Paul László: The Quintessential Atomic Age Architectural Designer

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Paul László was a Hungarian-born modern architect and interior designer whose work spanned eight decades and many countries. László built his reputation while designing interiors for houses, but in the 1960s, largely shifted his focus to the design of retail and commercial interiors. – wikipedia

László was the quintessential Atomic Age mid-century designer. In 1952 TIME magazine called him ‘The Rich Man’s Architect’. He did it all – he ‘design[ed] his houses down to the last ashtray or built-in Kleenex holder.’ He also designed a rather mod US Air Force bomb shelter:

Laszlo US Airforce Air Force Bomb Shelter Design

Laszlo US Air Force Bomb Shelter Design (image via orhan ayyuce)

Below are some super articles covering Paul Laszlo’s Atomic Age masterpieces. Super thanks to MidCentArc on flickr. (Click on the images for a larger view)

Atomville 1950

Atomville 1950

Atomville - At Home, 2004 A.D. - 1954 (Page 1 of 3)

Atomville – At Home, 2004 A.D. – 1954 (Page 1 of 3) – Architect: Paul Laszlo (Popular Mechanics Magazine)

Atomville - At Home, 2004 A.D. - 1954 (Page 2 of 3)

Atomville – At Home, 2004 A.D. – 1954 (Page 2 of 3)

Atomville - At Home, 2004 A.D. - 1954 (Page 3 of 3)

Atomville – At Home, 2004 A.D. – 1954 (Page 3 of 3)

The Paul Laszlo Residence, Beverly Hills, CA (1 of 2)

The Paul Laszlo Residence, Beverly Hills, CA (1 of 2)

The Paul Laszlo Residence, Beverly Hills, CA (2 of 2)

The Paul Laszlo Residence, Beverly Hills, CA (2 of 2)

Paul Laszlo was truly a Mid-Century visionary – if you could afford him.

Iron Crystal Magnified – The Atomium

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Construction of the Atomium

Construction of the Atomium, the Belgian pavilion for the World Expo 58 in Brussels, Belgium, 1957. Photo by Dolf Kruger.

Designed by the engineer André Waterkeyn and architects André and Jean Polak, it stands 102 m (335 ft) tall. Its nine 18 m (59 ft) diameter stainless steel clad spheres are connected so that the whole forms the shape of a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times.  – geheugenvannederland.nl

(via Dequalized)

Loewy House By Albert Frey — 1946 Classic Desert Modern Home

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Perhaps more than anyone else, Raymond Lowey was the man whose designs define mid-century America. From planes, trains, and automobiles, to the iconic corporate logos that resonate to this day – Lowey’s creations shaped the American cultural identity in the 20th century. Coronare Modestus Faust at Faustian urGe blog published the post below in 2011. While a lot of attention is given to the classic 1946 Albert Frey designed Loewy House in Palm Springs, CA, the last part of the post presents some of the industrial and graphic designs that will probably be very familiar – yet this is the first time you’ll hear the name of the man who dreamed them up. Great trivia to throw out at the next gathering of friends and family.

Faustian urGe

The Raymond Loewy House, 600 Panorama Road, Palm Springs, California

Raymond Loewy Industrial Designer

Designed by Palm Springs architect Albert Frey, built in 1946-47 as a bachelor retreat, and expanded later when Loewy got married… the house has been restored by metalware manufacturer Jim Gaudineer who said of the design, “When you slide open the glass walls, it’s almost like living outdoors.”

With the lights off and the pool, alone, illuminated by a powerful submerged lamp, “the scene resembles a blue lagoon in a desert oasis, ” Loewy once wrote.

Loewy’s home is a typical Palm Springs modernist villa with a low-slung pavilion and plenty of glass providing striking views of desert, mountains, and the pool and garden… making the private oasis complete.

Loewy despised “bad modern” design, especially furniture, so the size, shape, and rooms of the home and furnishings were kept simple and spare. It is a demure…

View original post 195 more words

Evocative, Bold, And Somewhat Intimidating: The Film Guild Cinema, NYC, 1929

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The Film Guild Cinema, 1929

The Film Guild Cinema, 1929

The Film Guild Cinema, Greenwich Village, NYC, by Frederick Kiesler, 1929

Photo: Ruth Bernhard, 1946

(via: kateopolis)

The Pleasure Tower That Never Was

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Pleasure Tower Concept - France, 1933

‘Phare du Monde’ Concept – Designed by Eugène Freyssinet, France, 1933 (h/t Retronaut.com)

Phare du Monde (“Lighthouse of the world”) was an observation tower planned for the 1937 World Fair in Paris, France. The Phare du Monde, advertised as a “Pleasure Tower Half Mile High” was designed by Eugène Freyssinet, and was to be a 701 metre (2,300 feet) tall concrete tower with a light beacon and a restaurant on the top. A spiralling road on the outside of the tower shaft was to be built for driving access to a height of 1,640 feet, to a parking garage for 500 cars. This focus on the car in such an eye-catching construction has been seen as proof of the car (by 1939) having become “the primary force in determining the appearance of the ordinary landscape of cities.” The costs were estimated to have been $2.5 million; it was never built.

(wikipedia)

This image is from the, July, 1933, issue of Modern Mechanix Magazine. To read the article click here. It’s interesting that most of the comments on that post refer to the dangers of the outside spiraling auto ramp. Even with today’s standards that would be a daring proposal. Perhaps this part of the design was one of the major stumbling blocks in having the tower built.

Still, it was a grand idea.