Building a Wardrobe: Mid-Century Architect Style

Architects are generally an international type, the sort who work in minimalist offices with Scandinavian furniture. But during Ivy’s heyday, many of them wore soft-spoken and soft-shouldered suits, even while radically remaking urban skylines.

Above, at the 1957 International Building Exhibition in Berlin, Hugh A. Stubbins relaxes while articulating his vision, the epitome of nerd-chic (click images for hi-res version).

Below, Architect Gordon Bunshaft, designer of the Connecticut General Life Insurance Company building, enjoys a smoke while looking proud of a job well done:

Here is Edward D. Stone at his office, looking regal and composed. Note the pleated sack suit and the obligatory horn-rimmed spectacles, standard issue for modernist architects:

Max Abramovitz, designer of the Lincoln Center Philharmonic Hall, surveying his creation in oxford-cloth buttondown:

While discussing his design for the UN headquarters, Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer shows an early iteration of the natural-shoulder look, circa 1947:

Hollywood architect and inventor of the concrete “bubble house,” Wallace Neff combines soft flannel with a hard gaze, circa 1941:

And finally, Le Corbusier caught in a burst of creative energy:

— ZACHARY DELUCA

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