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Columbia University Digital Knowledge Ventures The Architecture and Development of New York City with Andrew S. Dolkart
image The Skyscraper City The International-Style Skyscraper
A Deceptively Simple Design
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The International-Style Skyscraper
A Deceptively Simple Design
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It looks so easy to design. Yet using these industrial materials in the most perfect proportions is such a difficult thing to carry off. You need to look at this building as if it were a Mondrian painting. It looks so easy, but it is so complex and so difficult to carry off in such a perfect way. The Lever company uses the building as an advertisement. Lever made soap and other cleanliness products, so what could be a better advertisement for the company than a transparent glass building shaped almost like a soap bar?

This building was a great marketing tool for Lever, which occupied it until the late 1990s, but it also established a new idea for corporate identity in America—not only for corporations whose names would be attached to buildings, like Lever or Seagram, but even for the speculative builders that would erect skyscrapers to imitate Lever House.

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