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HOUSE OF THE WEEK

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This modern house, completed in 2012 by Architecture Paradigm, is located in Gundelpet, a small town close to Mysore, in southern India.

The house is 2,400 sq ft and is designed to accommodate and encourage a social lifestyle between two families. The living and dining spaces are double height, there are outdoor living areas, and flexible indoor living spaces.

The use of earthy clay tiles, stone, cement and wood draws from local low-rise developments, at the same time as reflecting the progressive nature of the local area.

For modern properties for sale and to let in the UK, visit The Modern House.

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goddard-mendolene-residence-house-interior-stand-alone-fireplace Photography: Dwell

Built in 1957, Witthoefft House was designed and lived in by the architect Arthur Witthoefft. At the time, he was an architect in the Manhattan office of corporate modernists Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

Set in woodland in Westchester County, New York, the house is a one-storey modernist structure with a concrete slab foundation, exposed steel structure and glass walls. In 1962, Witthoefft won the American Institute of Architects‘ (AIA) First Honor award for the project.

He sold the property in 1989. After falling into disrepair, it was bought by its current owners, Todd Goddard and Andrew Mandolene. Engaging Witthoefft as a consultant, they renovated the property, preserving over 75% of the original structure, and continue to live in the house today.

In 2011, Witthoefft was made a Fellow of the AIA. In the same year, the house was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

For modern properties for sale and to let in the UK, visit The Modern House.

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Photos Michele Curel

Casa Gomis is a modernist house set in the La Ricarda estate of north-eastern Spain. It was designed by architect Antonio Bonet Castellana, in close collaboration with the owner Ricardo Gomis and his wife Inés Bertrand Mata. Built between 1953 and 1963, the house features an undulating vaulted roof and was very experimental for its time. It remains the property of the Gomis Bertrand family, who are dedicated to preserving it in its original state. The woodland which it stands in is sandwiched between the Mediterranean Sea and Barcelona airport, which has expanded since the house was built.

For modern properties for sale and to let in the UK, visit The Modern House.

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The Stanley Picker House in Kingston Upon Thames was designed in 1968 by British modernist architect Kenneth Wood for the businessman Stanley H. Picker (1913-1982). In 1976 Kenneth Wood returned to build a private gallery in the garden, dedicated to Picker’s growing art collection.

The house features contemporary furnishings, acquired through the then recently established Terence Conran Group.

In 2012 a book was published by Philip Wilson Publishers about the house and its interior, The Stanley Picker House and Collection: A Late 1960s Home for Modern Art and Design.

A Modernist in Suburbia is a short film by Fiona Fisher and Gilly Booth/hijack which examines architect Kenneth Wood’s wider career. It was created to accompany The Occupants exhibition at the Stanley Picker Gallery in 2012.

For modern properties for sale and to let in the UK, visit The Modern House.

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Photos by Koichi Torimura

Horizontal House by Eastern Design Office is in a mountain village containing just six houses in all. The shape of the building traces the boundary of the village. Because of the horizontal slits in the wall, the scenery outside can always be seen from within the house. Eastern Design Office is a collaborative architectural and design firm in Kyoto, Japan.

For modern properties for sale and to let in the UK, visit The Modern House.

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Located outside Geneva, this is the largest-scale housing development in Switzerland. The project, designed to house 10,000 people, was built between 1963 and 1971 in response to a housing shortage. It is made up of 84 blocks in total, and measures 1km. Originally built to last 25 years, the development still stands today. In 2009 the façades, massing and external features were listed.

Due to changing energy-performance standards, a study was commissioned to improve the façade of the building whilst retaining its architectural and social value, and refurbishment work was carried out by Jean-Paul Jaccaud Architects. The structure has just been awarded a ‘Grand Prix’ Laureate in the 2013 EU Awards for Cultural Heritage.

A talk by Franz Graf, a specialist in the preservation of modern architecture who worked on conserving the complex, will take place on December 6th at ABA Gallery, 70 Cowcross Street, London. For more information, visit docomomo-uk.co.uk or call 020 7253 6624.

For modern properties for sale and to let in the UK, visit The Modern House.

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The Belgian architect Juliaan Lampens set up his practice in 1950 in Eke, near Ghent. His work was influenced by the modern architecture on show at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. In 1960 he built his own house, and the residences he subsequently designed have a minimalist, concrete, bunker-like style. Typically his houses are closed off to the public on one side and completely open on the other. Lampens worked almost exclusively in concrete, wood and glass. The House Van Wassenhove displays his Brutalist style, which carries influences from Mies Van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, Oscar Niemeyer and the concrete bunkers that he observed on the Atlantic coast. The house now belongs to the university of Ghent. In 1995 Lampens was awarded the Lampens Belgian Award for Architecture.

HOUSE OF THE WEEK

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Surely one of the most elegant and simple homes in California, this corrugated house was designed by Albert Frey (1903-1998) as his long-term residence in Palm Springs. Built into the hillside at the west end of Tahquitz Canyon Way and overlooking the Coachella Valley, Frey House II, the architect’s second home in Palm Springs, was completed in 1964 and was at the time the highest home in the city. The house was designed following a very careful survey of the site and later Frey fitted the glass to the rock, with the slope of the roof following that of the terrain. Appreciative of the surrounding nature, Frey desired to have as light impact on it as possible. Measuring only 800 square feet, the house has a steel frame, but its details respect the surrounding nature such as its expansive views, its yellow curtains inspired by the Encilla flowers that bloom each spring and the sky blue ceilings. The house’s most extraordinary feature, however is the boulder which separates the bedroom and living space.

HOUSE OF THE WEEK

House of Tomorrow, Chicago (1933)

House of Tomorrow, Chicago (1933)

Crystal House, Chicago (1934)

Crystal House, Chicago (1934)

In this week’s House of the Week we discover a pair of prototype houses from the 1930s. Designed by George Fred Keck and Leland Atwood, these two designs explored the structural and aesthetic possibilities of steel at a time when innovative and cheap methods of house production were needed in the United States. The first house, House of Tomorrow, was designed for the Chicago Century of Progress Exposition in 1933 and was a two-tiered duo-decagonal structure with similarities to Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion House. Designed in two months, the frame was put together in 48 hours. Its steel floors were supported radially from a central core and its walls fully glazed. Interior features also included green rubber floor tiles, lipstick-red curtains and ultramarine ceilings.

The exhibition was such a financial success that it was run again the following year and Crystal House was entered as a design that lent itself to mass production. This design is a simple but technically advanced lightweight box with three-by-two bays and framed externally by steel lattice beams and floor-to-ceiling glazing. It was not such a financial success, and while many Americans would have liked a Modernist house, there was only one mortgage company in the country willing to fund them. The prototype was eventually disassembled and the components sold for their scrap value to cover the loss. Its influence on architecture since, however, has been much more profound, and the features of Crystal House can be found in, for example, the early buildings of Norman Foster.

HOUSE OF THE WEEK

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Binh Thanh House is the first property featured in The Modern House blog designed by Vietnamese architects and located in Vietnam. It is therefore interesting to see how its aesthetic and programme differs across nations and how its interpretation fit within a wider appreciation and progression of architecture. And this six-storey townhouse in Ho Chi Minh City – designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects and Sanuki Nishizawa – does contain many defining features. Firstly, it has been designed to accommodate three generations of the same family under the same roof and to do so has a facade that is alternately pushed back and brought forward to create multiple separate living spaces and terraced gardens. Within this programme is also the concept to accommodate two different lifestyles in a tropical climate; a modern and well-tempered lifestyle with mechanical equipments such as air-conditioners, and a natural and traditional lifestyle, utilising natural lighting and ventilation with water and greenery. Integral to this effect is the concrete pattern block cladding which while providing a mechanical function also recalls a former popular aesthetic in Vietnam and give the brand new building a slightly aged Modernist style, after for example Le Corbusier’s Villa Shodan.

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