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The Swimmin’ Sixties: Donald Deskey Associates’ Undersea Lounge

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Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum  Search this
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Published Date:
Tue, 02 Oct 2018 14:00:06 +0000
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Object of the Day
Donald Deskey
mid-century design
Russell Heston
<img width="640" height="430" src="" class="attachment-large size-large wp-post-image" alt="Image features a design for an undersea lounge seen in elevation. Drawing mounted on presentation board with wide margin at right, superimposed by text label. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object." style="display: block; margin-bottom: 5px; clear:both;max-width: 100%;" srcset=" 700w, 300w, 170w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px" data-attachment-id="31450" data-permalink="" data-orig-file="" data-orig-size="1024,687" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{&quot;aperture&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;credit&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;camera&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;caption&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;created_timestamp&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;copyright&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;focal_length&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;iso&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;shutter_speed&quot;:&quot;0&quot;,&quot;title&quot;:&quot;&quot;,&quot;orientation&quot;:&quot;0&quot;}" data-image-title="267168_9c21e3bf38382261_b" data-image-description="&lt;p&gt;Design for an undersea lounge seen in elevation. Geodesic dome of double-glazed, tempered, and laminated glass and steel with pressurized interior. At left, tubular pressure chamber provides access to main level of underwater night club-restaurant wherein orange and green furnishings are utilized by sketchily rendered figures underneath crystalline light fixtures at left and right. At center, suspended spiral staircase provides access to two floating mezzanines, one at mid-height and the other near top of dome. Below dome, foundation set into sea bed; on this level, three rectangular rooms wherein back-of-house and mechanical service spaces are situated, lit by overhead can lights and occupied by additional figures. Outside, underwater atmosphere in jewel-tone pastel shimmers below sea level, indicated by white horizontal line, above which white clouds float in sky with cyan accents. Drawing mounted on presentation board with wide margin at right, superimposed by text label.&lt;/p&gt;" data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" />In the early twentieth century, designers often put their work out to sea. Le Corbusier, Swiss-French pioneer of modern architecture, wrote in his seminal 1931 treatise Towards A New Architecture that “a seriously-minded architect (…) will find in a steamship his freedom from an age-long but contemptible enslavement to the past.”[1] The next year, American...
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