Tag Archives: Modernist

a parisian modernist in blue.

The February 2014 issue of the always fabulous World of Interiors features this apartment, designed by antiques dealer Florence Lopez for Charlotte Gainsborough and her artist husband.

It’s another Parisian apartment (I’ve featured so many recently that I’m thinking of a name change to owl’s house paris..); the difference this time is that the 19th-century decoration has been stripped back in its entirety, leaving a blank canvas as the starting point.

Lopez has a very particular 20th-century aesthetic. The inspiration for this interior comes from Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye, which explains the ‘graphic rigour’ within. The parquet floors have been painted black throughout, which create cohesion with the dark slate terrace outside. Walls are painted matt in chalk-white or various shades of blue. Blue prevails, also as an upholstery colour – armchairs in the entrance area are covered in four different shades of deep blue, for example. Otherwise, black, white and the odd shot of vivid yellow provide the contrast. A sleek, wall-hung granite washbasin and copper and brass accessories add an element of luxe.

florence lopez7WOI-ohl.florence lopez4WOI-ohl.florence lopez1WOI-ohlflorence lopez3WOI-ohl.florence lopez5WOI-ohl.

Furniture includes a daybed by Jean Prouve, pieces by Josef Frank, Alvar Aalto and Robin Day.

It’s quite a rigorous, purist approach, stripping back all signs of classical detail and extraneous elements, but I think it’s hugely successful. What do you prefer, classical elements or clean modern lines?

20th Century Fox, World of Interiors, February 2014. Scans by owl’s house london.

More wonderful spaces, here

happy weekend.

Just back from a few days final foray to south wales before the leaves turn for another year…

Playing with dimension and scale, these staged still lifes are decidedly modernist, referencing the works of Miro and Picasso, for example. Composition, form and lighting all come into play and everyday, recognisable objects become players within a stage set.

jan-hardisty_cardboard-theatre-ljan-hardisty_hanging-by-a-threadjan-hardisty_door

Danish artist Jan Hardisty has created abstract artworks that resemble paintings but are actually photographs. More, here

Jan Hardisty Abstract Art Photographs first seen here:

a modernist in berlin.

Part of the 1957 building exhibition in Berlin’s Tiergarten park, this Modernist glass atrium house was designed by Eduard Ludwig, an architect who studied briefly at the Bauhaus, and whose passion lay in the design of bungalow-style houses. He studied under Mies van der Rohe and the influence of modernist masterpiece the Barcelona Pavillion is evident here.

The simple lineality of the building is echoed internally with the floating linear kitchen cabinets, built-in, low-level storage lining the living area, and bathroom vanity in palest stone suspended against a full wall of mirror. Textured surfaces abound and are enhanced with splashes of intense colour in the palette of dark orange, black and off-white. Simple, classic furniture pieces like the shaker style chair (Hay do a simlar one, here) and brass domed kitchen pendant hold their own and yet perfectly compliment the space.

Atrium-House-in-Berlin-by-bfs-design-102214_03 0012214_12 0012215_11 0012215_02 001Atrium-House-in-Berlin-by-bfs-design-1

Beautifully restored by architectural firm bfs design: Atrium House by Eduard Ludwig via Daily Icon.

Photos: Annette Kisling

a monolithic modernist.

Monolithic and undeniably modern, the building stands as two low linear brickwork blocks supporting an upper volume of concrete. Between, water and landscaping provide a refuge and, with the rather wonderful giant Texan plume grass, give the house an ethereal quality.

São Paulo based architect Guilherme Torres’ own house features a chequered wood screen or brise soleil called muxarabie, a classic feature in Eastern architecture, assimilated by the Portuguese and later brought to Brazil. Acting as a wooden curtain to allow air flow, it also filters the light, offers privacy to the inhabitants and adds security.

The external elements (screen, brickwork) can also be read internally. Other materials are kept simple – wood and stone floors, white walls and dark metal framed windows. The loose furniture is a combination of the architect’s own design, pieces by known Brazilian designers (Sérgio Rodrigues and Carlos Motta), and international pieces – Tom Dixon lighting, for example. Brazilian in style and quite jovial, the decorations are either neutral or fabulous shades of blue…

bt-house-studio-guilherme-torres__ohlbt-house-studio-guilherme-torres__ohlimages ohlbt-house-studio-guilherme-torres__ohl

bt-house-studio-guilherme-torres__ohl.

images ext ohl

BT House by Studio Guilherme Torres via Arch Daily, here 

Images: Denilson Machado

More wonderful spaces, here

off to the beach.

elephant slide on owl's house london.

After a brief foray into Surrey (in the shadows of Box Hill, known notably for its role in Jane Austen’s Emma, as well as the Olympic cycling last year), we are off to the beach.

I wrote about the Modernist architect John Winter in an earlier post (here); the Beach House was designed by him for his own use, and it’s available to rent. This is where we shall be ensconced, a stone’s throw from the east Norfolk coast. It’s not the charming curvaceous beaches of Sicily’s east coast, or the expansive endless horizon of sand of Australia’s coast, but it has sand crabs at low tide, and starfish at high; and the only accoutrement required is a bucket and spade. Just perfect for a three-year-old. Happy summer!

Elephant Slide (Girona 1975) via

fab four: planters.

It is a super busy week here in London, with Clerkenwell Design Week, May Design Series at Excel and Chelsea Flower Show all vying for one’s attention..

This is my homage to Chelsea Flower Show, celebrating its centenary this year, fab four: planters.

fab four on owls house.

  1. Bauhaus-inspired, laquered steel Kubus Bowl from Story North
  2. Clever little upside-down Sky Planter, here 
  3. Case study ceramic bowl from Modernica
  4. Beautiful Japanese terrarium by 10¹² TERRA

Do you have a favourite?

More on Chelsea Flower Show celebrating 100 years in AnOther Magazine, here 

More fab four, here 

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..