A wordless, pictures-only post on Reference Library tipped me off to Marcel Breuer: Sun and Shadow, The Philosophy of an Architect, that Breuer wrote in the fifties. I found it on Ebay for a good price, through a “buy it now” dealer of out-of-print mid-century and design books. It’s a treasure, in part because of Alexi Brodovitch’s unique design: You holds the book sideways, turning the pages like a calendar, so each section is a double-page spread of drawings, photographs, plans, elevations.
But what is most amazing is to read the thought processes and logic behind Breuer’s designs. It’s given me a million ideas, from ways to use concrete block to a possible way to handle having an office in my bedroom, to a unique, see-through design that makes a simple brick fireplace really beautiful.
Breuer’s thinking: “By placing free-standing fireplace in the line of a view of the landscape, furniture arrangement is the same whether you watch the fire or look out through the glass walls. To prevent the fireplace from obstructing view too much, it has been perforated in several places and its bulk has thus been reduced.”
Almost 60 years later, Breuer’s resonating idea has been appropriated and translated again and again.