Legendary Danish architect Arne Jacobsen designed this little petrol station in Skovshoved north of Copenhagen, which opened in 1936. Every town should have a great architect designing its everyday buildings, don’t you think? More on this one from here. Image from here.
Nun’s Island, Verdun, near Montreal, thought so and got the great Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe to design their gas station in 1968. Part of the story and top image from here. Lower image of model from here. Now threatened and looking for a new home, of course.
But in Denmark, it seems, the work of famed architects is safe, whether it’s a fueling station or a fish processing operation. Above is a fully functioning fish smoke house built in 1943 in Sjællands Odde, Denmark, designed again by the Arne Jacobsen. More here
The above is a modest multi-unit residential building preserved, this time, in Brazil (above image from here). Called Catetinho, it is the work of the great and long living architect Oscar Niemeyer.
Catetinho was the home of the President of Brazil (and staff) while Brasilia, the new capital of Brazil, was being built. It is said to have been built in 10 days. More information here. Below is where the President moved to next.
Above, President’s Palace, Brasilia, designed by, again, Oscar Niemeyer. Known as Palacio da Alvorada (Palace of the Dawn). Whatever the budget and the schedule, Mr Niemeyer was (and still IS apparently) up to the job. Above image here.
Luis Barragan, architect emeritus of the R of L, designed a number of modest apartments in Mexico City. Photo collection from here. Thanks Thom McKenzie for tracking these down and taking the photos.
Above, another well preserved, well used, modest project in Denmark by Arne Jacobsen. Multi-unit terraced housing in Søholm, built in 1955. From here
Above is a progressive idea for the housing of American WWII veterans by the great Marcel Breuer. Comfy, small, affordable, well designed, and movable, all advantages to people coming back from hell to rebuild their lives. Sadly, never implemented. From here
The Italian super-architect, Aldo Rossi, could show the common touch too: this is an elementary school in Varese, Italy. Above photos and some Information from here
Of the currently active North American super architects, Frank Gehry stands out as one who seems to want to play a role in the buildings that serve those of us who live ordinary lives. Below is the lovely Maggie’s Centre in Dundee Scotland.
This is one of a series of small cancer caring centres in the UK. More story and images here.
I hope there is a return to the idea that great architects are as valuable, maybe more valuable, designing a project used for everyday life as they are designing for those whose lives are extraordinary. We need more outstanding design in what we use every day. It celebrates humanity in a more meaningful way than a monument or a mansion.