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Lescaze, William Edmond

Lescaze, William Edmond (1896–1969). Swiss-born architect, he was an important figure in bringing the International Modern style to the USA, where he established his practice in NYC in 1923. His early work included essays in Neo-Classicism and Art Deco before he went into partnership with George Howe in 1929. The firm designed the Philadelphia Saving Fund Society Bank and Office (1929–33), regarded as the pioneering International Modern skyscraper of the time. The partnership was dissolved in 1933, but Lescaze continued to work under the joint names until 1935 when he once again set up in independent practice. Among his works of that period were the Headmaster's House at Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon, England (1930–2), the Churston Estate Housing Development, Devon (1932–6), and the Lescaze House, NYC (1933–4—which A. L. Huxtable said was the first modern house built in the USA. Its success led to further commissions). In 1939 his Longfellow Building was commenced, completed in 1941—it was the first International style work in Washington, DC. During the 1939–45 war Lescaze designed prefabricated buildings using experimental materials, and later produced several large public, office-, and apartment-buildings, including the Swiss Embassy Chancellery, Washington, DC (1959), the Christian Peace Building, United Nations, NYC (1961), and the Chatham Center, Pittsburgh (1964).

Bibliography

Kalman (1994);
Hubert & and Shapiro (1982);
Lescaze (1942);
Pierson & and Jordy (1970–86);
Stern (1975)

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Lescaze, William

William Lescaze (lĕskäz´), 1896–1969, American architect, born and trained in Switzerland. Emigrating to the United States in 1920, Lescaze became influential in introducing the new European architecture to America. His works emphasized prismatic simplicity, as in his plan for the Philadelphia Saving Fund Society Building (with George Howe, 1930–32) and the CBS studios in Hollywood (1938). His writings include On Being an Architect (1942).

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