At a period in time when the average size of an American home is right around 3000 square feet, it’s nice to see other parts of the world still think modest. Or at least some architects still think modest. I’ve never understood the need for a massive house with tons of unneeded, unused, space. Modular 4 was just under 1500 square feet. My current loft is a mere 1000. That is one of the reasons I really like this modular glass home in New Zealand by Architect Chris Tate.
This house is not large. If you look at the photos and the schematic, I would say this space is between 1200 and 1500 square feet at most. The house feels huge though, thanks to the copious amounts of glazing that literally blend the dwelling into the surrounding forest. The interior and exterior spaces fold together where the structure is perched in the branches of the densely forested hills of Auckland’s suburb of Titirangi.
I like the small footprint of the home, but I love the clean minimal lines. The limited color pallet, and the fact that the structure forces the occupant to live with less. From every angle of the interior, you are surrounded by dense green foliage. The forest becomes an ever changing backdrop. Even the bedroom which is isolated at the opposite end of the main living area offers a panoramic view of the world outside. This is definitely a place that I could call home.
One week ago I gave up my stewardship of a Studio 804 house in Kansas City Kansas and downsized, moving to a loft downtown. The contrast in architectural styles and size is pretty dramatic. The loft however does a really nice job of blending minimal modernism with the architectural style of a building that was erected in 1905. Eventually, what I would really love, is to be living in a modest, modern home on the central coast of California.
I have always been drawn to California modernism for a number of reasons, and I am quite excited by “Coast Modern” an independent documentary by Mike Bernard and Gavin Froome. Their film travels the West Coast north from LA to Vancouver showcasing the pioneering architects that invented West Coast Modernist Architecture. The film shows the interior and exteriors of iconic modernist masterworks and shows how the buildings were designed to work in collaboration with the natural environment.
The film doesn’t have any screening dates here in Kansas City as of yet, but hopefully that will change. Based on the trailer, this looks like an exciting documentary for all architecture fans.
Once again if I had a couple or three million extra dollars lying around needing to be spent, I’d be buying yet another house. Halstead properties is currently under contract to sell architect John Johansen’s “Goodyear House” located on a 2 acre lot in Darien, Connecticut. Johansen is the only surviving member of the Harvard Five which included Marcel Breuer, Landis Gores, Philip Johnson and Eliot Noyes.
The Goodyear house which was built in 1955 is a fantastic example of Mid-Century Modern architectural styling. With its open floor plans and indoor-outdoor living the house epitomizes the modern architecture of the period. The house showcases Johansen’s use of spatial symbols, and for the most part looks to be unaltered from the original in the photos. The house is sited in a secluded green area, and the expanses of glazing in the 6000 square foot home allow whoever lands this property to enjoy panoramic views of the Connecticut woodlands it is located on. If you want to see a video of this masterpiece, click here.