Archives For modern homes

The Value of Architecture is very excited to announce the Austin Modern Home Tour, which takes place on Saturday, February 25th from 10:00am – 6:00pm.

Click here and use our code TVOA2016 for $5 off advance tickets.

The Austin Modern Home Tour is a wonderful celebration of local design, fathered by the partnership between the Modern Architecture + Design Society (MA+DS) and GoodLife Luxury. After purchasing your ticket, simply bring it to any of the listed tour locations during the scheduled times, and you will receive a wristband for the remainder of the tour.

Featured in the Austin Modern Home Tour: Bercy Chen Studio LPs

In addition to the fantastic Tetra House in South Austin, the Austin Modern Home Tour will feature Bercy Chen’s highly anticipated Hill Country Modern at San Juan Drive.

Tetra House, South Austin

Hill Country Modern, Hill Country West

Much like buying local food and other products, come out and support local architecture and design. The more you give to local artisans fights the mass development of our country, and city. Local designers, like the ones on this tour, give Austin its local flavor, something that other places could never duplicate. We sincerely hope to see you there.

By: David Plick

From Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West to Zaha Hadid’s London Loft and Philip Johnson’s home in New Canaan, Connecticut, we always have this fascination with the inner lives of artists. Of course, we’ve seen the work that they produced for their clients, where we recognize that a great deal of collaboration and compromise (sometimes begrudgingly) have been made during the design process. But what would they do if they had complete creative control, because they were simultaneously the architect and the client? That’s what we have here with Morris Bolter’s LA Mid Century modern (1966) near Lake Hollywood Park, which he built for himself and his family.

LA Mid Century Modern: Morris Bolter, 1966

Morris Bolter’s open plan design comes with gorgeous views of mountains and the Hollywood sign that can be seen from the Zen fountain. Architectural Digest called this LA mid century modern Bauhausian, and with the simple, elegant line, it’s clear why.

By: David Plick

Roof Modern Facade Building Architecture Inside

Los Angeles receives 292 sunny days annually, while Austin boasts 229. Compare this with New York City or Seattle, which has 152 sunny days, and it’s clear that in both of these climates, where The Value of Architecture is based, sunlight as a natural element is a major part of the design process in their modern homes.

Similarly to painters, architects and designers are certainly no strangers to the study of light. Throughout the design process it’s in their creative consciousness, much like the slope of the land, the way the tree branches bend towards the empty space that will soon possess the house. Great architects, from Louis Kahn to Zaha Hadid, have talked about how they are deeply influenced by light.

“Just think, that man can claim a slice of the sun.”
Louis Kahn

“The history of architecture is the history of the struggle for light.”
Le Corbusier

“Wherever I am in the world, my perfect day begins with waking up and heading to the beach or the pool or somewhere I can be semi-comatose. I just wake up and go to the sun.”
–Zaha Hadid

“Light belongs to the heart and spirit. Light attracts people, it shows the way, and when we see it in the distance, we follow it.”
–Ricardo Legorreta

“Architecture which enters into a symbiosis with light does not merely create form in light, by day and at night, but allow light to become form.”
–Richard Meier

“Light has not just intensity, but also a vibration, which is capable of roughening a smooth material, of giving a three-dimensional quality to a flat surface.”

–Renzo Piano

“More and more, so it seems to me, light is the beautifier of the building.”
–Frank Lloyd Wright

By: David Plick

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Water and steel. Two natural elements that seem like utter contrasts, which is perhaps why they work together so well. In this Los Angeles architecture spotlight, I’m talking about Case Study House No. 21, designed by Pierre Koenig for the renowned psychologist, Walter Bailey, which was completed in 1959. This property is currently featured here at The Value of Architecture.

The house came about because Koenig was commissioned by Arts & Architecture magazine and their editor, John Entenza, in the Case Study House Program, which was designed to create innovations in Los Angeles architecture through the use of industrial materials. The program was intended to create inexpensive homes after the Great Depression, and also foster dialogue between architects and the general public. Other homes in this program include: Omega by Richard Neutra, Fields House by Craig Ellwood, and the Eames House by Charles and Ray Eames. Case Study House No. 21 is a registered Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (#669).

Koenig’s entry into the program came about when Walter Bailey came knocking on Entenza’s door, requesting a 1200-1300 sqaure foot home for him and his wife. Entenza immediately set him up with the young architect Koenig, whom had been working extensively with steel.

The rest of the story is this:

Simple, straight lines.

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Open, expansive design that creates a sense of movement.

Water and steel.

By: David Plick

Through April 23rd MoMA is featuring the exhibition, How Should We live: Propositions for the Modern Interior. The exhibition examines the frameworks and designs that have shaped the various modern environments, from suburban homes to boutiques and shops. They also enter the personal spaces of famous designers such as Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier for perspective on how design legends design their own lives. You can even drink coffee in a rendition of Lilly Reich’s Velvet-Silk Café (1923).

With the global population currently at 7.5 billion and that number expected to reach 10 billion in our lifetime, what we do with our limited space has never been more important. Google responded to this challenge for space by pioneering the open-office movement which has been met with much hostility (like here, here and here, oh, and here). People hate the open office, because, what do they love? Privacy.

But is privacy going to be an option when you’re sharing the Earth with 10 billion other people? At the end of the widely popular article, “Google got it wrong. The open-office trend is destroying the workplace,” by Lindsey Kaufman, after complaining throughout the entire piece like a privileged Goldman Sachs exec having to take the train one day because their driver got into a fender bender, she actually diverted her thesis and entered into a new and more likeable argument: instead of an open-office, why don’t we just work from home?

As companies allow for more and more “work from home” models to save space and expenses, this also may provide for a potentially higher quality of life for their employees. But now, all of a sudden, the space that we use for “work” and “home” have become one.

By: David Plick

The Jackalope Ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas

The Jackalope Ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas

Architect Chris Krager knows something of sustainability, especially after having to sustain a design and build career during the financial crisis of 2008. How did he do it? First of all, instead of passively waiting for projects to come to him, his firm KRDB sought projects out and developed them themselves. As Krager has said, “It is not uncommon to hear an architect lament the paltry number of buildings that are designed by members of our profession; we intend to act rather than protest.” And act he does. He collaborated with Sallie Trout in the captivating Jackalope Ranch, and has proven time and time again that he’ll put his money where his mouth is. From SOL to his ambitious modern pre-fab modular homes project called MA Modular, Krager combined his business acumen with his vision in design, along with current sustainability trends and technologies, to fund his own innovative projects. SOL, located in East Austin, is “a community of Modern homes with open floor plans, high ceilings with windows that provide plenty of dynamic natural lighting, and private outdoor spaces. SOL is a holistic approach to sustainable development. The homes are 100% electric and capable of achieving Net Zero* energy – meaning they can produce as much energy as they consume.”

Chris Krager is a unique combination of artist and entrepreneur. And it’s this combination, as The New York Times reported, of intelligent business practices and design skill, which gives him this special freedom to create work that is simultaneously economically affordable, design driven, yet also environmentally and socially conscious. Some may have thought his ideas were too big, too dangerous, too ambitious, but Krager made it work. Most recently, SOL sold out of all of their homes, and KRDB shows no signs of slowing down. After proving they can survive the economic crisis and the housing bubble, Krager and KRDB have only just begun.

By: David Plick