Alexander Girard, architect Creating midcentury modern masterpieces

Deborah Lubera Kawsky, 1965-

Book - 2018

"Showcases the bold, innovative, and colorful architectural designs of Alexander Girard. During the midcentury period, Michigan attracted visionary architects, designers, and theorists, including Alexander Girard. While much has been written about Girard's vibrantly colored and patterned textiles for Herman Miller, the story of his Detroit period (1937-53)--encompassing interior and industrial design, exhibition curation, and residential architecture--has not been told. This is the fir...st comprehensive study of Girard's exceptional architectural projects, specifically those concentrated in the ultra-traditional Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe. One exciting element of the book is the rediscovery of another Girard masterpiece - the only surviving house designed entirely by Girard, and former residence to Mr. and Mrs. John McLucas. Restored in consultation with iconic midcentury designer Ruth Adler Schnee, the McLucas house represents the culmination of Girard's Detroit design work at midcentury. Stunning color photographs capture the unique design elements-including the boldly colored glazed brick walls of the atrium-reminiscent of Girard's role as color consultant for the GM Tech Center. Original Girard drawings for the building plan, interior spaces, and custom-designed furniture document the mind of a modernist master at work and are made available to the public for the first time in this beautiful book."--Provided by publisher.

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Series
Painted turtle book.
Subjects
Published
Detroit, Michigan : Wayne State University Press [2018]
Language
English
Physical Description
177 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 23 x 29 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 159-165) and index.
ISBN
9780814343654
0814343651
Main Author
Deborah Lubera Kawsky, 1965- (author)
Other Authors
Ruth Adler Schnee, 1923- (writer of foreword)
  • Connections: modern design in postwar Michigan. Cranbrook Academy of Art ; Herman Miller ; Eero Saarinen ; Minoru Yamasaki
  • Promotion: Girard's studios and exhibitions. Girard's Grosse Pointe studios ; For Modern Living at the Detroit Institute of Arts
  • Tradition and innovation: Girard and Grosse Pointe architecture. Tradition: style and status in Grosse Pointe ; Innovation: The Alexander and Susan Girard house
  • Collaboration and experimentation: Girard, Yamasaki, and Lothrop Road (1949-1950). Expansion: The Pine Woods "Enclave" ; Collaboration: The Daniel and Margaret Goodenough house ; Experimentation: The Richard and Margaret Jackson house
  • Culmination: The John and Kathleen McLucas house. Patrons ; Architecture: "A new concept of beauty"
  • Radical iteration: The George and Betty Rieveschl house. Conclusion: Girard from Detroit to Santa Fe ; Appendix: Alexander Girard design sites in Grosse Pointe, circa 1950.
Review by Publisher Summary 1

Showcases the bold, innovative, and colorful architectural designs of Alexander Girard.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

During the midcentury period, Michigan attracted visionary architects, designers, and theorists, including Alexander Girard. While much has been written about Girard's vibrantly colored and patterned textiles for Herman Miller, the story of his Detroit period (1937­'53)'encompassing interior and industrial design, exhibition curation, and residential architecture'has not been told. Alexander Girard, Architect: Creating Midcentury Modern Masterpieces by Deborah Lubera Kawsky is the first comprehensive study of Girard's exceptional architectural projects, specifically those concentrated in the ultra-traditional Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe.

One exciting element of the book is the rediscovery of another Girard masterpiece'the only surviving house designed entirely by Girard, and former residence to Mr. and Mrs. John McLucas. Restored in consultation with iconic midcentury designer Ruth Adler Schnee, the McLucas house represents the culmination of Girard's Detroit design work at midcentury. Stunning color photographs capture the unique design elements'including the boldly colored glazed brick walls of the atrium'reminiscent of Girard's role as color consultant for the GM Tech Center. Original Girard drawings for the building plan, interior spaces, and custom-designed furniture document the mind of a modernist master at work and are made available to the public for the first time in this beautiful book.

Alexander Girard, Architect is a beautiful, informative book suited for enthusiasts of Alexander Girard, the midcentury modern aesthetic, and Detroit history, art, and architecture.