Architect

Live-Work Space from John Dwyer.

For the last 3 and a half years I have lived in a fairly small house by most American standards. Modular 4 was just over 1500 square feet. About three weeks ago we moved and downsized even more to a loft that is right at 1000 square feet in size. Moving into a small space puts a lot of things in perspective, and makes you rethink what you actually need, and what is important in your life.

The first floor of our building is designated for commercial space, promoting a work/live environment for the building. This is something that I can totally get behind. The space is zoned for commercial use, but regulated by the HOA so no restaurant, bar, or other late night business can go in.

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This morning while looking for similar buildings online I came across Minneapolis architect John Dwyer’s Live/Work space. This small building houses a living environment upstairs, and office space below. Judging from the photos I would be willing to bet that each space is around 1000 to 1200 square feet in size. I can relate to the aesthetic shown here. Minimal amounts of objects and artifacts are seen in the rooms. Furniture is clean and space-saving like the Eames compact sofa that divides the living room from the dining room. The fundamental shape of the 1920’s era structure has been reduced to a minimal form modernizing it. Large windows flood the space with light making it feel more open and spacious.  I think could get used to living and working in a space like this.

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Adios Oscar Niemeyer. One of the World’s Greats Has Left the Building.

Yesterday the world lost one of it’s great architects. Oscar Niemeyer died at the distinguished age of 104.

Niemeyer was born in Rio de Janeiro, on December 15 1907. A graduate of Escola Nacional de Belas Artes, and the Harvard Graduate School of Design Niemeyer cut his teeth working for his father’s typography house and as a draftsman for local architects in Rio de Janeiro. His style was definitively modern, yet it possessed a sensual quality that softened it against modernisms sometimes cold hard edges. Even past 100 Niemeyer still continued to work and go to his office daily, working on planning new buildings including an auditorium for Brasília. There are quite a few memorials, and obituaries being posted online today, and while I could expound on his genius and talent, I’ll leave that to others. Instead the video below is a 2010 documentary about Niemeyer produced and directed by Sérgio Alexandre Martins Celeste. It’s a full length film, but worth watching if you are into architecture, or design.