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These towers were among the earliest American apartment buildings in this style. The walls are of glass divided into bays by thin steel columns that express the structure of the building although they have no structural function. Mies conceived of his designs as universal and adaptable to a wide range of uses including...



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Unit 6


In disfavor with the Nazi regime, Mies Van der Rohe received little work in Germany and hence was receptive to an invitation by Johnson to come to the United States. Mies arrived in 1937 in Chicago, where he headed the department of architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology and served as chief planner and designer of the school's new campus. When World War II ended in 1945, Mies began to receive other commissions. He applied the principles of International Style modernism in the design of a pair of apartment towers (1951) on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. These towers were among the earliest American apartment buildings in this style. The walls are of glass, divided into bays by thin steel columns that express the structure of the building, although they have no structural function. Mies conceived of his designs as universal and adaptable to a wide range of uses, including apartments, office towers, and governmental buildings. This feature of the International Style, in which one form serves multiple functions, has been summed up as "form follows function."

The ideas Mies had pioneered in Germany lay behind the thinking of the group of international architects who designed the headquarters of the United Nations (UN) in New York in the late 1940s, although Mies was not part of the design committee. Drawing from a sketch by Le Corbusier, the panel of architects placed the many offices of the UN Secretariat in a tall, glass-sided slab; the auditorium in a curved, low structure; and other semipublic facilities of the UN in a low block with a glass exterior. New York architects Wallace Harrison and Max Abramovitz supervised the construction of the buildings.    Fig. 9. The United Nations Headquarters

The honor of first American office tower fully enclosed in glass belongs to the Equitable Savings and Loan Building (1948, originally the Commonwealth Building) in Portland, Oregon, designed by Italian-born American architect Pietro Belluschi. This building used a reinforced concrete frame, sheathed in a skin of aluminum and green-tinted glass, and employed heat pumps as a new energy-efficient means for both heating and cooling the sealed structure.

Mies, working with Philip Johnson, achieved the purest expression of the International Style applied to an American corporate office tower in the elegant Seagram Building (1958) in New York City. To produce a pure form for this prestigious commission and Park Avenue site, the architects used the simplest possible slab shape and sheathed the steel structure in elegantly detailed sections of bronze and floor-to-ceiling panels of bronze-tinted glass.

Exercise 1: be sure to remember the words from Units 1-5; read and translate them.

to receive

to favor



to apply


to express



to include






to enclose

to belong




to follow





Exercise 2: read and remember new words to help you with the text.

campus - университетский городок

bay - пролет, панель

thin - тонкий

to conceive - задумывать, выразить

adaptable - приспособляемый, применяемый

to sum up - суммировать, сводить к

to pioneer - проложить путь,

быть первооткрывателем

to lie behind - крыться за

sketch - эскиз, набросок, зарисовка

panel - зд. комиссия, жюри

slab - плита

facilities - зд. помещения

to supervize - наблюдать, надзирать

section - сегмент, секция, часть, участок, отрезок

to sheathe - обшивать, заключать в оболочку

skin - обшивка, облицовка, покрытие, слой, оболочка

tinted - окрашенный

tinted glass - цветное стекло

to employ - применять, употреблять

heat pump - тепловой насос

means - средства

heating - отопление, нагревание

cooling - охлаждение

sealed - закупоренный, герметически закрытый

to achieve - достигать

prestigious - престижный

detailed - детализированный, сконструированный

Exercise 3: read and remember the words having the same or similar meaning.

tinted = painted

to employ = to use

to place = to position

structure = building

use = application

adaptable = applied

Exercise 4: read and translate word combinations from the text.

in disfavor with; headed the department of architecture; apartment towers; the earliest American apartment buildings; divided into bays; thin steel columns; adaptable designs; wide range of uses; multiple functions; lay behind the thinking; design committee; tall glass-sided slab; curved low structure; semipublic facilities; glass exterior; supervized the construction of the building; fully enclosed in glass; reinforced concrete frame; sheathed in a skin of aluminium; green-tinted glass; heat pump; new energy-efficient means; sealed structure; corporate office towers; prestigious commission; simplest possible slab shape; steel structure; elegantly detailed sections; floor-to-ceiling panel; bronze-tinted glass.

Exercise 5: read and translate the text “Form Follows Function”.

Unit 7


International Style purists sought to create universal prototypes for buildings that looked extremely simple in structure and that were capable of serving different functions. Many other architects, by contrast, emphasized the uniqueness and individuality of their buildings. This emphasis, in which buildings were conceived as sculptural forms, was later described as "form follows form." Wright, for example, deviated from all previous museum plans in his design for the Guggenheim Museum (1959) in New York City. To house the Guggenheim collection of modern art, Wright devised a spacious building consisting of a ramp that spirals upward and outward around a soaring central space covered with a domed skylight. Although Wright designed the building from 1943 to 1945, his design posed a number of construction problems that accounted in part for a delay of more than ten years in building the museum.       Fig. 10. The Guggenheim Museum in New York

Another design that ran counter to the universal approach of the International Style was the Gateway Arch (1965), the most visible portion of the Jefferson National Memorial on the bank of the Mississippi River in St. Louis. Finnish American architect Eero Saarinen submitted the winning design in a competition held in 1947 and 1948; the memorial project itself had been conceived in 1934 and the land for it cleared in the early 1940s. Saarinen's dramatic arch follows the line of the structurally efficient and visually appealing catenary curve (the curve of a rope or chain that hangs from two points). Rising 192 m, the height of the  arch  equals the span at its  base.  The arch is a hollow  triangle  in cross-section, tapering in width from 16 m at the base to 5 m at the top. The stainless steel outer surface has an inner lining of heavily reinforced concrete. Seat capsules ascend on rails inside the hollow arch to observation windows at the top. Few structures create such a memorable, monumental impression, either   in   sheer  size  or

Fig. 11. The Gateway Arch            dramatic form.

Saarinen designed his other, equally memorable, buildings in accordance with their individual functions. They range from his cylindrical Kresge Chapel at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1955) in Cambridge to the sweeping curves of his TWA Terminal at the John F. Kennedy Airport (1962) in New York City and his Washington Dulles International Airport (1962) outside Washington, D.C. His last building, the North Christian Church (1963) in Columbus, Indiana, is memorable for its plan and for a sharply pointed spire that rises from the center of the roof.

Architect Louis I. Kahn of Philadelphia achieved a middle ground in the 1960s and early 1970s between the monumental symbolism of Saarinen and the utilitarian functionalism of Mies. Kahn sought to let function determine the form of a building, but he also sought to give his building a distinctive psychological character. He said a building should appear to say to the observer, "Let me show you how I was made." In addition to revealing structural elements, Kahn believed it essential that a building provide natural light to all spaces and connect the occupants to the rhythm of the Sun. Buildings that show Kahn's fusion of functional clarity and symbolic communication include the Richards Medical Research Building (1960) at the University of Pennsylvania; the First Unitarian Church (1969) in Rochester, New York; the completed portion of his Salk Institute for Biological Studies (1965) in La Jolla, California; and the Kimbell Art Museum (1972) in Fort Worth, Texas.       Fig. 12. Parliament Building in Dhaka

One of the most unusual commissions Kahn received was for the Parliament Building of Bangladesh (1983) in Dhaka. This plain concrete building focuses on the assembly chamber at its center. A corridor and committee rooms surround the assembly chamber, with offices and public spaces situated farthest from the center. Kahn placed a mosque on the building's west side, slightly angled toward Mecca, because he recognized the important link between political action and religious belief in Bangladesh. Kahn described the building as "a many-faceted precious stone, constructed in concrete and marble." Its outer concrete walls appear light because the geometrical openings cut into them cast dark shadows.  

Exercise 1: be sure to remember the words from Units 1-6; read and translate them.

extremely; commission; to conceive; emphasis; to house; to devise; soaring; approach; dramatic; curve; space; to taper; width; stainless; to range; spire; to rise; utilitarian; to determine; distinctive; to complete; slightly; outer; inner; to appear; pointed; reinforced; to receive.

Exercise 2: read and remember new words to help you with the text.

to seek (sought, sought) - искать

to deviate - отклоняться

spacious - пространственный, вместительный, обширный

ramp - рампа, пандус, наклонная плоскость

to spiral upward - подниматься спиралью вверх

outward - наружу, снаружи

domed - купольный, куполообразный

skylight - застекленная крыша

appealing - привлекательный

catenary - кривая провеса (цепи, каната)

span - пролет, расстояние между опорами, хорда дуги

hollow - пустотелый, полый, пустой

triangle - треугольник

cross-section - поперечный разрез, сечение

to taper - сужаться

lining - футеровка, облицовка камнем, обкладка

sheer - кривизна, изгиб

sweeping curve - пологая кривизна

to cast - бросать

many-faceted - многогранный

precious - драгоценный

Exercise 3: read and translate word combinations from the text.

extremely simple in structure; spacious building; soaring central space; domed skylight; universal approach; dramatic arch; structurally efficient; visually appealing catenary curve; hollow triangle in cross-section; tapering in width; stainless steel outer surface; inner lining of heavily reinforced concrete; inside the hollow arch; sheer size; dramatic form; sweeping curves; sharply pointed spire; distinctive psychological character; revealing structural elements; natural light; many-faceted precious stone; outer concrete walls; geometrical openings; cast dark shadows.

Exercise 4: read and translate the text “Form Follows Form”.



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