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Or a number of architects if there's no "one and only". Or/and a city planner.

Any answer is welcome.

Tags: architecture

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I'm a Wright boy as well.  The building block look to some of his work is very cool.  William Van Alen would be my second choice for the Chrysler Building.

I might be coming in here as the dark horse, but I really cannot stand the world of Frank Lloyd Wright.  While I can respect that he was pushing towards something different with his work, the style fails to impress me.  Instead, it feels dated, like a giant roadside mascot left standing against time not because it's fulfilling its obligation to the dilapidated store it's still fettered to, but because people leave it there out of a sense of nostalgia.

Le Corbusier, on the other hand, springs to mind as one of the greats, although his city planning designs were deeply flawed by not considering the organic chaos that is mankind/civilization.  Like government, his plans looked good on paper, but couldn't stand up against the real world.

Speaking of paper, Hugh Ferriss demands to be mentioned here.  If anyone inspired the "feel" of what we now think of as a "dieselpunk" city, it is Ferriss.  His designs, while not always beautiful in life, are simply stunning in conception.  The angles, height, and deco symmetry of his buildings will continue to be an inspiration (whether we realize it or not) for generations.

For the win, not only because his building actually works in the light of day, but also because it is a stunning example of true dieselpunk architecture is James Adams and his Parkview Square Building in Singapore.  Everything about that building oozes with style, but it's still modern as can be in structure and technology.

And finally, one that may also spark a little controversy, is the philosophy behind Nazi architecture.  While I cannot stand for the atrocities and rampant stupidity that flooded Hitler's Napoleon-soaked imagination, the party's grand plan of fusing Roman building techniques and architectural styles with modern planning and overwhelming scale was bombastically interesting.  While some architects say that the designs would never have worked due to a lack of supplies, or simply because Nature wouldn't support structures as large and heavy as planned, it is still fun to think of the theory behind the madness.  Think about it.  They weren't just thinking of building a skyscraper, they were going to rebuild their entire capitol to a 10x scale of Rome and were seriously considering what kind of effect their ruins would have thousands of years from now.  That is some impressive dick waving if I've ever seen it.

I also respect FLW, but haven't got any intention to live in his world. Actually, my favorite American is Raymond Hood.

Le Corbusier's legacy, so valued and praised by others, brings me nothing but depression. Mallet-Stevens, his contemporary, is much more cheerful.

Regarding Nazi architecture. Two things: a) it's terribly boring; b) it lacks originality. Troost, Speer, Sagebiel used elements and solutions of modern and Classic architecture like Lego cubes. The result is uninspiring (look at the pictures of Fuehrerbau, State Chancellery or Aviation Ministry).


Tome Wilson said:

I might be coming in here as the dark horse, but I really cannot stand the world of Frank Lloyd Wright.  ...

Le Corbusier, on the other hand, springs to mind as one of the greats, although his city planning designs were deeply flawed by not considering the organic chaos that is mankind/civilization.  Like government, his plans looked good on paper, but couldn't stand up against the real world. ...

... the party's grand plan of fusing Roman building techniques and architectural styles with modern planning and overwhelming scale was bombastically interesting.  ...

 

 

Bradbury Building is awesome (visited it in 2000, the Bladerunner theme playing from nowhere made me catch my breath) but it was built long before the start of Diesel Era.

Philip Vandenberg said:
Raymond Hood (had to look it up, knew the buildings but not the architect) and George Wyman for the Bradbury Building.

How could I have slipped by without mentioning Raymond Hood.  Alongside Hugh Ferriss, Hood's designs stand as masterpieces of the craft.  Even better, I can see Hood's designs in real life and they still function just as well today as they did when they were first constructed.

As for Nazi architecture, I agree with you about the LEGO block feel, but it's the thought process of what they were attempting to do that impresses me.  The prototypes you listed do fall flat and miss the mark IMHO.


OK, paper architecture is always interesting. Actually, I prepare some 'paper' items (with Dieselpunk Gods' help they will appear here in a month or two) - like pre-Nazi proposals for rebuilding Berlin, first Palace of Soviets contest and probably the most famous of all - 1922 Chicago Tribune contest. Besides, there were awesome personalities who didn't build a lot but left a mind-boggling legacy, like Armando Brazini or Iakov Chernikhov.

Tome Wilson said:
... it's the thought process of what they were attempting to do that impresses me.

Holy shit, I'd never heard of the Parkview Square Building. Mind-blowing. It's fantastic that people are still doing full-on Art Deco in this century, and with the Chanin Building as chief inspiration, no less. Thanks for that, Tome.

 

I keep a small list of creators that I've referred to in my own attempts at period architecture for various projects.

Bertram Goodhue
Eliel Saarinen

Lee Oscar Lawrie
Frank Lloyd Wright
The Viennese Secessionists
Robert Mallet-Stevens
Jean Dupas
Hugh Ferriss
Rene Paul Chambellan / Raymond Hood
Walter Burley Griffin
Albert Speer (say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, dude...)
Etienne-Louis Boullée

Impressive list, and I'm happy to say I share some of your preferences (Goodhue, Saarinen Sr., Mallet-Stevens, Chambellan / Hood and most of all - great architects of Vienna, beginning with Otto Wagner, the greatest of them all). I love Dupas, too - but can we call him an architect? And Boullée, with all his influence, doesn't belong to Diesel Era.

J.R. said:

Holy shit, I'd never heard of the Parkview Square Building. Mind-blowing. It's fantastic that people are still doing full-on Art Deco in this century, and with the Chanin Building as chief inspiration, no less. Thanks for that, Tome.

 

I keep a small list of creators that I've referred to in my own attempts at period architecture for various projects.

Bertram Goodhue
Eliel Saarinen

Lee Oscar Lawrie
Frank Lloyd Wright
The Viennese Secessionists
Robert Mallet-Stevens
Jean Dupas
Hugh Ferriss
Rene Paul Chambellan / Raymond Hood
Walter Burley Griffin
Albert Speer (say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism, dude...)
Etienne-Louis Boullée

Yeah, true, I put Dupas in there mostly because of his sculptural work and bas-reliefs, much like Chambellan.

 

You're right about Boulee. :) He's not diesel except via his influence. I think I qualify him as a proto-dieselpunk just because neoclassical + ridiculously grandiose has that feel to me. But I'm no architect, just a layman with an unhealthy interest.

William van Alen for the Chrysler Building

 

Albert Speer for the whole concept of Germania - tho' it's more the grand scale of a city planning concept that never was than for any actual building as such...

 

...and whoever designed the Sydney Harbour Bridge - tho' again not really architecture as such .... more of an engineering marvel!

Regarding the Sydney Harbour Bridge: a man behind the project was J.J.C. Bradfield, Chief Engineer of Harbour Bridge and Metropolitan Railway Construction, and architectural work was done by John Burnet & Partners (Glasgow, Scotland).

Let me suggest one more name for your list: Charles Holden. For a true Dieselpunk, to know him is to love him.

"O you Modern, I can see how sadly you have been misunderstood.


O you I love, do not hide yourself from me, I know you and I love you: you shall be free: the pure air of heaven shall be yours ..."


Jean-Luc deVere said:

William van Alen for the Chrysler Building

 

Albert Speer for the whole concept of Germania - tho' it's more the grand scale of a city planning concept that never was than for any actual building as such...

 

...and whoever designed the Sydney Harbour Bridge - tho' again not really architecture as such .... more of an engineering marvel!

Thanks Lord K. I just looked up Charles Holden and found a lot of beautiful stuff, including 55 Broadway which is simply stunning. I've never been to the UK so a lot of the work over there is new territory to me. He's one for the file for sure.

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