The book is expensive but worth reading for all aficionados of underrated modernist’s, but not brutalist’s architecture. Ossipoff incorporated the Japanese Zen kind of back to the basics minimalism with Hawaiian Lanais (lanai being an indoor roof covered space that is enclosed and weather protected) Ossipoff’s Honolulu airport building was my first glance back in the days.
Slowly Ossipoff is being recognized outside the pacific room, for what he was: a true Visionary. He finally needs to be named alongside other great ones like Eileen Grey, Walter Gropius, Frank Lloyd Wright, le Corbusier or today’s Kotaro Ide from ARTechnic architects in Japan.
What elevates Ossipoff from many, especially brutalist architects, is his humbleness and respect towards “Hawai’i” (“Ha” means breath, or breath of life. “Wai” means fresh water and for some adepts Mana or life force. And “I” means supreme.)
Ossipoff lived that thoroughly with his architecture by NEVER planing, designing and/or installing artificial air conditioning systems, until very late in his life, where he allowed a few to install AC in their bedrooms… His very spiritual Hawaiian vision that even in a house/Lanai, the Ha needs to flow through the house is breathtaking!
So “I live in the supreme Mana that rides on life’s breath” might have been his Mantra…
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