Hawaiian Modern: The Architecture of Vladimir Ossipoff

Overview

Vladimir Ossipoff (1907–1998), known as the “master of Hawaiian architecture,” was at the forefront of the postwar phenomenon known as tropical modernism. Although he practiced at a time of rapid growth and social change in Hawaii, Ossipoff criticized large-scale development and advocated environmentally sensitive designs, developing a distinctive form of architecture appropriate to the lush topography, microclimates, and vernacular traditions of the Hawaiian islands.

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Overview

Vladimir Ossipoff (1907–1998), known as the “master of Hawaiian architecture,” was at the forefront of the postwar phenomenon known as tropical modernism. Although he practiced at a time of rapid growth and social change in Hawaii, Ossipoff criticized large-scale development and advocated environmentally sensitive designs, developing a distinctive form of architecture appropriate to the lush topography, microclimates, and vernacular traditions of the Hawaiian islands.

This stunning book, now available for the first time in paperback, surveys Ossipoff’s buildings, which demonstrate a striking interplay of indoor and outdoor space, as well as a vibrant and glamorous architectural style that has proven delightfully particular to its place and durable over time.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In 1964, architect Vladimir Ossipoff declared a "War on Ugliness" aimed at making Honolulu a "more beautiful place to live and work." Born in Russia in 1907, raised in Japan and educated in California, Ossipoff settled in Hawaii in 1931 and pursued a 67-year career that saw the islands transformed from a "colonial backwater" to an international tourist destination. His approach to modernism adapted regional styles to new ideas. In his hands the lanai, the traditional Hawaiian porch for outdoor living, became an organizing principle, and years before the advent of green architecture, Ossipoff emphasized his buildings' relationship to their sites and climate, using locally available materials whenever possible. His projects included residences, schools and chapels, as well as corporate headquarters, apartment towers and an airline terminal. Described by one writer as "a man no less challenging than his name," Ossipoff emerges as both an accomplished technician and a sophisticated modernist whose wife often soothed his clients with the statement, "You will like it when you see it." Five essayists place the work in its aesthetic, historical and social context. A portfolio of 21 projects and a chronology of Ossipoff's life round out the discussions. 243 b&w, 36 color illus. (Jan.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300214161
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 3/31/2015
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,256,143

Meet the Author

Dean Sakamoto, principal of Dean Sakamoto Architects/SHADE Group, is based in Honolulu, Hawaii and New Haven, Connecticut. Karla Britton is lecturer in architectural history at the Yale School of Architecture. 

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