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Style vs style

IS MODERN A STYLE? OR IS IT JUST WHAT IS CURRENT? As I developed my inspiration board for the Lescaze townhouse I was drawn to rich neutral materials and design classics of the period. My natural instincts for bold accents were challenged at every turn. How could I bring my own style while respecting The International Style?

It turns out that many of the modernist architects classified as the "International Style" really hated the term. Calling it a style implies that any design element could be picked up and applied to something else. But to them, it wasn't about a style; it was strong, appropriate, timely design. So it makes sense that these "modernist" ideas have stayed, well, modern for so long. They're classics; they're Style. Now how do we spot today's modern classics?

The question of modern architecture versus period styles is fundamentally not a question of architecture. It is a question of life versus stagnation.
—William Lescaze

<span style="font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px;"><br />
In the past half-century since the hey days of the International Style, many of these revered buildings have fallen into disrepair. But, their strong architectural designs have made us see them more as classic than "modernist" âworth preserving just as they were. Here's a look at a few modern, modernist renovations.</span><br />
Style vs style
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In the past half-century since the hey days of the International Style, many of these revered buildings have fallen into disrepair. But, their strong architectural designs have made us see them more as classic than "modernist" —worth preserving just as they were. Here's a look at a few modern, modernist renovations.



In the 1940s, architect Wallace K. Harrisonâwho also designed the MoMAâand artist Isamu Noguchi were commissioned to build a summer home in Maine for William A.M. Burden and his wife Margaret Livingston Partridge. The result quickly became a historic landmark. Sadly, in 1996, it burned to the ground. Burden's children were committed to restoring the house while keeping its Modernist roots. Elizabeth Dean Hermann, a designer and architectural historian, worked with Hanbury Evans Austin architects for over two years to restore the home to the original drawings save for some modern convenience in the kitchen. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/24/t-magazine/design/24burden.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1270215771-fcvMNqTOu8JJ4LoI95OGpw" style="color: rgb(130, 138, 143);" target="_blank">Read more in T-magazine [>]</a>
Modern Restorations
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The Burden House

In the 1940s, architect Wallace K. Harrison–who also designed the MoMA–and artist Isamu Noguchi were commissioned to build a summer home in Maine for William A.M. Burden and his wife Margaret Livingston Partridge. The result quickly became a historic landmark. Sadly, in 1996, it burned to the ground. Burden's children were committed to restoring the house while keeping its Modernist roots. Elizabeth Dean Hermann, a designer and architectural historian, worked with Hanbury Evans Austin architects for over two years to restore the home to the original drawings save for some modern convenience in the kitchen. Read more in T-magazine [>]

PHOTO : left, Anthony Cotsifas
In 1996, the famous Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe was inundated with floodwaters from the Fox River, the highest ever recorded for the river. The floor of the house was under water by six feet, which meant that everything â woodwork, furnishings, mechanical and electrical systems â was destroyed. The owner hired Mies' grandson, Dirk Lohan, FAIA to restore the house to its original high standards of quality in 1999. Then in 2008 another brought flood waters that rose almost two feet over the deck and into the house. Visit www.farnsworthhouse.org for the <a href="http://www.farnsworthhouse.org/flood_chronology_2008.htm" style="color: rgb(130, 138, 143); text-decoration: underline;" target="_blank">flood photo chronology</a> and <a href="http://www.farnsworthhouse.org" style="color: rgb(130, 138, 143); text-decoration: underline;" target="_blank">current restoration efforts</a>.<br />
Modern Restorations
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Farnsworth House

In 1996, the famous Farnsworth House by Mies van der Rohe was inundated with floodwaters from the Fox River, the highest ever recorded for the river. The floor of the house was under water by six feet, which meant that everything — woodwork, furnishings, mechanical and electrical systems — was destroyed. The owner hired Mies' grandson, Dirk Lohan, FAIA to restore the house to its original high standards of quality in 1999. Then in 2008 another brought flood waters that rose almost two feet over the deck and into the house. Visit www.farnsworthhouse.org for the flood photo chronology and current restoration efforts.


PHOTO : inset, Jon Miller/Hedrich Bles
Tel Aviv's "White City" boasts over 4,000 buildings built in the International Style. Much of it was built during Tel Avivâs housing boom of the 1930s, when Bauhaus-trained Jewish architects who had fled Nazi Europe transplanted Modernist design concepts to the sandy shores of the Mediterranean. Among them is the Bauhaus museum whose first exhibition, included original furniture, graphics, lamps, and glass and ceramic ware, by Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer, Christian Bell, Wilhelm Wagenfeld, and others. Founded by Daniellea Luxembourge, the museum building was renovated in 1996 by interior designer Boubi Luxembourg, and more recently by architect Tal Eyal. <a href="http://archrecord.construction.com/news/daily/archives/080421bauhaus.asp" style="color: rgb(130, 138, 143);" target="_blank">Read more here [>]</a><br />
Modern Restorations
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Bauhaus Museum

Tel Aviv's "White City" boasts over 4,000 buildings built in the International Style. Much of it was built during Tel Aviv’s housing boom of the 1930s, when Bauhaus-trained Jewish architects who had fled Nazi Europe transplanted Modernist design concepts to the sandy shores of the Mediterranean. Among them is the Bauhaus museum whose first exhibition, included original furniture, graphics, lamps, and glass and ceramic ware, by Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer, Christian Bell, Wilhelm Wagenfeld, and others. Founded by Daniellea Luxembourge, the museum building was renovated in 1996 by interior designer Boubi Luxembourg, and more recently by architect Tal Eyal. Read more here [>]


The VDL Research house was originally built in 1932 by Richard Neutra as his family residence and office on the Silver Lake reservoir.<br />
In 1963, fire destroyed the house where the family had lived and practiced for three decades.<br />
Richard Neutraâs first comment was, âIt is all over, there will be no way to reconstruct this ruin.â Dion Neutra, however took up the charge of rebuilding. In fall 2007, Cal Poly Pomona College of Environmental Design, The VDL Advisory Board and the Friends of VDL launched two fund raising campaigns to cover needed repairs and maintenance of the house which are still ongoing.<a href="http://www.neutra-vdl.org/site/default.asp?4122010221330" style="color: rgb(130, 138, 143);" target="_blank"> Read more here [>]</a>
Modern Restorations
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Neutra VDL Research House

The VDL Research house was originally built in 1932 by Richard Neutra as his family residence and office on the Silver Lake reservoir.
In 1963, fire destroyed the house where the family had lived and practiced for three decades.
Richard Neutra’s first comment was, “It is all over, there will be no way to reconstruct this ruin.” Dion Neutra, however took up the charge of rebuilding. In fall 2007, Cal Poly Pomona College of Environmental Design, The VDL Advisory Board and the Friends of VDL launched two fund raising campaigns to cover needed repairs and maintenance of the house which are still ongoing. Read more here [>]

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Renovating Green

TODAY'S BEST PRACTICES FOR BUILDING WITH STAYING POWER? MATERIALS THAT ARE KIND TO THE EARTH THEY ARE BUILT ON. HERE ARE A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE EARTH-FRIENDLY PRODUCTS. CUTTING EDGE; NOT CUTTING CORNERS.
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