Visual Acoustics (dir. Eric Bricker) is a magnificent documentary about Julius Shulman – the man who pioneered Southern California’s Modernist Architecture with his photographs.
A man of wit and passion for the environment, he worked along side architects such as Frank Gehry (Disney Hall), Albert Frey (Frey House), and Richard Neutra (Kauffman Residence). Most of his photographs were taken in black and white to emphasize the contrasting geometric patterns found in these modern homes. Some say his photographs, carefully taken with the concept of a “one-point perspective”, make these houses seem even more beautiful than they are in real life; that his prints actually sell these buildings in the market.
One of his famous photographs (seen above in the poster) is of the Stahl House – Case Study House #22 designed by Pierre Koenig in 1960. It sits atop the Hollywood Hills (known to be an unbuildable site) overlooking the city of Los Angeles.
den / kitchen
bedroom / pool & deck
(photos by julius shulman)
The Stahl House is a popular set for film and fashion shoots even to this day. It was used in movies such as Galaxy Quest, Playing By Heart, and The Big Lebowski as Jackie Treehorn’s home. It was also featured in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as a safehouse!
If you’re interested in photography and architecture – heck, if you’re interested in art in general – I HIGHLY suggest you watch this documentary. Shulman is now a very big inspiration of mine. Sure he’s worked with big names in the architecture world, but in the end, he’s really an ordinary guy who is very passionate about what he does! And with that, I’m going to make it one of my life goals to visit at least one of the houses he has shot.
Julius and his garden
(click thru photos for source)
The other night, I watched a French film titled “Un amour de jeunesse” or “Goodbye First Love”. To make the long story short, it’s about 15 year old Camille who struggles to part ways with her older boyfriend Sullivan as he wants to travel and explore the world. She is devastated at first, but during his 8-year absence she becomes a mature woman with ambitions. Camille is studying to become an architect and in one scene, she goes to Copenhagen to visit the Kastrup Søbad or the Kastrup Sea Baths. I instantly fell in love with this structure. I think it’s so beautifully designed and the architects’ take on open air pools show great innovation.
It was constructed in 2004 and was designed by White arkitekter. The project includes the main building on water, the new beach and separate lavatories.
The circular shape gives the structure its form and purpose from wind protection to interior concentration. It is built out of Azobe wood which is known for its durability in salt water.
What’s most important about this project is that it really caters to the public. Free admission and open to the public at all times, it even has ramps for those who are less mobile and who want to take interest in seeing the building as a whole. There are also facilities for various activities whether it may be for exercise or for a peaceful dip.
The lighting emphasizes the design while giving it a dramatic effect!