Philip Johnson is an American architect from Cleveland, Ohio. He received an education from Harvard University where he studied under the prominent Walter Gropius, who produced works during the International Style period as did Philip Johnson.
Prior to his first architectural designs in 1942, Johnson obtained a knowledge of architecture through observation. During his first years, he observed, commented and wrote about many of the works and style that were emerging in his time.
Johnson published his co-written book called International Style: Architecture Since 1922 in 1932 with Henry Russel Hitchcock. In it, they describe the new style of architecture traveling from Europe into the United States and hint that Johnson will be part of the revolution. Also, during his "observation years," Johnson served as the chairman of the Department of Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City from 1932 to 1934.
FROM 1942 ON . . .
Johnson's first buildings (and eventually his common style) were characterized by luxury, considering his choice of material and magnitude of the general scope of his work. His style favors symmetry and elegance and he also luxuriously designed interior areas. Much of his style is similar to that of Mies van der Rohe and from this there is a definite relationship, if not, an influence exerted.
One of his first famous structures was his own house, called the Glass House (Technically, it would not be used as a residence n the modern world). It's name suggests the reason. Being that he extensively used glass in this house built in Canaan, Connecticut in 1949, a parallel exists between the styles of Johnson and Mies. In fact their paths crossed in 1958 when they both produced the Seagram Building in New York City. This skyscraper also features an extensive use of glass.
In 1962, he produced the Kline Science Center at Yale University. In 1964, he designed the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center. The most recent famous achievement, however, was his AT&T Headquarters Building in 1978 (now the Sony Building) in New York City. This building proved to be unconventional for its mix of Baroque and Modern elements.
This is not the only time in recent years that Johnson has produced controversial work - in the architectural world of course. He seemed to take a trip through time as he incorporated historical architectural elements into his modern buildings. Two examples include the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company headquarters that Gothic styles to the Modern work and the Houston Transco Tower, which blended Art Deco styles with Modern work.
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