Friday, March 6, 2009

MARSHALL FIELD. Louis Comfort Tiffany

Observation brings conjecture.

Walking from the 13 story atrium to the Tiffany Dome along the grand arcade of Marshall Field & Company on State Street, I feel as though I have passed from the nineteenth to the twentieth century. The atrium near Randolph Street is a void, with a clear expression of slab and column (albeit the columns are ionic) and open to the sky. I am reminded of photos of nineteenth century buildings - solid on the outside with a tracery of structure and skylight on the interior. (The Rookery, also from Burnham's office is similar in concept.) The Tiffany space, on the other hand, becomes space defined by surfaces, more finely detailed, and reminiscent of the Great Rooms to be seen later in early twentieth century banks, museums and railroad stations.

Regardless of time or conjecture it takes only a couple of minutes, looking straight up to the Vault, to fully understand "FAVRILE." Six thousand square feet and one million, six hundred thoousand pieces of glass mosaic.

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