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Hawaiian Modern: The Architecture of Vladimir Ossipoff at Yale Art and Architecture Gallery


NEW HAVEN, CT.- At the forefront of the postwar phenomenon known as tropical modernism, Vladimir Ossipoff (1907–1998) won recognition as the “master of Hawaii modern architecture.” Born in Russia and raised in Japan, Ossipoff was instrumental in transforming the built landscape of Hawaii from a territorial plantation outpost to a modern U.S. state. While prolific, with more than 1,000 completed projects, he was critical of overdevelopment and recognized the need for sustainable design as early as the 1960s.

Ossipoff created a distinctive form of place-sensitive architecture appropriate to the lush topography, light and microclimates of the Hawaiian Islands. His synthesis of Eastern and Western influences, including Japanese building techniques and modern architectural principles, drew inspiration from the interplay of indoor and outdoor space, which he applied to the specific concerns and characteristics of the tropics.

“Ossipoff incorporated the unique culture and environment of Hawaii into his designs. The impact of his work has never been studied in such a thoughtful and conclusive manner,” said Honolulu Academy of Arts Director Stephen Little. “This exhibition examines this extraordinary architect’s immense contributions to Pacific Island architecture."

Organized by the Honolulu Academy of Arts, Hawaiian Modern: The Architecture of Vladimir Ossipoff is guest-curated and designed by Dean Sakamoto






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