Hawaiian Modern

The Architecture of Vladimir Ossipoff

Dean Sakamoto and Karla Britton; Foreword by Kenneth Frampton; With Don J. Hibbard, Spencer Leineweber, and Marc Treib

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An illuminating study of the architecture of one of the 20th century’s most important tropical modernists

At the forefront of the postwar phenomenon known as tropical modernism, Vladimir Ossipoff (1907–1998) won recognition as the “master of Hawaiian architecture.” Although he practiced at a time of rapid growth and social change in Hawai`i, Ossipoff criticized large-scale development and advocated environmentally sensitive designs, developing a distinctive form of architecture appropriate to the lush topography, light, and microclimates of the Hawaiian islands.

This book is the first to focus on Ossipoff’s career, presenting significant new material on the architect and situating him within the tropical modernist movement and the cultural context of the Pacific region. The authors discuss how Ossipoff synthesized Eastern and Western influences, including Japanese building techniques and modern architectural principles. In particular, they demonstrate that he drew inspiration from the interplay of indoor and outdoor space as advocated by such architects as Frank Lloyd Wright, applying these to the concerns and vernacular traditions of the tropics. The result was a vibrant and glamorous architectural style, captured vividly in archival images and new photography. As the corporate projects and private residences that Ossipoff created for such clients as IBM, Punahou School, Linus Pauling, Jr., and Clare Boothe Luce surpass their fiftieth anniversaries, critical assessment of these structures, offered here by distinguished scholars in the field, will illuminate Ossipoff’s contribution to the universal challenge of making architecture that is delightfully particular to its place and durable over time.

Dean Sakamoto, principal of Dean Sakamoto Architects LLC, is critic in design and director of exhibitions at the Yale School of Architecture. Karla Britton is lecturer in architectural history at the Yale School of Architecture. Kenneth Frampton is Ware Professor of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University. Don J. Hibbard is an architectural historian, based in Hawai`i. Spencer Leineweber is professor and director of the Heritage Center at the School of Architecture, University of Hawai`i, Manoa. Marc Treib is professor of architecture at the University of California, Berkeley.


Honolulu Academy of Arts, Hawaii (November 29, 2007 – January 27, 2008)

Yale School of Architecture, New Haven (Fall 2008)

Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt (Spring 2009)

ISBN: 9780300121469
Publication Date: January 28, 2008
Publishing Partner: Published in association with the Honolulu Academy of Arts
304 pages, 9 1/2 x 10 1/2
243 b/w + 36 color illus.
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