Posts Tagged ‘warm modernism’

Aalto’s Villa Mairea in Finland

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Alvar Aalto’s Villa Mairea in Noormarkku, Finland, built between 1937 and 1939 as a rural retreat, is considered one of the greatest houses of the 20th century. Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, who curated a major retrospective of Aalto’s work at the Barbican in London in 2007, says photographs give no real sense of Aalto’s buildings.

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Handbuilt houses of the Pacific coast

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

Sometimes after seeing too many chichi, precious, and citified houses, too much shiny, overproduced design, and everything just starts to look too estranged from the materials it was made from, as an antidote I go look at pictures of handbuilt houses. People can dismiss these as “hippie houses,” but the evident Japanese, Scandinavian and other architectural influences actually ally these buildings with the traditional rural house as well as with modernism.

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Soft modernism.

Monday, November 24th, 2008

 


 

Hard-edged rooms, even the rustic kind, seem to need at least one big soft thing.  Scandinavian interior design uses textiles in this way, and increasingly the term for the contemporary application of this idea seems to be “warm modernism” or “soft modernism.” The more unrelieved the hardness, the more warmth is needed and the more excessive the textures can be.

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Berber rugs, the art of a “people from between somewhere and nowhere.”

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

Le Corbusier, Marcel Breuer, Alvar Aalto and Arne Jacobsen used these rugs regularly in their interiors, which is not surprising. Their unusual combination of minimalism and handmade detail, restraint and inventiveness works well with modernism’s aesthetics by both echoing the abstract geometry of the architecture and also counterbalancing that austerity with some softness.

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