Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Architect John C. Portman

On Friday, John C. Portman died, at the age of 93. I had not heard of him until today, when I learned of his deathand life—on NPR. But I know his work, somewhat. I've stood in the inner atrium of his Hyatt Regency hotel in San Francisco marveling. That—the atrium—is an architectural feature he is especially known for: also at Los Angeles's Westin Bonaventure, Atlanta's Peachtree Center, Detroit's Renaissance Center, the Marriott Marquis in New York, variously in Asia, and so many other places.

Last year, a book, Portman's America & Other Speculations, was published, full of photos of his work. 

He's criticized for creating concrete islands, cut off from the flow of humanity. His buildings make me think of Blade Runner. But design-wise, they sure are beautiful. Here are a few images I found by googling. To be able to think that big!

Hyatt Regency, San Francisco
AmericasMart Building 3, Atlanta
Marriott Marquis, Atlanta
Bonaventure, Los Angeles
Shandong Hotel, Jinan, China

Marriott Marquis, Atlanta
The Renaissance Center, Detroit
Marriott Marquis, Times Square, NYC
More modest architecture: Entelechy I, a home designed
for his family, in Sea Island, Georgia (1964)

And as a side note, it turns out we shared a birthday: he was born exactly thirty years before me. There's serendipity for ya. Plus, he was married for seventy-three years. That is a long marriage. RIP, Mr. Portman.

No comments:

Post a Comment