Saturday, 26 May 2012


Re Saving the Mid-Century Moderns:

Flat roofs that leaked–abolishing the gable roof, the greatest innovation since we abandoned caves; excessive glass that skyrocketed energy costs. Such Modernoid architecture put superficial looks above essential functions, a crippling heresy that Philip Johnson spent too long a life propagandizing.

Our first (and best) house (1954) was a National Homes prefab Cape Cod designed by the neglected genius Charles Goodman: $6000, $400 down,$40 a month. Our second was a sweetly disciplined three bedroom modern by Louie Kahn, (1959), $23,000, cleverly deployed into a hillside of century old oaks.

Modernoiders have ignored Nature foolishly, consumed by their hubris of “innovation” which usually amounts to callow goofs. Lets invest our future architectural IQ’s into greening exteriors and interiors at lowest possible prices by prefabbing.

I now live on the third floor of a 1782 Villa ($110,000) in Weimar, Germany, happy for its solid craftsmanship and surrounding cobbled pavements. Modernoidism has been the biggest avoidable error of the 20th Century.

What looks new is not always esthetically superb. The real assignment of the 21st century is the abolition of favelas where billions of the poorest live enchained.

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