Marcel Breuer, Architect. Whitney Museum of American Art.
It’s difficult to place Marcel Breuer into a particular category of designer, and it would undoubtedly be a disservice were one to do so. In the history of Modern Design, there have not been many practitioners whose work has spanned so many scales – furniture [one of the very first to use tubular metal], large university halls, corporate buildings. I first came across his work in New Haven, where he designed the Becton Engineering and Applied Science Center at Yale University. The same city also had a much more prominent work by Breuer – the Armstrong Rubber company building aka the Pirelli building, which was partially demolished to make way for an IKEA. This author, along with architects Lana Berkovich and Robert Narracci, formed a team to try and encourage the adaptive reuse of the building. We did not succeed, and what is left of the building today exists solely to hold aloft IKEA signage.
One building by Breuer that is alive and well is the Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC. Encouraging you to visit the museum would be much more worthwhile than trying to pen a description. Suffice it to say, there are few works of modern architecture that do so much with such a spare palette. To all those who appreciate good design : browse the images below, taken in the less used [but no less masterly] stairwell, and chart a course to the museum. Be prepared to be amazed by a grandmaster of design.