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The Story of Westbeth : Discovering the Abstract Lines of an Artists' Colony

Dahl, Per-Johan LU (2014) In Journal of Architecture 19(3). p.305-327
Abstract
This article takes the plan drawing of Richard Meier’s Westbeth Artists’ Colony in Greenwich Village as a lens through which to examine a chain of events that formalised what today is referred to as loft architecture. Westbeth was the first legal loft building in the USA. Approved by the local planning administration in March, 1968, and completed in May, 1970, the building was the successful culmination of almost two decades of attempts to legalise joint live and work spaces in Lower Manhattan. Meier used an ingenious drawing process to usher Westbeth through the complex of codes and regulations that prohibited loft developments. His drawing process implies scholarship both on the spatial configuration of loft architecture, and on the... (More)
This article takes the plan drawing of Richard Meier’s Westbeth Artists’ Colony in Greenwich Village as a lens through which to examine a chain of events that formalised what today is referred to as loft architecture. Westbeth was the first legal loft building in the USA. Approved by the local planning administration in March, 1968, and completed in May, 1970, the building was the successful culmination of almost two decades of attempts to legalise joint live and work spaces in Lower Manhattan. Meier used an ingenious drawing process to usher Westbeth through the complex of codes and regulations that prohibited loft developments. His drawing process implies scholarship both on the spatial configuration of loft architecture, and on the jurisdictional and financial procedures that often combine to hamper architectural design. This article has been developed accordingly: it traces the distribution of loft units in Westbeth to extrapolate some principles of loft architecture; it analyses the two domestic features that, through code, inhibited legalisation of loft architecture in the late 1960s, which were windows and bedrooms; and it synthesises these two domestic features through an analytical evaluation of Meier’s drawing. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Loft architecture, Westbeth, Richard Meier, Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, Building types
in
Journal of Architecture
volume
19
issue
3
pages
305 - 327
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • scopus:84902743044
ISSN
1360-2365
DOI
10.1080/13602365.2014.929160
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
cdf6b39e-1a8a-402a-9381-aa2d01cd8775
date added to LUP
2018-11-02 14:44:27
date last changed
2019-03-08 02:18:10
@article{cdf6b39e-1a8a-402a-9381-aa2d01cd8775,
  abstract     = {This article takes the plan drawing of Richard Meier’s Westbeth Artists’ Colony in Greenwich Village as a lens through which to examine a chain of events that formalised what today is referred to as loft architecture. Westbeth was the first legal loft building in the USA. Approved by the local planning administration in March, 1968, and completed in May, 1970, the building was the successful culmination of almost two decades of attempts to legalise joint live and work spaces in Lower Manhattan. Meier used an ingenious drawing process to usher Westbeth through the complex of codes and regulations that prohibited loft developments. His drawing process implies scholarship both on the spatial configuration of loft architecture, and on the jurisdictional and financial procedures that often combine to hamper architectural design. This article has been developed accordingly: it traces the distribution of loft units in Westbeth to extrapolate some principles of loft architecture; it analyses the two domestic features that, through code, inhibited legalisation of loft architecture in the late 1960s, which were windows and bedrooms; and it synthesises these two domestic features through an analytical evaluation of Meier’s drawing.},
  author       = {Dahl, Per-Johan},
  issn         = {1360-2365},
  keyword      = {Loft architecture,Westbeth,Richard Meier,Le Corbusier,Mies van der Rohe,Building types},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {06},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {305--327},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {Journal of Architecture},
  title        = {The Story of Westbeth : Discovering the Abstract Lines of an Artists' Colony},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13602365.2014.929160},
  volume       = {19},
  year         = {2014},
}