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The Villa Savoye by Le Corbusier

Almost untouched icons of modern architectural history are hard to find nowadays. At the gates of Paris, in the municipality of Poissy, there is a sophisticated building, carried by slender columns, surrounded by grass fields and deciduous trees—the Villa Savoye.

Embedded in a quiet oasis in the middle of L.A. is a building that radiates two things in particular: tranquility and clear shapes. Outside, eucalyptus trees are moving softly in the wind while in the courtyard, the cacti cast gentle shadows across the stone floor.

Middle class houses in the United States by Frank Lloyd Wright. At the time quite affordable, today highly coveted. During one of my trips through the US, I visited the Gordon House in Silverton, Oregon—one of about sixty houses that Frank Lloyd Wright had built from 1936 together with the Jacobs House company. They are called Usonian.

The development of the International Style began in Europe in the early 1920s and later spread throughout the world. Yet the term International Style dates back to the architect Philip C. Johnson and the architectural historian Henry-Russell Hitchcock to describe minimalist and functional architecture. The name was first used in 1932 in their publication THE INTERNATIONAL STYLE: ARCHITECTURE SINCE 1922, published to accompany the iconic MoMA exhibition Modern Architecture: International Exhibition.

The architectural highlight is located in Trousdale Estates, an exclusive residential area in Beverly Hills and one of Los Angeles’ architecturally most significant neighborhoods. The four-bedroom property features floor-to-ceiling windows which merge almost seamlessly from the interior to the outside. It directs the view out into the garden with a Hockney-esque poolside and a backdrop of subtropical vegetation which characterizes the entire cityscape of Los Angeles.

Upon entering the property in Kings Road, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, one notices immediately the well-conceived interplay of space, light and form which extends over the whole site. The building is not visible from the street. It seems hidden in a part of the city that is so crowded. As soon as you enter the garden and the whole area of the property is completely spread, you feel like you are in an oasis in the middle of one of Los Angeles’ busiest areas.

Casablanca – A name that is particularly associated with the cinema of the 1940s. The legendary film depicts a city which lies between the sea and the desert – a romanticized idea made in Hollywood. But the real Casablanca as a place is rather the opposite and more characterized by the typical bustle of a big city. During an intense construction wave in the 1940s and 1950s, the city turned into a model of a Modernist City—at that time it was new, urban and unique.