blank. No windows at all.

And so today, when one goes out back of the Eden Roc, one is confronted with a lovely pool, a breathtaking view of Miami Beach, and ... a blank, ten-story wall. Easily as big as a couple of football fields. And as butt-ugly as the side of a massive fabrication facility on the campus of Ford Motor Company or General Dynamics.

And, in addition to being ugly, it has the rather unfortunate effect of ... well, after 10am or so, when the sun climbs high, this massive wall throws the Eden Roc's pool into shade for the rest of the day.

To this day it is known as "The Wall of Spite."

I said it was windowless, but that is not totally correct.

There is one window.

It is high up on the Fontainebleau's top floor.

It looks directly over the Eden Roc.

It is the window to the Fontainebleau's owner's suite, and it is here where Man 1 would stand and gloat, hairy hands on his massive hips, rocking back and forth, giant sunglasses jiggling and giant cigar bobbing up and down as he laughed and laughed, pausing only to tell his latest prostitute "I fixed dem good, Trixie! Din I fix dem but good?" And the prositute would not even pause in filing her nails to reply in a gratingly high-pitched voice "Yeah, baby. You fixed dem reeeeal good."

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Postby SDR » Wed Jan 19, 2005 11:43 am


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Postby nichols » Thu Jan 20, 2005 11:16 am

For your viewing pleasure

Image

Image

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Postby Satan's Sin » Thu Jan 20, 2005 1:02 pm

Nichols --

Thanks for posting those, brings back fond memories.

One of the hotel people told me those lovely mahogny columns in the lobby had -- before the renovation -- been PAINTED! Painted WHITE!

Wherever one goes in life, there is always some maniac somewhere who just has to paint wood white.

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Postby SDR » Thu Jan 20, 2005 1:24 pm

"Honey, let's 'freshen up' this old wood - and while we're at it, don't you think that brick would look better in a lighter color. . .?"

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Postby lavardera » Mon Apr 11, 2005 6:09 am

Somebody pointed me to more images from the movie:

The homey mid-century inspired apartment
Image

The stark white minimalist pop penthouse
Image
Image

Catchers Bond inspired automatic electronic pad
Image

Great interview here:
http://www.setdecorators.org/hotoffthes ... with_love/
Greg

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Postby Futura Girl » Fri Apr 15, 2005 4:39 am

OMG - now i am sooooo glad i voted with my box office dollars and did not see this movie - and did not rent it either. I finally watched the film courtesy a friend's copy and to answer the question previously posed:

NO.
Great art direction cannot save an awful awful movie. It was almost impossible to even enjoy the eye candy sets with the lame innuendos and poor performance by the lead female character. If you could see my face, I probably had a look of disgust for most of the film. Even David Hyde Pierce, who I think can do no wrong, was brought down by the surrounding actors.

I will not soil Doris Day's name by mentioning anyone else's name in the same sentence as her. But sorry to be sounding so catty, but what I have heard through the grapevine about Ms. Z and the casting couch must be true - how else could she get cast in 2 musicals with absolutely no dance talent whatsoever. ALSO - what was UP WITH HER HAIR? totally historically wrong-o for this genre of film. Huh? Where was the hairspray? Hadn't the hair stylist ever heard of a teasing comb?

Down With Love is NO match for ANY of the stylized romantic comediesof the late 50s early 60s:
Pillow Talk, That Touch of Mink, Move Over Darling, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter, Send Me Know Flowers, Let's Make Love, Lover Come Back, Bachelor Flat, The Thrill of It All, Desk Set, Walk Don't Run, What a Way To Go, ................. oh I'm on a roll now...............Boy's Night Out, Kiss Me Stupid, the Girl Can't Help It, Cinderfella, Bells Are Ringing, Under the Yum Yum Tree, Bachelor in Paradise, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, Palm Springs Weekend, Norman Taurog's "Elvis" films in the early 1960s, The Mating Game, and yah - even Artists and Models.
These films could be raunchy and very suggestive at times, but never vulgar - which Down With Love was.

------------------------

Movies like D.W.L. really make me sad - because they had a chance to revive a lost movie genre and expose a whole new generation of movie goers to something wonderful. Instead they were fed very poor derivitive dreck. And unfortunately every bad homage like this is another nail in the coffin. Studios will think thrice before being willing to make these kinds of pictures again.

Don't waste your time. Enjoy the pretty pictures posted here - thats the best of it. And see the real movies from the 1960s... (yah - ask me how I really feel!)
I give it an F-

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sumu posted-

Postby modfan » Fri Apr 15, 2005 6:49 am


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Postby Matt Deckard » Fri Apr 15, 2005 7:00 am

Looking for my Emma Peel.

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