Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Improv Undying



Photos courtesy Flickr

In the early Seventies, New York architect Alan Buchsbaum retrieved slabs of stone and marble from buildings that were being demolished. In doing so, he invented the American interior hardscape.

Originally, Buchsbaum simply set broken-edged slabs of stone onto sturdy tables and used them for dining. He adapted equally sturdy surplus bank chairs to use as seating.

As far as I know, this strategy was the first conscious adaptive reuse of materials. At the time, the culture was so rich and energy still so cheap that materials of such quality were literally free for the taking.

It didn’t take long for the use of stone to be formalized. I much prefer the lively experimental phase.

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