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Excerpt from Phyllis Lambert’s new book on Seagram

April 23, 2013

For the architectural theorists out there, this excerpt from Phyllis Lambert’s Building Seagram is for you. In this essay, entitled “Seagram: Union of Building and Landscape,” Lambert explores the origins of the great plaza in front of the Seagram Building at 375 Park Avenue, revisiting Mies van der Rohe’s first independently built work in Germany and parsing the theories of the revolutionary 19th-century architect and city planner Karl Friedrich Schinkel, who was a major influence for Mies.

Lambert is the daughter of Samuel Bronfman, founder of the Canadian distillery dynasty Seagram, who commissioned 375 Park Avenue. At 27 years of age, she led the search for an architect of Seagram’s new headquarters, which resulted in the selection of Mies with Philip Johnson collaborating on interior design. Lambert went on to found the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal in 1979. Her book, Building Seagram, is a comprehensive personal and scholarly history of a major building and its architectural, cultural and urban legacies.

Book excerpt at Design Observer