Of course Amazon has it here.
(via the girl in the green dress + MoCo LoCo) – GF
But what about in the city? There is still sky and light to enjoy but not a lot of privacy and, although rooftops can be an awesome landscape to scan, street level can be ugly. I thought this was an ingenious solution to create space, light and privacy in a city home. It's kn House, by Kochi Architects Studio of Japan. (via the girl in the green dress) – GF
Given the resounding success of the Glass House’s public opening last summer—tours of Johnson’s compound are sold out almost a year in advance—and the increasingly mainstream appreciation of Modern architecture, the uncertain future of the Ball house surprises many observers. But Johnson scholar Hilary Lewis points out that other trends are at work.
“We’ve seen a resurgence of interest in Modern design, but there’s been a change in people’s attitude toward size,” Lewis explains. “Johnson’s houses are part of what makes New Canaan special, but they require a different kind of living. Philip [Johnson] was proof positive that you can live comfortably in less than 2,000 square feet.”
Size may indeed be part of the problem. The Alice Ball House has been on the market for six months, and while Parris notes that in the New Canaan market many houses take that long to sell, most buyers in the area are looking for “a five-bedroom Colonial.” With two bedrooms and tile floors, though, the Ball House isn’t exactly family friendly.
So here’s what I take from that:
Modern houses are trophies, particularly in New Canaan (as I wrote here, on my other blog). http://thissphere.blogspot.com/2006/11/collecting-modern-houses-supply.html
expensive houses, even in New Canaan, often take a long time to sell; the Alice Ball House has been on the market for less than a year.
rich people with families want big houses; many of the houses near the Alice Ball House, on Oenoeke Ridge Road, are obscenely big; the Alice Ball House is less than 2,000 square feet; there are plenty of rich people with no families who could happily live in the Alice Ball House as a weekend place.
And then there’s this:
According to Stover Jenkins, the author of The Houses of Philip Johnson, Johnson’s design for Alice Ball, a single woman in the conservative 1950s, was influenced by Mies Van der Rohe’s unbuilt Resor House. It features 10-foot ceilings, glass-enclosed living areas, and private bedroom and service areas.
“It’s a very rationalist house,” Jenkins says, adding that that its massing and siting give the composition the feeling of a romantic garden villa. “It’s not one of Johnson’s masterpieces, but it’s part of a collection of houses he designed in New Canaan. That collection is unique. When you start demolishing parts of a group, it’s like taking apart a community.”
it’s a nice house but it’s not a great beauty.
We tend to think of modern houses, or any notable works of architecture, as public cultural assets, and destroying them is an affront; but houses are owned by private individuals; few private individuals who buy a house would welcome the responsibility of owning something that is part of a unique collection of houses; it’s extremely unrealistic to expect any individual to be responsible for holding together a whole community of architecturally notable works.
The obvious exception to that last point is a situation where the “community” is a historic district, with standards for renovation and external (or even internal) changes; there are scores and scores of these – Providence, Nantucket, Old Harbor on Block Island, even the hamlet of Pound Ridge, in my town – but I don’t know of any historic districts that encompass modern houses.
Attitudes about modern houses are changing in New Canaan but it’s still virtually impossible to imagine the town creating a historic district of modern houses, of which there are about 80 still standing.
But the town isn’t the only entity capable of creating a historic district, and maybe isn’t even the best; private groups are trying to do it (here) but this Philip Johnson Glass House webpage, which explains the project, doesn’t seem to have been updated for at least seven months.
The Alice Ball House is not coming down today and it's not coming down tomorrow. The 90-day moratorium on demolition of the house expires today, which means that as soon as the owner is ready, it can be demolished (a couple of earlier posts about the situation are here and here).
The Alice Ball House was designed by Philip Johnson and sits, visible to all, on Oenoeke Ridge Road, in New Canaan, Connecticut. When it actually will come down, or even if it will, I can't say. But I'll have a better idea tomorrow morning.
Last week I asked the owner, Cristina Ross, if I could email her a few questions about her plans for the house and the property, and she responded by inviting us for a tour. We're meeting her there tomorrow morning. -- TA
Then, there is the Dog Bark Park Inn, in Cottonwood, Idaho, described as follows: Dog Bark Park Inn is a bed & breakfast guesthouse inside the World's Biggest Beagle. Guests enter the body of the beagle from a private 2nd story deck. Some of the dog's decorative furnishings are carvings by Dog Bark Park chainsaw artists Dennis & Frances. Inside and up another level to the head of the dog is a loft room with additional sleeping space plus a cozy alcove in the muzzle:
And the last (for now) needs no further description:
Iwan Baan's photos tell even more. (via – most recently – coolboom)
From nextroom, you can follow links to the website of the firms that look particularly enticing (since I'm most interested in single-family houses to see design ideas put into use, this link takes you to a list of them, but there are lists of industrial and public buildings and projects as well). Poking through all these entries and links - what a great way to spend a snowy afternoon! (photos below from K M Architektur)
What I didn't realize until now is that it has a connection to historical mid-century modern houses. Out in Palm Springs, officials are working on a new law that will list local places of historic significance. One of the potential sites, according to the Desert Sun ...
... the black and white mid-century modern house built by William Boyd, better known as Hopalong Cassidy, at 73-498 Joshua Tree St.
I'm going to dig around this weekend and see if I can find that watch (I know it's not with my Davy Crockett handkerchief). It alone might be a mid-century modern classic. I wonder what kind of house Roy Rogers and Dale Evans lived in?
Hopalong Cassidy's house might be significant in Palm Springs but it doesn't quite make it to the level of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But a lot of Frank Lloyd Wright's buildings might. Here's an excerpt from UNESCO's 2008 tentative list:
Wright (Frank Lloyd) Buildings,
These ten properties are among the most iconic, most intact, most representative, most innovative and most influential of the more than 400 Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) designs that have been erected. They span almost sixty years of his efforts to create an "organic architecture" that attracted widespread international attention and powerfully affected the course of modern architecture around the world as well as in the
* Taliesin West (1938),
* Hollyhock House (1919-21), Los Angeles, California
* Marin County Civic Center (1960-69), San Rafael, California
* Frederick C. Robie House (1908-10), Chicago, Illinois
* Unity Temple (1905-08), Oak Park, Illinois
* Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1956-59), New York, New York
* Price Tower (1953-56), Bartlesville, Oklahoma
* Fallingwater (1936-38), Mill Run, Pennsylvania
* S. C. Johnson and Son, Inc., Administration Building and Research Tower, Racine, Wisconsin (1936-39; 1943-50)
* Taliesin (1911 and later), Spring Green, Wisconsin
... Ms. Ross’ application still requires several documents before it can be acted upon.
In a call to the Advertiser Wednesday, Mr. Platz said he had not received notice that utilities had been disconnected; an asbestos manifest; verification that oil tanks have been removed, nor any demolition contractor’s certificate and insurance information.
While Ms. Ross’s submission of these elements are “routine, not insurmountable steps,” Mr. Jarboe said, he added, “It’s not coming down next week.”
That's when an automatic demolition moratorium expires (I had mistakenly reported that the moratorium expires on February 15). The house's owner, Cristina Ross, is in a dispute with the town over the use of the property and says the only way she can resolve it is to raze the house. Although many other modern houses in New Canaan have been destroyed, including at least one each designed by the other four members of the Harvard Five (Breuer, Noyes, Johansen and Gores), this would be the first Johnson house to be demolished.
The Alice Ball House continues to be on the market, but Gillian DePalo, who specializes in selling mid-century modern houses for William Raveis Agency, told me on Tuesday that there's no cause for optimism on that front.
Here's what the New Canaan News-Review reported today:
Provided that landowner Cristina Ross submits final paperwork, building inspector Brian Platz said he will hand out a demolition permit. Ross needs to give notice of Connecticut Light & Power shut off and documentation of an asbestos survey and any necessary abatement.
"When the 90 days is up and the owner gives me all the paperwork, then I'll process the application and issue the permit," Platz said in an interview with the News~Review. "Which doesn't mean she has to."
Read more here.
MIMOA is free and open for everyone to contribute: publish your projects, posts comments and ratings, define your personal favorites and keep track of the projects you’ve visited. All this personal information, reviews and opinions, define the current trends in architectural Europe.
MIMOA is intended for anyone interested in Modern Architecture, design, culture, photography, cities, Europe, travelling, visiting buildings, knowing how to get there, whether the project is public and what the opening hours are. You can make your own personal convenient architecture guide.
An interactive map lets you choose a city and shows how many projects entries there are - great for planning a trip and for keeping a record of your own travels and architectural observations. – GF
Read more about its other ecological attributes here, under "current research". It's called "watershed". via inhabitat – GF
I'm saving up for a subscription to this magazine, published out of Amsterdam. Here's a little of how they describe themselves:
A10 provides a concise and up-to-date survey of the latest developments in European architecture, from the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean Sea. A10 is compiled and published by architecture critic Hans Ibelings and graphic designer Arjan Groot. It has a network of over 70 correspondents throughout Europe, from Ireland to Turkey and from Portugal to Russia. Thanks to this pan-European network, A10 is often the first to take notice of a new project or building.
From the thumbnails on the website, it looks great - some fairly wacky architecture, interesting content, good photography well presented in a handsome, clean design. 6 issues a year cost 42.50 euros, or $63.37.
Also available now is their 2007 yearbook: In this book A10 presents an overview of the latest European architecture, with an extensive selection of twenty five projects previously featured in the magazine. In addition it contains four long essays: correspondents from Croatia, Estonia, Poland and Portugal reflect on the current state of architecture in their respective countries. Edited by Hans Ibelings and Kirsten Hannema / 160 pp. / €39.50 ($57.55). – GF
Mission Statement: Founded in 1982, Storefront for Art and Architecture is a nonprofit organization committed to the advancement of innovative positions in architecture, art and design. Our program of exhibitions, artists talks, film screenings, conferences and publications is intended to generate dialogue and collaboration across geographic, ideological and disciplinary boundaries. As a public forum for emerging voices, Storefront explores vital issues in art and architecture with the intent of increasing awareness of and interest in contemporary design. – GF
97 Kenmare Street
New York, NY 10012
Tuesday - Saturday 11 – 6. Closed Sunday + Monday
Then a couple of months ago I received an email from Pamela S. Gores, the widow of Landis Gores, one of New Canaan's Harvard Five architects. (She still lives in New Canaan, in the house he designed for them.) She was responding to something I had written about modern houses, sustainability and energy-efficiency:
The House For All Seasons designed by my husband, Landis Gores, included numerous energy conservation features, was demolished last year so that a larger house could be built upon the site.
Of course! That was the house I remembered, The House for All Seasons -- a house designed and built in the 1970s specifically to be energy-efficient. You can see pictures and diagrams at LandisGores.com, here.
What could be more perfect for the early years of the twenty-first century, when we need as much energy efficiency as we can get? And what could better epitomize attitudes in New Canaan, where they almost seem to be proud of destroying modern houses, than that a well-designed, energy-efficient house be razed in favor of this:
Our San Francisco home is also the first Idea House to rise in an urban setting. Which is part of the point: Until now, eco-friendly architecture has often been limited to the West's rural or exurban regions, where there's more space for new construction and potentially bulky energy systems. Our goal was to show that resource-savvy design can be just as appropriate in more densely populated cities and suburban neighborhoods. ...
But what makes the home truly groundbreaking are the eco-features it incorporates, some of them still in experimental stages. For example, hot water will be provided by rooftop tubes that collect solar energy, says Matt Golden, founder and CEO of Sustainable Spaces and a project consultant. The home's electricity will come from SunPower solar panels and a wind turbine installed in the backyard — a power source so unusual in San Francisco, the builder had to get a one-year provisional test permit before it could be installed. A high-tech resource-monitoring system will keep tabs on energy and water use.
Take a look, here. The house is open for tours (at $20 a pop) until later this month. I learned about it on Hatch, the blog of a company called Design Public, which seems to have furnished the house for the tour and is selling the stuff it furnished it with. -- TA
Anyone who is a fan of mid-century modern architecture and furniture must realize the paradox of looking back with longing and affection at the objects of an era whose key principle was optimism about looking forward into the future. That’s why it’s important when looking back to learn what the classical modernists were doing and adapt it to the needs for today (a paradox and an oxymoron in the same paragraph -- not bad).
This story, in Metropolis, examines a very new collaboration, between Interface Studio Architects, “a 29-year-old fledgling developer named Chad Ludeman, and a local custom-home builder, Level 5,” that wants to take the best characteristics of modernism and translate them into sustainable buildings in a part of Philadelphia that needs to be revitalized. Here’s an excerpt from the story, which was written by Karrie Jacobs:
Ludeman embarked on a research project, trying to figure out a way to build affordable, green Modern houses in his own neighborhood. He financed the new business by selling the house he and his wife had rehabbed. Ludeman decided he didn’t want to go the fashionable prefab route but preferred to start a “stock-houses program” that would allow buyers to choose from a small inventory of designs, much like KB Homes or Toll Brothers. He thought his best bet was to use structural insulated panels (SIPs), a common cut-to-order wall, floor, or roof component. And he wanted to build these houses on a budget of $100,000. They would be small—1,000 to 1,200 square feet. (The average American house hit 2,300 square feet last year.) Ludeman's blog—yes, he’s blogging his way through the process—lists some arguments for the small dimensions: “Homeowners will be able to say things like, ‘I can fit five of my houses in your McMansion,’ or ‘My house is smaller than your garage.’ ”
Assuming they make it through Philly’s permit process, the collaborators are planning to put their first two 100K Houses on a lot in Kensington in early 2008. The houses will be Modern in style and built with recycled materials, state-of-the-art insulation and seals, passive solar heating, and Energy Star appliances, all points eligible for LEED-for-homes certification. “More aggressive greening is offered as an add-on,” Phillips notes. The houses will be oriented so that a photovoltaic array could be added in the future. One of them will be roughly 1,035 square feet with two bedrooms, which Ludeman hopes to price at about $215,000. The other will be a slightly larger two-bedroom that will sell for $245,000. “Hopefully, I’ll make a little bit of money so that my wife doesn’t tell me I have to close down my business,” he says.
It’s called the $100,000 house, and someone (Ludeman, I think) is blogging about it, here. It's small-time stuff and by itself it's not going to stop the sea-level rise of mcmansionism, but it's a start. -- TA
Here are some photos I took yesterday, showing an otherwise ordinary-looking stone wall, and then the boulders, from east to west.
In "Wall," a book of photos of Goldsworthy’s wall sculptures, Kenneth Baker writes that Three Roadside Boulders …
… explicitly evokes the burden it must have been to early farmers of the area to have new stones perennially surfacing. … a long stretch of dry-stone wall is abruptly interrupted by a gap that looks at first like a gateway. In fact, the gap is a set-back section of wall within which a single giant boulder appears to levitate. Two others like it stand farther along the wall. In each of them, a massive boulder sits, above ground, embedded in a ribbing of vertical slate slabs. The buff-colored boulders (found by Goldsworthy when they were uncovered on a construction site nearby) stand out against the dark gray slate like gemstones in settings, although he says he chose the boulders for their form, not their contrasting color.
I don't know who lives behind the wall of Three Roadside Boulders, or whether the owner now is the person who commissioned it. Land records list the owner as a company rather than an individual. What's the connection with modern houses? None really. Bedford isn't as well known for its modern houses as New Canaan, or even Pound Ridge, although there are a handful in the neighborhood. But the house behind Goldsworthy's wall isn't visible. -- TA
It looks substantially the same on the outside. It was built though as a weekend cottage for use in the fall and spring, so the inside has been changed several times to accommodate it for year-round (and family) use.
Shortly after it was built, Samuel Gottscho (or his partner, William Schleisner) photographed it, inside and out. You can see their photos by going to this page, clicking on "Moore and Hutchins," and then clicking around until you find the Willcox house. The house Moore designed for himself is also pictured; it's next door to us. -- TA
via Architecture Talk
I've always been enamored of very old buildings (mostly in Europe) whose interiors have been renovated and given a modern look with a clean, and open feel. Formerly barns, "working" buildings, or just ancient houses, they're often painted pristine white inside, and outfitted with unobtrusive recessed lighting, and the original stonework and centuries-old structural wood elements are revealed. So sensible and soothing, I almost forget to be amazed at how perfectly the 2 architectural languages work together!
I can click through the samples of architects' work on this website for hours, especially the Swiss ones. Here are some pix or work from a favorite firm, Markus Wespi Jérôme de Meuron architekten. I adore this house. – GF
via Mid-Century Modern Interiors
Before we started this blog, I used to write often about modern houses on my other blog. Some frequent topics: Modern House Day in New Canaan, Philip Johnson’s Alice Ball House, the teardown phenomenon, Paul Rudolph’s Micheels House, the Harvard Five (Johnson, Breuer, Eliot Noyes, John Johansen and Landis Gores), Edward Durrell Stone’s Celanese House, the Glass House, John Black Lee, Gores’s pavilion in Irwin Park, and our own house in Pound Ridge, which was designed by Moore and Hutchins.
If you’re interested, you can read about them by clicking here and scrolling and clicking around further. But come back, please. -- TA
Goldberg worked for Eliot Noyes (whose own house, on Country Club Road, is also a move-in-tomorrow house), heading Noyes’s firm’s architecture division, where he was noted for designing Mobil gas stations (among many other things – check out this story, from New Canaan-Darien magazine to get an idea of the range of his interests).
This came to mind this morning when I came across an ad for a house on
I realize that’s gossipy and maybe not relevant to the design of the Farnsworth House, but it made me at least raise my eyebrows in amusement when I watched a really interesting four-minute video tour of the Farnsworth House on a blog called Mid-Century Modern Interiors. I don’t know who produced it or who the host and narrator is, but it’s well-done and informative. In it, the host refers to the house as being “a difficult and adversarial collaboration between a driven client and unyielding architect.”
An unyielding architect? I inferred from John Black Lee that Edith Farnsworth’s interest in Mies was unrequited. Maybe it had to be for Mies to concentrate on producing what the narrator of the video calls a work of art.
Take a look at the video, here. -- TA
Has anyone reading this ever stayed here? After 2 visits on consecutive days to the Clark Museum in Williamstown, MA, we stopped by Field Farm on our way back home to see what a modernist B+B might be like. It was a snowy afternoon exactly a year ago and it was closed, but we peered in the windows.
Oddly, the B+B itself doesn't have its own URL. To see photos and read the description, go here and click on "Historic B&Bs" in the lower right corner. The Guest House at Field Farm, 554 Sloan Road, Williamstown, MA, is the second entry down. I'd be interested to hear what it's really like inside. – GF
Front Architects says on its website (after you switch from their Polish to English), that these pre-fab dwellings are Inspired by a city billboard, it is designed as an object suitable for almost every place on earth. It is especially predisposed for sites of an interesting landscaping. For instance forests, seas, lakes, mountains, meadows - but, on the other hand, just next to the main city street. Very, very cool. (via inhabitat) – GF
Maybe people unaware that pre-fabricated houses are an option to be considered, or perhaps when they hear "pre-fab" still think "trailer park"? Maybe they assume they are allowed no choices to personalize their home?
Whatever it could be, there will be lots to be learned when The Museum of Modern Art begins assembling 5 pre-fab dwellings in a vacant lot next to it, on West 53rd Street, NYC. The show, called "Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling", opens on July 20, but house parts begin to arrive late May, early June. The delivering and assembling of the houses are important parts of the exhibition and will be completely viewable to passers-by. This article in today's New York Times says that, beginning mid-March, the architects of each house will record progress the fabrication through completion on a blog at MoMA's website. The houses will be accessible to visitors when the exhibition opens in July.
Although I'm disappointed that neither of these prominent pre-fab architects - Rocio Romero and Michelle Kaufmann - made it into the chosen 5 (from a starting pool of 400 architects!). They are favorites of mine and I hope they are well represented in the exhibition inside the museum. – GF
The full title of his book is The Harvard Five in New Canaan: Mid-century Modern Houses by Marcel Breuer, Landis Gores, John Johansen, Philip Johnson, Eliot Noyes, and Others.
It’s a bit of an odd book because there’s hardly anything written by the author – just a brief introduction and a handful of short captions. But it includes terrific photos of a number of New Canaan’s modern houses, and it reprints a really good essay, called “New Canaan Modern: The Beginning 1947-1952,” written by Jean Ely and published in 1967 in the New Canaan Historical Society Annual.
What also struck me was to see in black and white the partial documentation of New Canaan’s shameful history of allowing significant modern houses to be razed. It is the history of knocking down modern houses and replacing them, presumably, with obnoxious mcmansions (New Canaan allows 18th and 19th century farmhouses to suffer the same fate too, so it’s not just a modern house issue).
Earls has photos of eight such houses:
Noyes house, designed by Eliot Noyes in 1947: “The house has been demolished.”
Kniffen house, by Noyes and Marcel Breuer, 1949: “The house has been demolished.”
Johansen house, designed by John Johansen, 1949: “The house has been demolished.”
Mills house, designed by Breuer, 1949: “The house has been demolished.”
Dunham house, designed by Johansen, 1950: “The house has been demolished.”
Stackpole house, designed by Noyes, 1951: “The house has been demolished.”
Riley house, designed by Chauncey Riley, 1952: “The house has been demolished.”
Goode house, designed by Johansen, 1953: “The house has been demolished.”
It is both eye-opening and sad. -- TA
Supposedly it's open to the public but non-New Canaan residents sometimes get hassled by the cops when they try to go to Waveny. Details of the talk are here. Someone should pay more attention to non-Harvard Five architects in New Canaan, no?
The whole house has been redesigned for the conservation-minded. Although the windows facing the marsh have been made much bigger, they are certainly more efficient than the tiny ones that inexplicably offered only a peek at the marsh and the tree-covered point beyond. The existing fireplace has been kept; the architects envision geothermal heating, solar collectors and scads of insulation.
I laughed at this part:
“If the phragmites are cut down,” Mr. Grover said, “you could put in a walk to the dock.”
Sure. Phragmites probably should be cut down, but convincing the local wetlands commission to let you do so and then put a walk through the wetlands would take longer than getting the house built.
Here's the story. Click on the slideshow, on the left side of the Times page, for a good look and some interesting audio from one of the architects, William Grover. -- TA
What called it to mind was a list that I came upon recently on a site called LottaLiving.com of 50 houses designed by modern architects for themselves. The houses are from all over and include three in New Canaan – the Glass House, Breuer’s house on Sunset Hill Road, and Eliot Noyes’s house (the other two-fifths of New Canaan’s Harvard Five – Landis Gores and John Johansen – were omitted). Nineteen of the 50 are (or were) in California, six in Illinois, and three each in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Florida. I’ve been in four of the 50: Breuer, Noyes, the Gropius house in Lincoln, Mass., and the Franzen house in Rye, N.Y. Take a look at all 50, here (there are a lot of good pictures). -- TA
I found this today - no room for "sgrafitto" façade decoration here . . . It's all glass!
You can get a good look at this German company's offerings here: http://www.huf-haus.com/de/intro.html
On January 14 there are two meetings in New Canaan at which she can learn how she might be eligible for a nice income tax deduction if she protects the house with a historic easement. the money she saves in income taxes might be enough to let her keep the house on the market for a while longer, until a buyer appears who appreciates the house's historic value. Amy Grabowski of the Glass House sent me the media alert. Here's part of what it says:
This workshop will explain how to use preservation and conservation easements to protect historic properties in Connecticut and surrounding areas, using the abundance of New Canaan modernist buildings as a case study. Open to homeowners, real estate agents, historical societies, and preservation organizations across the state of Connecticut, this workshop will share the common components of easements, what to expect as the owner of an easement property, and what potential tax benefits are associated with the donation of an easement.
Representatives from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, and Historic New England, will provide information on their preservation easement programs. Following the presentation, there will be a Q + A session as well as one-on-one consultations with participating organizations.
The meetings are at the New Canaan Historical Society. There's an afternoon session and an evening session. The hosts are the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, New Canaan Historical Society, the Northeast Office of the National Trust, and the Philip Johnson Glass House. RSVP to Marty Skrelunas, the Glass House, 203.594.9884 or email@example.com.
I happen to work for an organization that uses conservation easements as the foundation for its land preservation work. I can attest that when the conservation values are legitimate and well-documented, the tax deduction allowed by the IRS can be significant. I assume the situation is the same for an easement that protects a historic house.
I hope Cristina Ross and lots of other in New Canaan (and why not Pound Ridge, which has its own supply of modern houses) think about taking advantage of it. -- TA
We think that at their best, modern houses are beautiful, warm, inviting, and efficient in ways that are important in an era when energy consumption should be declining. And we think modern furniture and other objects are beautiful and functional, even when they’re not in modern houses.
What do we mean by “modern houses”? Generally we mean houses that were built from roughly the 1930s to the 1960s (our was built in 1939). Houses that are characterized by flat or gently-sloping roofs, an efficient use of interior space, a rejection of ornamentation for the sake of ornamentation, a connection (usually through large expanses of glass) with the natural world, and a sensitivity to the environmental conditions of the site they are built on – again, generally. But not always. Fantastic houses with a modern sensibility were built in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s, and are being built today (although not many).
Unfortunately many more are being knocked down, to be replaced by cookie-cutter monstrosities. This is particular issue in
Our goal is to write not only about modern houses that are threatened, but also about particularly interesting ones that aren’t, about the architects who designed them and, if we can, about the people who live in them – and also about the sensibility that informs them.
Modernism was a good model for domestic architecture in the middle of the 20th century, and we think it can be a good model for the early 21st too.