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Stanley Saitowitz
"THE ESSENTIAL MEDIUM OF ARCHITECTURE IS SPACE. A VOID TO BE FILLED WITH LIFE." (SAITOWITZ) THIS IS WHAT STANLEY SAITOWITZ HAS COME TO BELIEVE AFTER HIS 20 PLUS YEARS AS AN ARCHITECT. THERE IS NOT MUCH HISTORY RECORDED ABOUT THIS PECULIAR ARCHITECT. WHAT WE DO KNOW IS THAT HE IS A SOUTH AFRICAN JEWISH ARCHITECT. HE STARTED HIS CAREER OFF BUILDING SMALL HOMES IN SOUTH AFRICA. HIS MOST FAMOUS EARLY PROJECT IS THE TRANSVAAL HOUSE, FOR WHICH HE LATER WROTE A BOOK ON. ( A HOUSE IN TRANSVAAL, SAITOWITZ 1979) IN THE EARLY EIGHTYS HE MOVED TO THE LUSH HILLS OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WHERE MANY OF HIS MASTERPIECES RESIDE AS WELL. HIS WORKS ALTHOUGH SCATTER THE HILLSIDES IN NORHTERN CALIFORNIA, ARE ALSO SCATTERED ACROSS THE COUNTRY AS WELL AS INTERNATIONALLY. HIS PROJECTS SPAN IN CERTAIN PLACES SUCH AS BOSTON, COLUMBUS INDIANA, NEW YORK, SAN FRANSISCO AND THE BAY AREA, AND BERLIN. FROM WHAT WE KNOW SAITOWITZ ATTENDED THE UNIVERSITY OF WITWATERSRAND IN JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA.

SAITOWITZ’S ROLE MODELS INCLUDE VICTOR HUGO, SOL WEXNER, SIGMUND FREUD AND LE COURBUSIER. SAITOWITZ STATES THAT HE IS "ALWAYS DREAMING ABOUT WHAT LE CORBUSIER WOULD BE DOING TODAY." CORBUSIER’S INFLUENCE CAN BE SEEN IN MANY OF SAITOWITZ’S WORK INCLUDING EXPOSED CONCRETE SURFACES AND SEPERATED STAIR WELLS, AS WELL AS MANY SPACE USAGES AND CURTAIN WALL CONSTRUCTION.

ONE OF MY FAVORITE PROJECTS OF SAITOWITZ’S IS THE HOLLOCAUST MEMORIAL. THIS MEMORIAL CONSISTS OF SIX GLASS TOWERS; EACH ETCHED WITH ONE MILLION NUMBERS, SYMBOLIZING THE 6 MILLION INNOCENT JEWS THAT PERISHED UNDER THE EVIL HANDS OF THE NAZIS. THIS IS LOCATED ALONG FREEDOM WAY IN BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS. FOR THIS HE EARNED THE HENRY BACON MEDAL, AN HONOR ONLY GIVEN TO 8 PREVIOUS ARCHITECTS SINCE ITS INCEPTION IN 1966 AFTER THE ARCHITECT OF THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL. EACH OF THE BOHEMOTH GLASS TOWERS SITS ASIDE A PIT LIT WITH FIBER-OPTIC LIGHT AND A STEAM GENERATOR. SAITOWITZ STATES THAT "SOME PEOPLE THINK THE PITS OF FIRE SYMBOLIZE THE SIX NAZI DEATH CAMPS, OTHERS FEEL THAT THE WARM AIR RISING UP FROM THE GROUND IS LIKE THAT OF HUMAN BREATH AS IT PASSES THROUGH THE GLASS CHIMNEYS TO HEAVEN." THIS IS VERY SIGNIFICANT TO ME BECAUSE MANY OF MY FAMILY MEMBERS PERISHED LONG BEFORE I WAS BORN IN THE HANDS OF THE NAZIS. MY GRANDPARENTS STILL BEAR THE LIFELONG SCARS, THE TATTOO ENGRAVED ON THEIR ARMS ARE LIFE-LONG REMINDERS OF THE MASS DESTRUCTION OF LIFE THAT OCCURRED IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR.

SOME OF HIS OTHER WORKS INCLUDE THE BERLIN LIBRARY(1990) IN WHICH HE "IMAGINES THE LIBRARY AS A COLLECTIVE BRAIN, A SHARED MENTALITY.(SAITOWITZ) ANOTHER SPECTACULAR PROJECT IS THE CALIFORNIA MUSUEM OF PHOTOGRAPHY.(1990) THE BUILDING IS SHAPED LIKE A CAMERA. " THE CALIFORNIA MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHY IS A CAMERA IN WHICH PEOPLE ARE THE FILM." (SAITOWITZ)

I BELIEVE SAITOWITZ IS AN ECCLECTI C MAN WITH ODD, YET INTERESTING STYLE. HE BEST STATES HIS MAJOR PHILOSOPHIES AS " I DON’T LIKE TO THINK OF ARCHITECTURE AS ART BECAUSE IT OBJECTIFIES IT, AND WORSE, MAKES IT VISUAL." I DON’T NESCISARILY AGREE WITH THIS PRINCIPAL BUT IF WE ALL HAD THE SAME IDEAS OF WHAT ARCHITECTURE WOULD BE A VERY MUNDANE WORLD TO LIVE IN. SAITOWITZ GOES ON TO STATE "ARCHITECTURE IS CEREMONY…YET OUR AIM SEEMS TO BE TO MAKE THINGS CHEAPER, WITH GREATER PROFIT RATHER THEN IMPROVE QUALITY AND REDUCE COST." THIS I THOROUGHLY AGREE WITH AND I SEE IT EVERYDAY AT WORK AND IN MY OWN PERSONAL LIFE. EVERYBODY IS TOO EMBEDDED IN HIS OR HER PHILOSOPHIES OF MAKING MONEY AS THEIR NUMBER ONE GOAL IN LIFE. " I WANTED TO DISSOLVE WALLS, TO ERODE SYMBOLS, TO EXPOSE UNCONSCIOUS HABITS." THIS IS A GREAT FEAT TO BE ACOMPLISHED BY ANY ARCHITECT AND I THINK STANLEY SAITOWITZ HAS DONE WELL.

I LEAVE YOU WITH A QUOTE FROM SAITOWITZ FOR YOU TO PONDER ABOUT AND THE DECISION TO AGREE ABOUT THIS STATEMENT IS PURELY UP TO YOU. "ARCHITECTURE HAS ONLY THREE LETTERS IN ITS ALPHABET: PLATFORM, WALL, AND ROOF. DO YOU AGREE WITH THIS STATEMENT? IM SURE IF YOU ASK ANY DIFFERENT ARCHITECT YOU WILL GET A DIFFERENT ANSWER EVERY TIME. ARCHITECTURE IS BUILT UPON PEOPLE’S IDEAS AND THAT’S WHAT MAKES IT SUCH A BEAUTIFUL PLACE., AS LONG AS PEOPLE HAVE BEAUTIFUL IDEAS.

10 PROJECTS BY SAITOWITZ:

1. CHABAD HOUSE (1982) BERKELY, CALIFORNIA.

2. SINAI MEMORIAL CHAPEL (1993) BERKELY, CALIFORNIA

3. BERLIN LIBRARY (1988)

4. CALIFORNIA MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHY (1990)

5. MILL RACE (1993) CITY PARK IN COLUMBUS, INDIANA

6. NEW ENGLAND HOLLOCAUST MEMORIAL (1996) BOSTON

7. ANGELO ORPHAN RESIDENCE (1992) LOS GATOS, CA.

8. TRANSVAAL HOUSE (1978) SOUTH AFRICA

9. MC DONALD RES. (1989) STINSON BEACH, CA.

10. GREWAL RES. (1989) OAKLAND CA.
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Stanley Saitowitz. EssayMania.com. Retrieved on 11 Oct, 2010 from