Via The Nonist:
Hugh Ferriss was the preeminent architectural draftsman of his time who through his moody chiaroscuro renderings of skyscrapers virtually inventing the image of Gotham visitors came to the city to see and residents identified with so fondly. As Michael Mallow puts it: “By the mid-twenties, renderings by Hugh Ferriss had become almost de rigeur for successful competition projects; countless skyscrapers waited their turn to be bathed in the dark monumentality emanating from his drafting table. In these works a blasé department store appears as a giant lording over its block. Stodgy hotels cease to be stodgy hotels and become looming silhouettes emerging from the urban haze like shipwrecks. Ferriss went to grand new lengths in suppressing detail for mood, and clients loved it.”
Here are some images from his 1929 book The Metropolis of Tomorrow:
Buildings like crystal.
Walls of translucent glass.
Sheer glass blocks sheeting a steel grill.
No Gothic branch.
No Acanthus leaf.
No recollections of the plant world.
A mineral kingdom.
Forms as cold as ice.
Night in the Science zone.
I wouldn’t say there is much in Hugh Ferriss’ work that I want to live in. A ‘mineral kingdom’ sounds sort of like something crossed between Krypton and the Land of Oz. Cold! And probably very sharp.