Kiesler, Frederick John

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Kiesler, Frederick John (1890–1965). Vienna-born American visionary architect. In the 1920s he worked for a while with Loos and joined De Stijl, later producing designs in which endless curves and continuous wall-and ceiling-planes contrasted with the grid, rectangle, and flat wall generally favoured at that time. His Endless House (from 1923, with revisions as late as the 1960s) encapsulated his ideas of improving the human condition by means of an architecture derived from organic forms. Believing that forms are the ‘visible trading-posts’ of visible as well as invisible forces, and that reality consists of the two forms inter-acting in a way he dubbed Correalism, he argued that humans react continuously with their environment, and that space and time are continuous, endless, and capable of expanding architectural possibilities. He published Inside the Endless House: Art, People, and Architecture in 1966. Described by Huxtable in 1960 as the ‘greatest non-building architect’ of his time, his Shrine of the Book, Hebrew University, Jerusalem (1959–65), is perhaps his most impressive realized work, although his stage-designs for the theatre from the 1920s to the 1940s were of innovative importance.

Bibliography

ARe, lxxxvi (Sept. 1939), 60–75;
Conrads & and Sperlich (1962);
Kalman (1994);
Gohr & Luyken (eds.) (1996);
Huxtable (1960);
Kiesler (1964, 1966)