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Blaser, Werner 1924-

BLASER, Werner 1924-

PERSONAL:

Born August 29, 1924, in Basel, Switzerland; children: Christian W. Education: Attended School of Design (Basel, Switzerland), 1944-48, and Illinois Institute of Technology, 1951-53.

ADDRESSES:

Home—St. Alban-Vorstadt 80, CH-4052 Basel, Switzerland.

CAREER:

Architect and industrial designer in Basel, Switzerland, 1953—.

MEMBER:

BSA, Swiss Architects.

WRITINGS:

Japanese Temples and Tea-Houses, (text in English, French, and German, with English translation by D. Q. Stephenson), F. W. Dodge (New York, NY), 1957, second edition published as The Temple and Teahouse in Japan (text in English and German, with English translation by D. Q. Stephenson), Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1988.

Struktur und Gestalt in Japan, Verlag für Architektur, (Zürich, Switzerland), 1963, translated by D. Q. Stephenson as Structure and Form in Japan, Wittenborn, (Scarsdale, NY), 1964.

Mies van der Rohe: The Art of Structure (text in English and German, with English translation by D. Q. Stephenson), Praeger (New York, NY), 1965, revised editions, Praeger (New York, NY), 1972, Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1993, 1997.

Objektive Architektur: Beispiel Skin und skeleton (title means "Objective Architecture: Example Skin and Skeleton"), Scherpe-Verl (Krefeld, Germany), 1970.

Chinese Pavilion Architecture: Quality, Design, Structure Exemplified by China (text in English and German, with English translation by D. Q. Stephenson), Architectural Book Publishing (New York, NY), 1974.

Structural Architecture of Eastern Europe, (text in English and German, with English translation by D. Q. Stephenson), Zbinden (Basel, Switzerland), 1975.

Der Fels ist mein Haus, WEMA-Verlag (Zürich, Switzlerand), 1976, translated as The Rock Is My Home, Van Nostrand Reinhold (New York, NY), 1977.

Struktur und Textur: Dokumentation über d. Architektur-Prinzipien von Tektonik u. Textur (text in English and German; title means "Structure and Texture: Documentation of the Architectural Principles of Tectonics and Texture"), Scherpe (Krefeld, Germany), 1976.

Mies van der Rohe, lehre und schule, translated as After Mies: Mies van der Rohe, Teaching and Principles, Van Nostrand Reinhold, (New York, NY), 1977, second edition published as Mies van der Rohe: Continuing the Chicago School of Architecture, Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1981.

Courtyard House in China: Tradition and Present (text in English and German, with English translation by D. Q. Stephenson), Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1979.

Filigree Architecture: Metal and Glass Construction (text in English, French, and German), Wepf (New York, NY), 1980.

Architecture 70/80 in Switzerland, Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1981.

(Editor) Klappstühle: eine Darstellung der Meisterklasse für Innenarchitektur und Industrieentwurf Prof. Johannes Spalt, der Hochschule für Angewandte Kunst in Wien, translated by D. Q. Stephenson as Folding Chairs: A Presentation by the Master Class for Interior Architecture and Industrial Design of Prof. Johannes Spalt, University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1982.

Alvar Aalto als Designer, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt (Stuttgart, Germany), 1982.

Elemental Building Forms: Sources of Modern Architecture (text in English and German), Beton-Verlag (Düsseldorf, Germany), 1982.

Mies van der Rohe: Furniture and Interiors, Barron's (Woodbury, NY), 1982.

Wooden Bridges in Switzerland (text in English, French, and German), Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1982.

(Editor) Drawings of Great Buildings, text by Monica Stucky, drawings by students of Ogden Hannaford, Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1983.

Bauernhaus der Schweiz, Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1983.

Architecture and Nature: The Work of Alfred Caldwell (text in English, French, and German), Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1984.

Element, System, Möbel: Wege von der Architektur zum Design, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt (Stuttgart, Germany), 1984.

Furniture as Architecture: From Antiquity to the Present (text in English and German, with English translation by D. Q. Stephenson), Waser (Zürich, Switzerland), 1985.

Atrium: Five Thousand Years of Open Courtyards (text in English and German, with English translation by D. Q. Stephenson), Wepf (New York, NY), 1985.

Wood Houses: Form in Rural Architecture (text in English, French, and German), Wepf (New York, NY), 1985.

Mies van der Rohe: Less Is More (text in English and German), Waser (New York, NY), 1986.

China-Tao in Architecture, Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1987.

Phantasy in Wood, Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1987.

(Editor and contributor) Myron Goldsmith: Buildings and Concepts (text in English and German), Rizzoli International (New York, NY), 1987.

(Editor, with contributions by Kenneth Frampton and Pierluigi Nicolin) Santiago Calatrava: Engineering Architecture (text in English and German), Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1990.

(Editor) Tadao Ando: Sketches, (text in English and German, with English translation by D. Q. Stephenson and Lala Felix), Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1990.

(Editor, with Dieter Wronsky; with contributions by Wronsky, Christoph Allenspach, and Hans-Rudolf Heyer) Suburban Building: Example, Basel-Country (text in English and German, with English translation by D. Q. Stephenson), Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1991.

Orient, Occident: Influences on Design and Architecture (text in English and German, with English translation by Regina Worth), Beton-Verlag (Düsseldorf, Germany), 1991.

(Editor) Helmut Jahn, Airports, translated from the German by Cynthia Baer and Leslie Koechlin, Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1991.

(Editor) Chicago Architecture: Holabird & Root, 1880-1992 (text in English and German, with English translation by D. Q. Stephenson), Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1992.

Joint and Connection: Ideas in Furniture Design and Their Background, edited by Charles von Büren (text in English and German), Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1992.

(Editor) Norman Foster: Sketches, (text in English and German), Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1992.

Weishaupt Forum, Richard Meier: On the New Weishaupt Forum—What Good Architecture Can Be (text in English, French, and German, with English translation by D. Q. Stephenson), Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1993.

Tomsk: Texture in Wood (text in English, French, and German), Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1994.

Transformation: Livio Vacchini, (text in English and German, with English translation by John Dennis Gartrell), Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1994.

Wood Pioneer Architecture: Masterpieces of the Last 100 Years (text in English and German), Waser (Zürich, Switzlerland), 1995.

(Editor) Richard Horden, Light Tech: Towards a Light Architecture (text in English and German), Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1995.

Helmut Jahn: Transparency (text in English and German, with English translation by John Dennis Gartrell), Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1996.

Richard Meier: Details (text in English and German, with English translation by John Dennis Gartrell), Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1996.

(With Johannes Malms) West Meets East: Mies van der Rohe (text in English and German, with English translation by John Dennis Gartrell), Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1996, second edition, 2001.

Werner Sobek: Art of Engineering (text in English and German), Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1999.

(With Steffen Barth) Tadao Ando: Museum of World Cultures in the Rhine (text in English, French, German, and Japanese), Vice Versa (Berlin, Germany), 1999.

Mies van der Rohe: Farnsworth House: Weekend House (text in English and German, with English translation by Katja Steiner, Bruce Almberg, and Ehingen), Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1999.

Mies van der Rohe: Lake Shore Drive Apartments: High-Rise Building, English translation by Katja Steiner, Bruce Almberg, and Ehingen, Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1999.

Werner Sobek: Art of Engineering, Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 1999.

Begegnungen: An Architect Meets Architects (text in German and English, with English translation by Mark Walz), Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 2000.

Mies van der Rohe: Crown Hall, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, the Department of Architecture, (English translation by Katja Steiner and Bruce Almberg, Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 2001.

Powell/Kleinschmidt: Interior Architecture (English translation of Blaser's essay "Puritan Style" by Felicity Gloth), Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 2001.

Renzo Piano: Cultural Center of the Kanak People (text in English, French, and German, with English translation by Katja Steiner and Bruce Almberg) Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 2001.

Tadao Ando: Architecture of Silence: Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum (text in English and German), Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 2001.

Ensemble Habitat: Five Villas, Klaus Schuldt (text in English and German), Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 2002.

Helmut Jahn, Werner Sobek, Matthias Schuler: Architecture Engineering, English translation by Elizabeth Schwaiger, Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 2002.

(Editor) Gene Summers: Art/Architecture, Birkhäuser (Boston, MA), 2003.

SIDELIGHTS:

Architect Werner Blaser has shared his thoughts on his craft in numerous volumes. As he was a colleague of the prominent modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, many of his writings deal with Mies's work, including his high-rise apartment buildings on Chicago's lakeshore and the Illinois Institute of Technology campus, also in Chicago. Blaser also has dealt with the similaries between Mies's work and Asian architecture, in the book West Meets East: Mies van der Rohe. This is something Blaser "seems uniquely qualified" to discuss, being a scholar of both Mies and Eastern design, commented Stanley Abercrombie in a review for Architectural Record.

Blaser has written extensively as well about other practitioners of the "Chicago school" of architecture, such as the firms of Holabird & Root and Powell/Kleinschmidt. He explores the latter's work in Powell/Kleinschmidt: Interior Architecture, noting the firm's trademarks of clean lines, subtlety, and an integration of architectural elements with furnishings. It is a "beautifully executed book," observed Cindy Coleman in Interior Design. Other subjects of Blaser's diverse body of work range from the modern architects Helmut Jahn and Richard Meier to wooden bridges and farmhouses in his native Switzerland.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Architectural Record, September, 2001, Stanley Abercrombie, "Mies Is Back and a New Group of Books Explores His Designs and Legacy," p. 79.

Chicago Tribune, July 13, 1987.

Interior Design, July 1, 2002, Cindy Coleman, review of Powell/Kleinschmidt: Interior Architecture, p. 169.

Library Journal, July, 2002, Paul Glassman, review of Powell/Kleinschmidt: Interior Architecture, p. 72.

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