A few months ago I came across a book at the CCA bookstore called Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia, that has subsequently started an obsession. I was already aware of, and in love with, a number of structures that fall into this category of architecture, or more often, anti-architecture, but hadn't considered the connections between them. From The Sea Ranch to The Integratron, idealistic structures built on radical ways of living, instead of structure or rules, feed a very specific part of my brain. Antti Levag, like Buckminster Fuller, most likely didn't identify as a hippie, but his freestyle approach to building for the human form totally aligns with their ideals and inspirations.
Levag is a little known architect responsible for one incredibly iconic building. Palais Bulles, in Cannes, is often referred to as the Pierre Cardin House and is often misattributed to the fashion designer, who became its second owner, instead of the actual architect. Levag designed the sprawling, bubbling, compound completely freeform, without construction plans or models, building wire framing as they went and then coating it in concrete. Like many architects associated with Utopian Architecture, Levag built without right angles, using undulating and swooping forms instead, creating a beautiful and almost grotesque mansion. " Human beings have confined themselves to cubes full of dead ends and angles that impede our movement and break our harmony. The straight line is an aggressor against nature."