The Theodore Wirth home was conceptualized to stand as a modern ranch in a natural hillside landscape of Minnesota.
Mid-Century Modern Architecture
Mid-century modern architecture, together with inspiring and enjoyable mid-century houses, is our focus.
We write about mid-century and contemporary architecture that represents modernist values as we believe that good architecture must be accessible to everyone and speak to people: like the projects we collect here.
In this section we feature a curation of the best works in 20th century’s modern mid-century architecture: Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies Van Der Rohe, Philip Johnson, Richard Neutra or Arne Jacobsen are only few of the architects you will find.
There’s a touch of the Sydney Opera House about this chapel in South Africa.
And just as the Sydney Opera House emulates the sails and waves of Sydney’s harbour, the Bosjes Chapel seeks to capture both the historic Cape Dutch gables, and the outline of the surrounding mountainous landscape on which these gables can be found.
This newly-built modernist church in Ohio is remarkably high-concept.
Indeed, the Church of St. Aloysius is full of ideas: clearly informed by contemporary architecture, it also uses a number of theological references as influence for its unusual design.
Jack Colker’s 76 Gas Station in Los Angeles is a bona fide classic of mid-century modern architecture.
Architects Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer, have a point of intersection in their careers that make them unique.
They both designed an entire city from a drawing table: Chandigarh and Brasília.
On November 2017 was the fourth instalment of the SarasotaMOD Weekend, an annual mid-century modern architecture festival in Sarasota, Florida.
Samuel Lamas, is a Brazilian architect who studied Italian and worked alongside renowned architect Massimiliano Fuksas.
Samuel will tell us how he believes that Modernist principles dealt with the essential issues of human life.
Today we have a chat with Peter Grueneisen, founder of Nonzero, about his work, approach to modernist architecture and its influence on contemporary architecture.
Public reception of a mid-century home often stands and falls on the talent of the photographer capturing it.
But it is up to the photographer to really communicate the intricate qualities of the subject.
We all know that the mid-century modernism is best enjoyed visually, so here we have compiled a select list of some of our favourite Instagram accounts covering mid-century and modernist architecture.
The MAC Niterói was one of the last projects carried out by the great Brazilian modernist architect Oscar Niemayer.
Completed in 1996, the UFO-shaped structure is located on a rocky promontory on the edge of the city of Niterói.
This collection of buildings in Mission Valley, San Diego are quite a hidden delight. Built between 1970 and 1974 they were named after the company they were intended for, Industrial Indemnity. This rather technical name belies a discrete beauty.
Richard Neutra’s VDL Research House is surely the building whose history best captures the life of its architect.
Named “VDL” after the wealthy Dutch industrialist Cees H. Van der Leeuw, Neutra’s early benefactor, it served as the architect’s own home and studio for much of his career.
The Villa Savoye was built by the cousins Pierre and Charles Edouard Jeanneret, the latter much better known by his pseudonym Le Corbusier. Situated in Poissy in north central France, and just outside Paris, Pierre Savoye commissioned the cousins to build the home in 1928.
Le Corbusier’s “La Cité Radieuse” or Radiant City is an undisputed masterpiece of modernist design. Designed way back in 1929, and built between 1947 and 1952, the block featured one of the first instances of the architect’s path-breaking Unité d’Habitation (housing unit), a modernist residential design principle he developed in collaboration with painter-architect Nadir Afonso.
This São Paulo flat looks about as modernist as it gets. Filled with an expertly curated array of modernist furniture pieces and overlooking the Ibriapuera Park (designed by legendary Brazilian modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer and landscape designer Otávio Augusto Teixeira Mendes), it would come as no surprise to see the pictures displayed in a textbook definition of the style.
Situated in Warren, Michigan, just north of Detroit, the GM Technical Center has served as the heart of General Motor’s engineering research since it was finished in 1956. Built by the great mid-century modernist architect Eero Saarinen, along with his son Eliel, Life magazine hailed it as the “Versailles of Industry” when it was unveiled.
Discussion of modernist architecture in Brazil often ends up dealing with just one man: Oscar Niemeyer. One of the first truly international architects, Niemeyer is rightly lauded for putting Brazilian architecture on the map, beginning with his design, alongside his mentor Lucio Costa, of the Brazilian Pavilion at 1939 New York World’s Fair, and culminating in his design of Brazil’s capital Brasilia.
Eero Saarinen’s Bell Labs Holmdel Complex, a majestic glass box appearing mirage-like amid the New Jersey countryside, was one of the architect’s last projects before he died in 1961. Constructed between 1959 and 1962 it represents a remarkably prescient model for the way many modern offices and educational facilities are now being constructed, with their specific emphasis on stimulating collaboration and fostering encounters between different departments.
One block away from downtown Palm Springs, California sits the Del Marcos Hotel – a hotel designed in 1947 by William F. Cody. Cody is considered a “famed desert architect,” for this hotel, along with some of his other works.
Saarinen’s TWA Flight Center A landmark airport terminal is not the first place that people are likely to look when looking for mid-century design. The style being mostly associated with furniture for the home. But to really get a flavour of where the the mid-century sits in the broader history of modernist design there are a fair few things to learn from the TWA Flight Center at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
A decade after finishing the SC Johnson Administration building in Racine, Wisconsin, Frank Lloyd Wright started the construction of the Research and Development Tower.
The 1950s building for SC Johnson was the home to many of the company’s most well-known inventions and was in need of lab facilities for their rising research and development department.
Architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) was one of the word’s most renowned of the 20th century in his profession, he designed over 1,000 structures, but the Price Company Tower in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, is the only skyscraper he ever conceived.
After more than fifty years the Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Lafayette Park built in Detroit, still is at its best. Michigan’s largest city was once known as the “Paris of the West.” In its prime, Detroit lived up to its European-influenced nickname by having sophisticated urban design and architecture. Today, in the shadows of empty high-rises is an overlooked, inspiring example of urban renewal.
Forced to leave his native country due to mounting political pressure, and the dwindling prospect of future commissions, Mies emigrated to the United States in 1937, where he was subsequently appointed head of the department of architecture at Chicago’s Armour Institute of Technology and for which he was later called to design a new master plan after Armour Institute and Lewis Institute merged in Chicago to create the Illinois Institute of Technology.