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Events October 2013


Phyllis Lambert on Building Seagram

October 28, 2013

DOCOMOMO NY/Tri-state is proud be a co-sponsor of this evening event with Phyllis Lambert, Hon. FAIA. Hosted by the AIANY Oculus Committee, Lambert will present her recent book Building Seagram. The presentation will be followed by a conversation with Barry Bergdoll, the Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA.

The Seagram building rises over New York’s Park Avenue, seeming to float above the street with perfect lines of bronze and glass. Considered one of the greatest icons of twentieth-century architecture, the building was commissioned by Samuel Bronfman, founder of the Canadian distillery dynasty Seagram. Bronfman’s daughter Phyllis Lambert was twenty-seven years old when she took over the search for an architect and chose Mies van der Rohe (1886–1969), a pioneering modern master of what he termed “skin and bones” architecture. Mies, who designed the elegant, deceptively simple thirty-eight-story tower along with Philip Johnson (1906–2005), emphasized the beauty of structure and fine materials, and set the building back from the avenue, creating an urban oasis with the building’s plaza.

Through her choice, Lambert established her role as a leading architectural patron and singlehandedly changed the face of American urban architecture. Building Seagram is a comprehensive personal and scholarly history of a major building and its architectural, cultural, and urban legacies. Lambert makes use of previously unpublished personal archives, company correspondence, and photographs to tell an insider’s view of the debates, resolutions, and unknown dramas of the building’s construction, as well as its crucial role in the history of modern art and architectural culture.

Phyllis Lambert is founding director of the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal. A licensed architect, she has contributed essays to numerous books and is the subject of the 2007 documentary film "Citizen Lambert: Joan of Architecture."

This program is part of Archtober.

Monday October 28, 6:00pm
AIANY Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place
Free admission for AIA members, DOCOMOMO members, and students with valid student ID - To RSVP, click here and complete form to the right
$10 general admission - purchase ticket here



Week of October 27th