Michael Graves : architect biography

famous architect : Michael Graves [page1] [page2] [page3]

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Michael Graves architect
Michael Graves architect
Michael Graves architect
Michael Graves architect
Michael Graves architect

Michael Graves

In the project for the expansion of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, new gallery space for the permanent collection and a theater are to be added to Marcel Breuer's 1966 structure located on Madison Avenue and East 75th Street in New York City, within the Upper East Side Historic District.

Stylistically, the Breuer building, a modern monument finished in dark gray unpolished granice, is in distinct contrast to the surrounding context of smaller scale and more elaborated facades. The particular design challenge of this project for Michael Graves is, therefore, to use to his advantage the apparent contradictions of words, to respond to the disparate natures of the surrounding neighborhood and the existing building. According to New York Times critic Paul Goldberger: Mr. Graves has not done what many architects would do, which is to lie down and play dead beside such a powerful and difficult building... What he has done is endeavor to incorporate the Breuer building as an element of a large and complex architectural composition, a composition that integrates the stark modernism that the Breuer building represents with the kind of colorful abstracted classicism that has become the trademark of Michael Graves.

Graves's use of color and his sense of architectural composition have dramatically influenced not only the design of buildings but also interior design. From 1979 through 1987 he designed a number of furniture showrooms for Sunar all of which are characterized by strong hierarchical plans and the use of color to articulate the various rooms and their individual characters and uses. Many of Michael Graves's interiors, such as the Diane von Furstenberg boutique in New York City and the Plocek House in Warren, New Jersey, include furniture, artifacts, and occasionally murals designed by the architect. In the past few years, Graves's early interest in furniture and artifacts has flourished. Perhaps best known is his teakettle with a whistling bird, designed for Alessi in Italy. Other designs include dinnerware, flatware, porcelain coffeepots, sugar bowls and cream pitchers, lamps and lighting fixtures, tables and chairs, jewelry, wristwatches, clocks, carpets and rugs, ballet sets and costumes, posters and other graphic work, and even a telephone.

related links

Michael Graves :: Homepage
Michael Graves - Great Buildings Online
Michael Graves Architect and Designer
Michael Graves - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Michael Graves has received many honors and awards for his designs of buildings, interiors, and products. Included in these awards are 7 National Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architects for completed buildings; 31 design awards from the New Jersey Society of Architects; 14 from Progressive Architecture magazine; and 7 from Interiors magazine, including 1980 Designer of the Year. In 1980, he also received the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He has received honorary doctorates from the University of Cincinnati, Boston University, and Savannah College of Art and Design. Michael Graves is continually recognized for his unique and personal approach to architecture, an approach that simply creates "special relationships between the worlds of man and nature," according to former New York Times critic Ada Louise Huxtable. Through his interiors and his buildings, he has become one of the most influential architects practicing today, and he has greatly contributed to the advancement of what is now known as postmodern architecture. In the words of Paul Goldberger, architecture critic of The New York Times, "Michael Graves is the most truly original voice that American architecture has produced in some time".

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1 - Michael Graves, "The Swedish Connection," Journal of Architectural Education 29 (1975).

2 - Michael Graves, "The Necessity of Drawing: Tangible Speculation," Architectural Design 47, 384-394 (1977).

3 - Michael Graves, "Le Corbusier's Drawn References" in Le Corbu-ster: Selected Drawings, Academy Editions, London, 1981.

4 - Five Architects, Wittenborn & Company and Oxford University Press, New York, 1975.

5 - M. Filler, 'The Man Who's Rewriting the Language of Color," House and Garden 152 (Mar. 1980).

6 - D. Davis, "Building with Symbols," Newsweek, 82-83 (Sept. 1, 1980).

7 - Michael Graves, "A Case for Figurative Architecture," in Michael Graves: Buildings and Projects, 1966-1981, Rizzoli, New York, 1983, pp. 11-13.

8 - Michael Graves: Buildings and Projects, 1981-1987, Princeton Architectural Press, Princeton, N.J., 1988.

9 - P. Goldberger, "A Daring and Sensitive Design," The New York Times (May 22, 1985).

10 - A. L. Huxtable, "A Unified New Language of Design," The New York Times (May 27, 1979).

11 - P. Goldberger, "Architecture of a Different Color," The New York Times Magazine (Oct. 1982).

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