William Lescaze
Il Grattacielo PSFS a Philadelphia eil Modernismo Americano

By Alberto Muffato
December 2012
Distrubuted by Trans-Atlantic Publications Inc.
ISBN: 9788837086923
144 pages, Illustrated
$62.50 Paper original

 It sometimes happens that a reputation as an architect remains inextricably tied to a single work. This is the fate of William Lescaze (1896-1969) with the PSFS building, skyscraper built at the beginning of the thirties in Philadelphia, in partnership with George Howe (1886-1955). Built as Philip Johnson and Henry-Russell Hitchcock worked on the drafting of "The International Style", the PSFS immediately brought him international fame.In this building, for the first time in the United States, the avant-garde movements were applied to the American skyscraper, thanks to the collaboration between a professional Philadelphia - Howe - and a New York architect of Swiss origin - Lescaze. The study documents that the volume, the result of research carried out at the PhD in History of Architecture and Urban Planning at the IUAV of Venice, explores the history of the PSFS in relation to the formation of Zurich Lescaze and his contacts with the experiences of ' European avant-garde: the research group "ABC", the first CIAM, the work of Le Corbusier, architecture, Dutch and Russian.The study of contacts with Europe, in addition to clarifying the role of Lescaze in association with Howe, serves more generally to frame his work in the architectural landscape of the thirties. This research, then, shows the extent to which the outcome of the technological and formal PSFS is linked to the context of Philadelphia, and how much should the New York skyscraper.


Return to main page of Trans-Atlantic Publications