Modernism at Mid-Century: The Architecture of the United States Air Force Academy

Overview

One of the country's largest and most important postwar architectural projects, the United States Air Force Academy opened in 1958. With its spectacular natural setting and stunning Modernist design, the Academy was quickly hailed as a national landmark and attracts over a million visitors each year.

The contributors to this volume (Jory Johnson, Robert Nauman, Sheri Olson, James Russell, and Kristen Schaffer) and editor Robert Bruegmann chronicle the complex history of the ...

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Overview

One of the country's largest and most important postwar architectural projects, the United States Air Force Academy opened in 1958. With its spectacular natural setting and stunning Modernist design, the Academy was quickly hailed as a national landmark and attracts over a million visitors each year.

The contributors to this volume (Jory Johnson, Robert Nauman, Sheri Olson, James Russell, and Kristen Schaffer) and editor Robert Bruegmann chronicle the complex history of the planning, design, and construction of the Air Force Academy. As the most conspicuous commission of the American military at the height of the Cold War, the design of the Academy generated intense popular interest and was a lightning rod for conflicting values in postwar society. The design, by architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, has been hailed as the final triumph of the International Style and as a monument to military bureaucracy.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
The design of the Academy at Colorado Springs (opened in 1958) represents a pivotal chapter in the history of modern architecture--a coup for the ascending modernists whose approach to the issues of form and function found a conspicuous outlet in the Academy's commission. It also reflects the currents of postwar American history--the emergence of the US as the strongest military power in the world, the escalation of the Cold War, the large and visible part played by the military in American life. Contributed essays on the design, building, and interpretation of the Academy are accompanied by interviews and recollections that highlight contemporary reactions. Illustrated with black & white photos and drawings. 11x10" Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226076935
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1995
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 10.75 (w) x 9.75 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Contributors 8
Acknowledgments 9
Introduction 11
Creating a National Monument: Planning and Designing the Academy 16
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill: The Early History 27
Architectural Consultants 31
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill: The Project Team 35
Strange Alliances: Frank Lloyd Wright and Congress 43
The Architects at Work: Design Drawings 68
Documenting Construction: Photos by Stewart's 70
The National Geographic Visits the Academy 72
Raising the Roof: Constructing Mitchell Hall 74
Military Culture, Architectural Culture, Popular Culture 79
Man as Nature 102
Presenting the Academy 121
A Comprehensive Design Vision 139
Learning from Industry 149
Lauded and Maligned: The Chapel 157
Epilogue 169
A Conversation between Walter Netsch and John Burchard 174
Recollections of Gordon Bunshaft 186
Interview with Lieutenant General Bradley Hosmer 190
Index 196
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