In all of the areas where mid-century style influences design, it’s time to shine the light on architecture, These are some mid-century modern homes for you!
This style brings to life the mid-20th-century developments in style, roughly from the 1930s to the 1960s.
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These masterpieces of mid-century modern homes architecture are still influencing home design today — see if any elements appear in your own home!
Must know: The bravado structure also responds to seismic considerations and survived an earthquake five years after completion, one that destroyed a nearby school. Schindler worked for Frank Lloyd Wright previously, and that influence can be found in some details, but with this house, the architect crafted his own personal modern style.
Year built: 1939
Architect: Alvar Aalto
Location: Noormarkku, Finland
Visiting info: Must inquire about tours in advance
Must know: Finnish architect Alvar Aalto was given almost total freedom by Harry and Maire Gullichsen for the design of their summer mid-century modern home. Aalto, inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, strove for a design that was Finnish but modern. The resulting two-story, L-shaped house is an idiosyncratic design that expresses what British architect Colin St. John Wilson called “the other tradition of modern architecture,” which placed humanism above ideology.
Year built: 1931
Architect: Le Corbusier
Location: Poissy, France
Visiting info: Individual and group tours available
Must know: This weekend house near Paris for Pierre and Emilie Savoye has become one of mid-century architecture’s key icons, residential or otherwise. It perfectly encapsulates Le Corbusier’s five points that he developed in the 1920s: raising the building on pilotis(slender columns), a free facade that was independent of the structural system, ribbon windows based on a similar logic, an open floor plan, and a roof garden that regained the ground lost through the building’s occupation of the landscape.
Frederick C. Robie House
Year built: 1909
Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright
Visiting info: Guided and group tours available
Must know: One aspect of Frank Lloyd Wright’s genius was the need to constantly reinvent himself and his mid-century architecture. The Robie House can be seen as the apotheosis of his Prairie style, which he started to develop in the early 1890s and abandoned in favor of his democratic, Usonian designs.
Year built: 1924
Architect: Gerrit Rietveld
Location: Utrecht, Netherlands
Visiting info: Audio tours or guided tours available
Must know: At first glance Gerrit Rietveld’s design for Schröder House is like a painting come to life. Traditional ideas of construction and enclosure, outside and inside, don’t appear; in their place are lines, planes and splashes of color.
Year built: 1937
Architect: Walter Gropius
Location: Lincoln, Massachusetts
Visiting info: Self-guided tours available
Must know: Walter Gropius, who had founded the influential Bauhaus School in Germany, emigrated to the United States in 1937. He taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and designed this mid-century style house for his family in nearby Lincoln.
Eames House, Case Study House No. 8
Year built: 1949
Architects: Charles and Ray Eames
Location: Pacific Palisades, California
Visiting info: Reserved self-guided exterior tours only
Must know: Although this house/studio for designers Charles and Ray Eames is simply two rectangular volumes made of off-the-shelf steel structures and windows, it is a colorful expression of their design sensibility and a suitable backdrop for their collections and creations. A true mid-century style.
Year built: 1949
Architect: Philip Johnson
Location: New Canaan, Connecticut
Visiting info: Individual, private and group tours available
Must know: Philip Johnson was as much, if not more so, a proponent of mid-century architecture styles as a designer of them. He and Henry Russell Hitchcock helped to define what people think mid-cenury architecture is, even to this day. His Glass House, influenced by Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House (next) but completed two years before it, is the first of many structures Johnson designed and built on his New Canaan estate.
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