Beautiful Mid-Century Modern Home

House stalking…and dreaming

House stalking is like a past time for me lately. Honestly, when I drive by a house I like I think about whether I could live in it and what it’s like inside, but it just seems so far out of reach these days, especially in the heart of Seattle. Property here is ridiculous if you’re wanting to live anywhere within the city limits. Sometimes I feel like I can barely afford life, let alone buying a home in the kind of up and coming area I’d want to be in.

One style I’m currently obsessed with is all things mid-century, I love the clean lines, modern style furniture, large widows and vaulted beamed ceilings. The problem being there are not too many good mid-century style homes in Seattle where bungalows rule. Palm Springs has the best examples, now if only I could find a way to plunk an Eichler home somewhere in Seattle, hmm.

This beauty is the Dr. Scholl’s estate in Palm Springs, CA, the epicenter for mid-century modern, is designed by Anshen+Allen. The entrance has an amazing colonnade and oversize atrium that leads straight into a round pool from the moment you step in the door. I love the front facade with minimal window lines, the privacy, the custom walnut Kerf cabinetry in the kitchen, vintage tiles and hand crafted walnut accent walls….mid-century doesn’t get any better than this. Now if only I had a spare $1.2 million and could tolerate the heat of Palm Springs.

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Beautiful Bauhaus

Most people attribute Germany’s Bauhaus
school, founded by Walter Gropius,with being
all about minimalist design, paring down
architecture to its most non-essential elements
whilst being beautiful at the same time.
What is overlooked is the fantastical costume
parties of the 1920s. Not only were they good
at designing furniture and everything else in
between, their costumes were just as sculptural
and flamboyant. The Bauhaus shindigs were
outright competitive. Imagine dancing around
in one of these with Wassily Kandinsky,
Paul Klee, Piet Mondrian, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy,
Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer.

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Bauhaus costumes by Oskar Schlemmer (1925)
Photos by Karl Grill via The Charnel-House

The parties began as improvisational events,
but later grew into large-scale productions
with costumes and sets made by the school’s
stage workshop. There was often a theme to
the evenings. One party was called Beard, Nose,
and Heart, and attendees were instructed t
show up in clothing that was two-thirds white,
and one-third spotted, checked or striped.
However, it’s generally agreed that the
apotheosis of the Bauhaus’ costumed revelry
was the Metal Party of 1929, where guests
donned costumes made from tin foil, frying
pans, and spoons. Attendees entered that
party by sliding down a chute into one of
several rooms filled with silver balls.

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Bauhaus costumes by Oskar Schlemmer (1925)
Photos by Karl Grill via The Charnel-House

 

 

Beautiful Inspiration

French designer Ora-Ïto has developed a conceptual
trainer with curved veneer sections to reference the
work of Modernist furniture designers
Charles and Ray Eames.

Really, Seriously?
I’ll take the chair over the shoes any day.
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Beautiful Architecture

I would love to visit China one day just to
experience the amazing architecture much
of which is being designed by Zaha Hadid.

Zaha Hadid’s latest endeavor is the Wangjing
Soho building, a beacon along the journey of
transition to and from the  city. The project
acts as a welcoming entry to the city and a
gesture of farewell when departing Beijing.

The buildings are designed to read differently when
transitioning in either direction, leaving distinctly
different impressions on those who pass by. Like
Chinese Fans, the volumes appear to move around
each other in an intricate dance, each embracing
the other from a continuously changing angle.
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Beautiful Architect

The Invisible Architect of Invisible Architecture

At the height of his popularity, R. Buckminster Fuller,
the visionary inventor best known as the father of the
geodesic dome, was on a mission. Fuller repeatedly
referred to his great friend, the architect Knud Lonberg-Holm
—a “really great architect of the Nysky (New York skyscraper)
age”—whom Fuller said “has been completely unrecognized
and unsung,” and whose “scientific foresight and design
competence are largely responsible for the present world
around the state of advancement of the building arts.”
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Knud Lonberg-Holm (1895-1972),
an overlooked but highly influential
Modernist architect, photographer,
and pioneer of information design,
is the subject of an exhibition at the
Ubu Gallery in New York City,
through August 1, 2014.

I stumbled upon a fascinating article about
the architect Lonberg-Holm. He is one of the
most overlooked yet influential architects
of the 20th century.  Knud Lonberg-Holm
told Buckminster Fuller that “the really great
architect will be the architect who produces
the invisible house where you don’t see roofs
or walls,” Fuller explained in House & Garden.
“I’ve thought about this, thought about  it a lot,
the ultimately invisible house—doing more with
less and finally coming to nothingness.”
Lonberg-Holm’s modernity and exquisite
techniques were well ahead of his time.

Read the fascinating article here.

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Chicago Tribune Tower
This design of a side elevation for the 1922 Chicago

Tribune Tower competition, by Lonberg-Holm,
favored a functional composition that was devoid
of historical styles. It featured an abstract,
black-and-white pattern to articulate its frame and a
vertical sign spelling “Tribune” in large block letters,
flanked by two round lamps reminiscent of automobile
headlights. Lonberg-Holm never submitted his entry
for the competition, but it was published in a number
of books by avant-garde architects like Le Corbusier,
Walter Gropius, and J.P.P. Oud.

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Radio Broadcasting Station, Detroit
This design, ca. 1925, was included in the landmark

1927 Machine Age exhibition—advertised as “the
first International Exposition of Architecture to be
held in America.” The New Yorker critic Muriel Draper
reviewed the project and wrote: “The delicacy and
exquisite technique of execution shown in the plans may
have much to do with it, but a glass tower with a visibly
spiralling staircase took me straight up in the air while
the simple, solid proportions of the building itself kept
my feet on the earth. Pleasant sensation.”