a perfect case study.

singletonhousedailyicon

The case study houses of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s have long been my idea of the perfect contemporary home – open plan, maximum glazing, simple, functional. Perhaps the climate helps (these homes were most often built in California), but they seem to embody a free and easy lifestyle and optimism. Post war construction methods and new materials made the houses possible, and yet…

The Case Study house program stated that: each ‘house must be capable of duplication and in no sense be a individual performance.. It is important that the best material available be used in the best possible way in order to arrive at a ‘good’ solution of each problem, which in the overall program will be general enough to be of practical assistance to the average AmerIcan in search of a home in which he can afford to live…’ I just adore this philosophy.

Nine architects were involved in the initial scheme, including Richard Neutra and Charles Eames. I have often wondered how they could get these simple, easy-to-build forms so right; contemporary architecture today very often loses sight of its modernist roots.

Now a new partnership between the son of Richard Neutra, and the California Architecture Conservancy, means one can license the right to build from the plans of Richard Neutra. More about the scheme, here. Neutra (1892-1970), one of the most important of the mid-century modernist architects, became famous for the simple geometries of his designs, which were often made of steel and glass, and the prefabricated elements that made them extremely easy to build. Known for rigorously geometric yet open and airy structures, Neutra blended the interior and exterior of a space such that it would ‘place man in relationship with nature; that’s where he developed and where he feels most at home’. This philosophy grew from a feeling that “our environment is often chaotic, irritating, inhibitive and disorienting. It is not generally designed at all, but amounts to a cacophonous, visually discordant accretion of accidental events, sometimes euphemized as ‘urban development’ and ‘economic progress’’’.*

neutbuc05dailyiconneutbuc06dailyiconneutrareu04dailyiconneupes06dailyicon

neupes04dailyiconTroxell08dailyiconTroxell01dailyicon1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8  (not all were the case study models, but too good not to show).

A very funny account of what it must be like to live in a mid-century modern home with children, here

More wonderful spaces, here. And my take on the fabulous mid-century modern show at Lord’s in London this past weekend on next Thursday’s post…

* Quotation from Neutra’s biography, Life and Shape, available from this dreadful-looking Neutra web-site..

10 thoughts on “a perfect case study.

  1. Pingback: at the fair – the mid century show. | owl's house.

  2. poppytump

    That gorgeous light streaming in picture 2 is enough for me to want a fresh start from One Small Victorian Semi Det Villa 🙂
    Oh well …. *dreams* for one short moment ….

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s