Alan Buchsbaum: Architect and Designer- The Mechanics of Taste

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Rosalind Krauss;Patricia Leigh Brown;Steven Holl;Michael Sorkin;Stephen Tilly

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Surprising juxtapositions between high elegance and downtown funkiness -- a choreography of bright colors and shapes, contrasting textures and patterns, theatrical lighting and quirky found objects -- make up the world of Alan Buchsbaum. An imaginative architect and designer, he was deemed one of the originators of the supergraphics look of the 1960s, the high-tech aesthetic of the 1970s, and the loft look of the 1980s. This lavishly illustrated monograph collects -- for the first time ever -- over forty of his incredible projects.

Working in New York during the late 1960s and early 1970s, he became famous for his ad-hoc style. The postwar era's bold materials (vinyl, formica, plastic) were united with his flair for embellishing modern forms while mimicking popular culture's nuances -- a big curve here, a little wiggle there. A favorite among design professionals and magazine editors, his death in 1987 robbed the industry of a major talent.

Featured are his notorious loft spaces for his star clients, who collaborated with Buchsbaum on these dramatic transformations. His world of fantasy and luxury was also a place of function and comfort, as seen in his commercial spaces, retail stores, and hotels -- the 1986-87 Nevele Hotel renovation is a tour de force of retro-chic design. Also documented is a cornucopia of his furnishings, including rugs, tables, chairs, and slipcovers. Contributors, all friends, clients, and/or collaborators, recall his ingenuity and flamboyant personality.


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