More Humane: An Architectural Memoir
Story & Pictures, Oct 10, 2018 - 157 pages
More Humane, An Architectural Memoir, by Lou Naidorf, FAIA and AIA Lifetime Achievement recipient, is the first and only extended narrative about Naidorf's sixty-year architectural career and the innovative, award-winning projects he designed as a key member of the historic, Los Angeles based Welton Becket firm.Naidorf recounts many of the design choices and challenges of his projects; reveals his unique, people centric design philosophy; and includes vignettes about project clients.Each chapter is about a specific project, beginning with his most iconic and internationally recognizable design, created at age of 23, of the Hollywood Capitol Records building, which was proclaimed a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 2007 (it was not designed to resemble a stack of records; Naidorf wasn't even allowed to know the client name until after he completed the design) . Other chapters include: the futuristic Dallas Hyatt Regency Hotel and Reunion Tower (as iconic to Texans as the Capitol Records Tower is to L.A.); Houston's Exxon Building (built originally for Humble Oil, then the largest American oil company); the Phoenix Chase Tower (originally Valley Bank and for decades the tallest building west of the Mississippi); and the California State Capitol Building restoration project (at the time, the largest renovation project in U.S. history).Between chapters, Naidorf includes two-page sections, titled Influencers, about people who made a lasting impact on his life and career. The last chapter is about his proudest accomplishment: his time with California's Woodbury University and the creation of its now nationally recognized architectural program.
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As a fan of mid-century structures I found this book to be both impressive for its body of work as well as captivating for its insightful guided journey through Mr. Naidorf’s career. The contents of the book clearly match the title. From designing iconic structures as an architect to the development of young minds as an educator, Naidorf’s career has left a significant and lasting legacy that will continue to advance the profession of architecture and kindly greet habitants of his designs for years to come. I highly suggest this book for everyone’s architecture library as well for those looking to take a journey through the design process that helped shape most of our modern cities.