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Mid-century modern

Modernism - Charles and Ray Eames - architecture - Jet Age - space age - modern design - 1950s - 1960s - USA

Eames chairs

Definition

Mid-century modern is a design term applied most frequently to residential (and some commercial) architecture, interior design and furniture. Related to the Space Age, the International style and Googie, mid-century modern translated the ideology of Modernism into a sleek, cool, yet accessible lifestyle.

Standard designers of the mid-century modern era include: Rudolf Schindler, Richard Neutra, Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson and Craig Ellwood. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mid-century_modern [Febg 2006]

Farnsworth House (1950) - Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Unidentified picture of Farnsworth House (1950) - Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Image sourced here.

The Farnsworth House is a house built by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. It is located approximately 80 kilometers west of Chicago, in the town of Plano, Illinois. The Farnsworth House is considered an excellent example of modernism in architecture.

The minimal lines and enlongated glass walls seem to float above the green grass of the Fox River Valley. The building was designed to be surrounded by trees, with the trees themselves providing cooling during the summer. The Farnsworth House is heated through electric coils in the concrete floor. The sheer number of windows made living in the Farnsworth House difficult. Additional complications related to the unique format include high heating costs, rapid discoloration of the concrete porches during fall (they must be bleached), and the high level of cosmetic attention demanded by the painted iron frame. While the building makes a powerful statement about the potential of modernist design, even Mies admitted that the house is unsuitable for normal household living. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farnsworth_House [Mar 2006]

See also: 1950 - Ludwig Mies van der Rohe - International Style - USA - modern architecture - mid-century modern

Glass House (1949) - Philip Johnson

Unidentified picture of Glass House (1949) - Philip Johnson

The Glass house or Johnson house, built in 1949 in New Canaan, Connecticut was an important project for architect Phillip Johnson, and for modern architecture. It was also the place of Philip Johnson's passing in January of 2005.

Compare with Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass_House_(Connecticut) [Mar 2006]

Philip Cortelyou Johnson (July 8, 1906 January 25, 2005) was an influential American architect. The first director of the architecture department at the Museum of Modern Art (New York) in 1946, and later a trustee, he was awarded an American Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 1978 and the first Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1979. He was a student at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Johnson [Mar 2006]

International Style
As co-author (with Henry-Russell Hitchcock Jr.) of the MOMA exhibition catalog "The International Style: Architecture Since 1922" (1932), Johnson is credited with recognizing and popularizing European modernism, and with introducing Mies van der Rohe to America. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Johnson [Mar 2006]

See also: 1949 - International Style - USA - modern architecture - mid-century modern

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