Twenty Something Sullivan

“Turn of the century American architect Louis H. Sullivan has often been recognized as being the “father of skyscrapers” as well as the father of architectural modernism. Despite these recognitions, however, many of his actual architectural edifices and buildings no longer stand, as many were demolished in the post-war years as part of the urban renewal effort in the United States. While it is no longer possible to view all his designs as erected buildings walking through a city, thanks to the efforts of a group of architecture academics and enthusiasts it is now possible to peruse elements of his architecture in a 3D printed book!”

“Tom Burtonwood creates 3D printed books of dimensional, public domain architectural elements: in 2013, he made Orihon and in 2014 he made Folium, which featured work from Ancient Egypt to Louis Sullivan department store decorations. Now he’s released a new work: “Twenty Something Sullivan.”

Tom writes, “Twenty Something Sullivan is a collaboration with City of Chicago Cultural Historian Tim Samuelson and features nine 3D scans of hitherto lost Louis H. Sullivan architectural ornament produced early in his career – hence the title of the book. It is a circular book – which is a little unusual – but necessary in order to show off the scans in high relief as Sullivan intended them to be seen. Each page is connected to two 3D printed print-in-place bearings that rotate around a central spine. The bearings are printed in ‘woodfill’ to emphasize the intersection between the old + the new.”

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