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Posts tagged “harmony

What Is Mid-Century Modern, and Why Do We Love It So Much?

We all know that styles are cyclical and, of course, the world of interior design is not exempt. The best aesthetics will be popular again and again. Right now, mid-century-modern design is making a comeback and, if you ask us, it’s for good reason.

What is it about this aesthetic that keeps us coming back for more over half a century later? We’ll tell you why mid-century modern will never really leave us — and how to work the style into your interiors while making sure they are rooted in the new millennium. After all, sometimes the old way of doing things really is the right way.

What Is Mid-Century Modern?

If you’ve ever seen an episode of Mad Men, you’re already familiar with mid-century-modern design. In fact, the term was coined in 1984 by author Cara Greenberg. She used it to discuss the signature looks of the 1960s in her book Mid-Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s.

Though the moniker has become a bit broad in the past few decades, it’s most commonly used to refer to the styles that became popular in a post-World War II landscape. While there may be a few variations, most people agree that this time period extends from 1945-1969.

Interestingly, this style doesn’t just refer to aspects of interior design. It is commonly used as a descriptor for any architecture, furniture,  accessories, materials and technologies that grew in popularity after the end of the war.

It Showcases Simplicity

When you look at design projects that follow a mid-century-modern style, the one thing you won’t see is tons of excess. Rather than requiring a bunch of ornate embellishments, the mid-century look is all about stripping items down to their barest elements and letting their function become the star.

Keep this in mind when it comes to choosing the items that will fill your space. Look for furniture that has clean lines and, if needed, multiple uses. Stick to décor items that are modern or geometric in their aesthetic.

This concept should also be taken into account when it comes to designing the layout of your space. Rather than cluttering up the room, focus on choosing one strong focal area that will dictate the room’s function. For example, consider using a statement table in your dining room or creating an inviting seating area in your living room. Then, don’t be afraid to step back and allow negative space to play a key role in your design.

It Lets Us Play With Color

Of course, when you focus on bringing simplistic shapes into your space, it becomes necessary to add a layer of visual interest elsewhere. The mid-century-modern look does that by incorporating bold pops of color. Brooke Schneider, a designer based in Long Beach, Calif., explains it best:

“When homeowners think ‘color,’ they often think of the bright hues of the mid-century time period. With clear, cheerful colors, the 1950s exhibited a new American outlook of optimism that was comfortably removed from the drab war years.”

Don’t be afraid to go big with shades like blueberry, citron or fire-engine red. Just be sure to avoid mixing multiple loud colors like they did in that time period. Doing so might make your space look more outdated than retro-inspired. Instead, focus on tempering one colorful statement piece with more neutral hues to ensure a modern twist on this style of design.

It Connects Us With Nature

Since mid-century-modern design is all about simplicity, it makes sense that this school of style would harbor a strong connection to nature. In particular, those who are looking for ways to embrace sustainable design may be interested in what this aesthetic has to offer.

First, it’s important to consider how nature can affect the layout of the space. In mid-century architecture, large windows often play a key role. But anyone can work off those principles by making windows the focal point of your space whenever possible and making sure that they stay unencumbered from heavy drapery.

As for the design elements to fill your space, focus on choosing items made from natural materials such as wood, metal and leather or cotton textiles. Don’t be afraid to bring the outside in by adding greenery to accent your design.

There’s a reason why mid-century-modern design is present in our consciousness after over a half-century since its debut. Whether it’s the clean lines, bold colors or connection to nature, this school of style is currently making a big comeback in interior design.

“What Is Mid-Century Modern? – Freshome.” Freshomecom What Is MidCentury Modern and Why Do We Love It So Much Comments. 8 Oct. 2015. Web. 8 Oct. 2015. <http://freshome.com/mid-century-modern/&gt;.

Casa Brutale, lyrical brutalism

Casa Brutale is a geometrical translation of the landscape. It is an unclad statement on the simplicity and harmony of contemporary architecture. It is a chameleonic living space, created to serve its owner and respect the environment. It is the inverted reference to Casa Malaparte, encased and protected by the tender earth that has hosted the human civilization for millennia. It is a complete study of aesthetics, structure, function and engineering, which thoroughly detailed, awaits solely its realisation.

Casa Brutale is OPA’s challenging vision of innovative architecture, where innovation refers to long forgotten terms such as ambience and materiality. Its subtle form allows for the magnificent view and the game of light and shadow to take center stage. The residence is constructed with simple materials: wood, glass and concrete, the convergence of the surrounding earth and water. The landscape is integral to the underlying concept, since elements penetrate and prevail over the construction. The roof of Casa Brutale, a glazed bottom swimming pool, is a continuation of the poetic Aegean Sea and in perfect communication with the vast blue of the Greek sky.

In essential simplicity, Casa Brutale is defined by three thick concrete slabs with all the installations preformed. The crystalline pool, made by reinforced glass, is set between the walls to smoothen the hard materials and let the abundant natural light through, illuminating the residence. The enormous glass façade frames and extracts the beauty of the Aegean. And small details of black-coated steel and brown/red aged wood complete the composition.

In literal groundbreaking integration, Casa Brutale penetrates the landscape. The underground building benefits from a perfect homeostatic mechanism with thermal insulation from the surrounding ground, and the cooling properties of the swimming pool. The optical impact of the building on the landscape is minimal, with only one façade on the cliff side and no volume extruding from the ground level.

Light penetrates the transparent or semi-transparent surfaces of Casa Brutale, bringing it to life. The dynamic light patterns caress the bare concrete with refractions and shadows. Bare concrete, or beton brut, is the finishing technique that gave the name to both brutalism and Casa Brutale. Raw, unpretentious, monolithic, marked by the wooden planks used to mold the casting.

After descending 50 stairs to the Aegean, under the shadows of epic concrete beams, you reach the entrance (also accessible by elevator). The tall, rotating door of aged wood (with the axis at ¾ lengths) opens to a breathtaking sea view, through the glass façade. The remaining space is bare, pure and simple; minimalism at its best. A concrete cast dining table is combined with concrete benches, clad with warm wood. Smooth curves sculpture the fireplace on the wall next to the bench. Behind the dining table, the guest room is formed under an old-fashioned Zoellner slab with a glass corner. Next to the guest room, there is a small passage to the utility rooms (storage room, bathroom and WC).

An inner staircase consists of thin, steel steps that allow the optical continuity from the kitchen to the glass façade. The staircase leads you to the mezzanine floor, where the master bedroom is exposed to the same overpowering vision of the Aegean. The bed is cast of concrete with wood finishing, while the walls are covered with mirror to enhance the play between light and shadows.

Casa Brutale redefines the harmonious coexistence of human and nature in a poetic homage to pure Brutalism.

Casa Brutale, lyrical brutalism | OPA works. (n.d.). Retrieved July 13, 2015, from http://opaworks.com/portfolio/casa-brutale/

Modern Summer Home Assembling Panoramic Ocean Views

From the very first time you enter the Long Dune Residence, you know it will surprise you with a modern floor plan enhanced by carefully designed details. The architects warn that “little is revealed until entering the house through a tall glass door that emerges as one approaches the house“. Imagined by Hammer Architects, the modern summer home rises in a summer vacation community in Massachusetts, known as Truro.

Perched on a coastal bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, interiors absorb panoramas of natural surroundings from behind revealing floor-to-ceiling windows and doors. This permanent visual connection to the outdoors brings glimpses of the Atlantic Ocean deep inside and encourages owners to relax and enjoy their modern summer home.

Photos by Peter Vanderwarker reveal how the abundance of natural light filters through framed windows. Gleaming water views mirroring the atmosphere outside are captured like live transmissions from nature. Additional views of the Pamet River and a fresh water pond, together with tall trees complete the inspiring natural setting. Mirrored on the inside, this natural order appears mingled with the home’s sleek design lines.

According to the architects, “the entry side of the house appears very solid with its wood clad walls and narrow strip windows enclosing the bathrooms, outdoor showers, stair, and laundry room. Little is revealed until entering the house through a tall glass door that emerges as one approaches the house. Once inside, the living and dining rooms, which occupy the building’s center, open to the dramatic water views through a floor to ceiling glass wall that features large sliding doors connecting to a multi-level outdoor deck.”

The contemporary architecture is spiced up with a linear floor-plan “broken” by a screened porch where owners and their guests enjoy meals with a view. “One wing of the house provides the guest bedrooms, while the other wing, which is rotated forty-five degrees in plan, contains the master bedroom suite. A screened porch with a referential kite shaped roof occupies the intersection of the two geometries providing views in all directions.”

Embedding active and passive solar design, the modern summer home supports and encourages a healthy lifestyle. Once you know how to plan home activities for your summer guests, a modern summer home will make its way to your summer wish list.

Modern Summer Home Assembling Panoramic Ocean Views. (2015, March 20). Retrieved July 5, 2015, from http://freshome.com/2015/03/20/modern-summer-home-assembling-panoramic-ocean-views/

Family Home in Vietnam With Lovely Pockets of Greenery: BQ-17 Residence

23o5Studio completed the design of BQ-17 Residence, a contemporary home located in an uncrowded neighborhood of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The design was adapted to the living needs of a couple and their three children, while taking in consideration the laws of urban planning. Local legislation required to leave 2.5m (8ft) front and 2m (6.6ft) behind the house, which somewhat challenged the initial plan of developing the construction more horizontally. According to the project developers, the solution was to “build interleaving spaces, which have different foolproof, placed around a central vertical space”, thus creating voids and connections between rooms.

Minimalism is the key feature of this residence; yet, quite a few elements stand out: “Seen from outside, the house has simple lines, yet strong enough to combine cubes as a sculpture. Lot of squares, with different sizes and free layout, joined with graceful greenery to attract people and make them curious about entering inside. The squares become highlighted from the front door to the central block. They do not only get natural light for the house, but also create an aesthetic effect at night.” By employing wood extensively for the furniture elements, doors, floors and central staircase, the designers achieved a welcoming family atmosphere-have a look! [Photography by Quang Tran]

Family Home in Vietnam With Lovely Pockets of Greenery: BQ-17 Residence. (2015, June 23). Retrieved June 24, 2015, from http://freshome.com/family-home-in-vietnam-with-lovely-pockets-of-greenery-bq-17-residence/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed: FreshInspirationForYourHome (Freshome.com)

A Louvered Beach House on the Arabian Sea

Built on a coconut plantation outside of Mumbai, India, on the Arabian Sea, Studio Mumbai’s Palmyra House is a place of refuge, not only from the city but also from people (houseguests possibly included). The 3,000-square-foot setup is split into two wooden louvered structures, each constructed using local traditional methods and wood. One building contains the living room, study, and master bedroom; the other houses the kitchen, dining room, and guest bedrooms. And should the occupants be feeling convivial, there’s a long, thin pool, perfect for swims together while sharing the expansive views out to the sea.

Photography by Helene Binet via ArchDaily, unless otherwise noted.

Hanway, C. (2015, May 27). Architect Visit: A Louvered Beach House on the Arabian Sea: Remodelista. Retrieved June 3, 2015, from http://www.remodelista.com/posts/architect-visit-a-louvered-beach-house-on-the-arabian-sea-studio-mumbai-palmyra-house


Aradas House by RVDM Architects

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RVDM Architects have designed the Aradas House in Aveiro, Portugal.

 

“Aradas House by RVDM Architects.” Contemporist. N.p., 23 July 2012. Web. Web. 23 Jul. 2012. <http://www.contemporist.com/2012/07/23/aradas-house-by-rvdm-architects/&gt;.


A house on pillars in Hungary by Allhitecture

This contemporary summer house is located in Balatonakarattya, Balatonkenese, Hungary. It sits in a beautiful region surrounded by trees and vegetation and it offers views over Lake Balaton. It occupies an area of 122.0 square meters and it has an interesting design. The house was a project by Allhitecture and it was built in 2009.

The house is a summer retreat and it was built on pillars. It’s a detail designed to make it easily integrate into the surrounding environment and the pillars were inspired by the tree-trunks. They support the front volume just like the trunks support the tree’s crown. This particular region around the lake requires all buildings to respect the Building Regulation made in the middle of the 20th century. This means they have to have a traditional, pitched roof. However, this plot is situated on the border and the architects managed to get permission for a flat roof that better fits with the modern design of the house.

The whole design of the house was influenced by the pine trees from the site. The trees were also kept. The exterior of the house is modern and meant to make it integrate into the surroundings. The interior is on the same page. It follows the traditional interior design of summer houses in that region. The ground floor contains the communal areas and the private spaces, in this case the bedrooms, are on the first floor.{found on archdaily and pics by Tamas Bujnovszky}.  (Ganea)

Ganea, Simona. “A house on pillars in Hungary by Allhitecture.” Homedit. N.p., 21 Jul 2012. Web. Web. 21 Jul. 2012. <http://www.homedit.com/a-house-pillars-hungary-allhitecture/&gt;.