American modernist architect Albert C. Ledner died at age 93 in November 2017 in the USA. His family had just recently completed and shown a documentary about his life: “Designing Life: The Modernist Architecture of Albert C. Ledner”.Albert Ledner who had worked until recently was best known for his unusual designs and use of materials. He had a strong sense of aesthetics and geometry that can be seen in the over 40 projects that he constructed – predominantely in New Orleans where he had lived most of his life.
However, probably his best-known work are buildings that were commissioned in Manhattan, New York, by the National Maritime Union. They stand out with their windows that remind of ships’ portholes and America’s naval past.
Albert Ledner had studied at Tulane School of Architecture in the 40s, but had to interrupt his pursuit of architectural studies due to WWII when he served in Arizona. During that time, he had the chance to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home in Taliesin West, Arizona.
Upon graduating in 1948, he drove to Wisconsin to join Wright as an apprentice in his summer estate near Spring Green. Ledner didn’t stay there until he was completely awestruck by Wright and his work, although a strong influence is undeniable. He went there “to find freedom in the lessons” according to Barry Bergdoll, professor of art history and archeology at Columbia University and a curator of the Museum of Modern Art.
Throughout his working life, Albert Ledner stayed independent and didn’t limit himself to a single style. His buildings and structures are easily recognizable due to their odd shapes, forms, and angles.
Source: some photos are courtesy of New York Times, dezeen, and Designing Life: the modernist architecture of Albert C. Ledner.