Although his best-known project was the World Trade Center in New
York City, Japanese American architect Minoru Yamasaki (1912-1986)
worked to create moments of surprise, serenity, and delight in
distinctive buildings around the world. In his adopted home of
Detroit, where he lived and worked for the last half of his life,
Yamasaki produced many important designs that range from public
buildings to offices and private residences. In Yamasaki in
Detroit: A Search for Serenity, author John Gallagher presents both
a biography of Yamasaki-or Yama as he was known-and an examination
of his working practices, with an emphasis on the architect's
search for a style that would express his artistic goals.Gallagher
explores Yamasaki's drive to craft tranquil spaces amid bustling
cities while other modernists favored -glass box- designs. He
connects Yamasaki's design philosophy to tumultuous personal
experiences, including the architect's efforts to overcome poverty,
racial discrimination, and his own inner demons. Yamasaki in
Detroit surveys select projects spanning from the late 1940s to the
end of Yamasaki's life, revealing the unique gardens, pools,
plazas, skylight atriums, and other oases of respite in these
buildings. Gallagher includes prominent works like the Michigan
Consolidated Gas Building in downtown Detroit, Temple Beth-El in
Bloomfield Township, and landmark buildings on the Wayne State
University and College for Creative Studies campuses, as well as
smaller medical clinics, office buildings, and private homes
(including Yamasaki's own residence). Gallagher consults Yamasaki's
own autobiographical writings, architects who worked with Yamasaki
in his firm, and photography from several historic archives to give
a full picture of the architect's work and motivations. Both
knowledgeable fans of modernist architecture and general readers
will enjoy Yamasaki in Detroit.Wayne State University Press
gratefully acknowledges the organizations that generously supported
the publication of this book: Friends of Modern and Contemporary
Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Yamasaki, Inc. and The Office of
the Vice President of Research (OVPR) of Wayne State University.
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