Special Issue "Architecture Is a Luxury"

A special issue of Arts (ISSN 2076-0752). This special issue belongs to the section "Applied Arts".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Annette Condello
Website
Guest Editor
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Humanities, Curtin University, Perth, WA 6102, Australia
Interests: architectural history and theory; sustainable luxury; landscape architecture; visual arts; philosophy of sloth; Mediterranean and Latin American modernism

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Luxury is a mutifaceted term and its connotations have changed through time. In an age dominated by global media, speedy fashion cycles and sustainability, luxury has become a belligerent paradigm in architecture. Architecture is also a salvageable luxury. For those searching for luxury fashion brands and goods in extreme locations, such as FENDI’s headquarters housed in the former fascist EUR building in Rome and Studio KO’s Musee Yves Saint Laurent in Marrakech, the buildings themselves offer permanent phenomena and yet the spaces remain exclusive. Alternatively, wilfully marking the entrance into Herzog and de Meuron’s Public Hotel in New York is a continuously operating and glowing escalator, an internal street, directing guests and visitors up to the main lobby, offering luxury for all for a brief moment. Undiagnosed luxury exists within Edward Neuenschwander’s architecture.

Architecture is a luxury and it deserves to be critiqued with a focus on what this means in a contemporary sense. It continues to evolve, but how? Revisiting the six historical categories explored in The Architecture of Luxury (Ashgate, 2014), sybaritic, lucullan, architectural excess, rustic, neoEuropean and modern, this special issue aims to provide a platform for researchers to reexamine the topic and critically analyse case studies, as well underpin future visions. This issue seeks proposals that explore innocuous spaces from contemporary perspectives by synthesizing new research into recent practice and conceptualisation. Questions to consider include, but are not limited to the following: when perusing a space, is it more apt to discuss its smooth or striated/ventilated surfaces, as well as one’s sensory experience, in terms of its sustainable “deluxe” condition? When did luxurious architecture become associated with what is: banal, brutal, gauche, mundane, crass or cheap? Contributions are invited from authors who critique cases located in desolate, fertile, underground or overground, or those air-fashioned in outer spaces.

Dr. Annette Condello
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Arts is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • luxury
  • architecture
  • salvageable luxury
  • sensory experience
  • deluxe
  • spatial forms

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Richard Neutra’s Ambiguous Relationship to Luxury
Arts 2018, 7(4), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts7040075 - 05 Nov 2018
Abstract
Many architects of the modern movement who, in theory, refused luxury nonetheless responded to the demand for it. Richard J. Neutra was one of them: Although he mostly rejected luxury in his writings, he gained fame for his skills in constructing luxurious residences. [...] Read more.
Many architects of the modern movement who, in theory, refused luxury nonetheless responded to the demand for it. Richard J. Neutra was one of them: Although he mostly rejected luxury in his writings, he gained fame for his skills in constructing luxurious residences. This paper explores how he handled such discrepancies. For this purpose, it relates his understanding of luxury to the German debates on the luxury of the interwar period and analyzes two of his most important expensive residences: the Lovell Health House (1927–1929) and the Kaufmann Desert House (1946–1947). It comes to the conclusion that Neutra took an intermediate position between socialist opponents and idealist proponents of luxury. While he acknowledged the importance of objectivity and scientific thinking and agreed to give priority to the improvement of the living conditions of the masses, he was nevertheless much interested in comfort, aesthetics, details, and individualization. Moreover, it draws attention to the fact that Neutra’s houses also reflected his clients’ relationship to luxury. The Kaufmanns asked for a luxurious background for leisure; the Lovells’ wanted a place for a disciplined life that lacked certain essential traits of luxury. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architecture Is a Luxury)
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Open AccessArticle
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(4), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts7040065 - 10 Oct 2018
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 [...] Read more.
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). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architecture Is a Luxury)
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Open AccessArticle
Garish Luxury and the “Constructed Landscape”: Transcending the Colour of Opals in the Griffins’ Capitol Theatre
Arts 2018, 7(4), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts7040058 - 03 Oct 2018
Abstract
Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin synthesized a modern crystallized interior within their Capitol Theatre design (1920–24) in Melbourne. The Capitol’s auditorium, a mine-like cavity, houses a constructed landscape, elucidating the link between architecture and geological references. Ornamented with prefabricated stepped plasterwork, [...] Read more.
Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin synthesized a modern crystallized interior within their Capitol Theatre design (1920–24) in Melbourne. The Capitol’s auditorium, a mine-like cavity, houses a constructed landscape, elucidating the link between architecture and geological references. Ornamented with prefabricated stepped plasterwork, the auditorium is inserted with opal-coloured light technologies. Through the concept of the “constructed landscape”, this article traces the garish luxury elements found within the Griffins’ Capitol auditorium to understand the design associations between Paul Scheerbart’s Expressionist writings on crystal-glass iconography and William Le Baron Jenney’s symbolic crystal cave. The Griffins’ architectural contribution to the Australian entertainment industry conveys both Jugendstil garden effects and Mesoamerican echoes through its elaborative prismatic ridges. Owing to its transcendental opal allusions, the Capitol’s auditorium shows a constructed landscape model and constitutes a form of garish luxury, exemplifying early Australian glamour. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architecture Is a Luxury)
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Open AccessBook Review
Modern Architecture and Luxury: Aesthetics and the Evolution of the Modern Subject
Arts 2019, 8(3), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts8030100 - 06 Aug 2019
Abstract
A book review of Robin Schuldenfrei, Luxury and Modernism: Architecture and the Object in Germany 1900–1933 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018). This book challenges the canonical interpretation of two of the most revered institutions in the history of modern architecture—the Werkbund and the [...] Read more.
A book review of Robin Schuldenfrei, Luxury and Modernism: Architecture and the Object in Germany 1900–1933 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018). This book challenges the canonical interpretation of two of the most revered institutions in the history of modern architecture—the Werkbund and the Bauhaus—and presents a critical interpretation of the relationship between modern architecture and luxury, which first appeared a generation ago. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Architecture Is a Luxury)
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