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The Function of Luxury: Visual and Material Abundance in Minoru Yamasaki’s U.S. Consulate in Kobe and Federal Science Pavilion in Seattle (1954–62)

School of Architecture, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
Received: 20 July 2018 / Revised: 4 October 2018 / Accepted: 4 October 2018 / Published: 10 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architecture Is a Luxury)
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Abstract

This article explores the visual abundance found in a number of early projects by Leinweber, Yamasaki and Hellmuth (LYH) and Minoru Yamasaki and Associates (MYA), which stands in stark contrast to the austere character of architectural form during the interwar period. Although Yamasaki received his architectural training in the 1930s, he was neither a true modernist, nor a fully postmodern architect. His aesthetic, and his firm’s work, lies in the interstices between these two distinct architectural moments, in company with contemporaries Edward Durell Stone and Paul Rudolph, among others. The work of these architects embraced a kind of visual and formal excess but stopped short of approaching the playful linguistic games of postmodern architecture. With themes of visual and material excess in mind, I examine two early commissions from the U.S. federal government that put into play ideas of global exchange, power, and extravagance in architecture as the United States emerged as a major world power in the aftermath of World War II, including the U.S. Consulate in Kobe, Japan (1954–1955) and the Federal Science Pavilion at the Seattle World’s Fair (1962). View Full-Text
Keywords: architecture; luxury; wealth; Yamasaki; modern architecture; globalism architecture; luxury; wealth; Yamasaki; modern architecture; globalism
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Kiely, J. The Function of Luxury: Visual and Material Abundance in Minoru Yamasaki’s U.S. Consulate in Kobe and Federal Science Pavilion in Seattle (1954–62). Arts 2018, 7, 65.

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