Modern Architecture

 

The Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, was designed by architect Philip Johnson and built between 1947 and 1949. At the time, The Glass House’s design was a radical departure from contemporary houses in that its exterior walls were made entirely of glass and it had no interior walls or partitions. Today, this remarkable Midcentury Modern architectural achievement is a National Trust Historic Site.

Continuing the tradition of innovation and creativity at the Glass House, the Trust sponsored the installation of “Veil” by Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya during from May 1 to November 30, 2014. This site-specific artist project enveloped The Glass House in fog, giving visitors a new, extraordinary experience.

Recently, we talked with artist Fujiko Nakaya to get the inside details about the “Veil” installation and her other projects.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi is the director of digital content at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and walks around looking up at buildings.

 

Our In Transition series digs back in and brings you up to speed on the current status of historic places previously featured in Preservation magazine or the PreservationNation blog.

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The Orange County Government Center is a Brutalist-style building designed by architect Paul Rudolph.

The Orange County Government Center in Goshen, New York was featured in the Winter 2013 Issue of Preservation magazine as the focus of the article, “Defending Brutalism.” The complex was designed by architect Paul Rudolph and completed in 1971. After 40 years of use, wear and tear on the building showed in its leaky roofs and outdated mechanical systems. In 2011, tropical storms Irene and Lee exacerbated problems and closed the Orange County Government Center for good.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson

Jamesha Gibson is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. She is passionate about using historic preservation as an avenue for underrepresented communities to share their unique stories. Jamesha also enjoys learning about other cultures through reading, art, language, dancing, and especially cuisine.

[Interview] Luftwerk Takes You Inside “INsite” at Farnsworth House

Posted on: February 23rd, 2015 by Julia Rocchi

 

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You might have heard it said that the past illuminates the present. But what if we in the present illuminated the past -- literally and wonderfully?

That's what INsite, last year's light and sound installation at National Trust Historic Site Farnsworth House, achieved in spectacular measure with a hypnotic video composition set to original music that played on and throughout the classic Mies van der Rohe-designed space. (Check out the video after the jump.) Created by artist collaborative Luftwerk, the piece played with the site's transparency and minimalism to create a new experience for visitors.

INsite ended four months ago, but its beauty has stayed with us. So we caught up with artist Petra Bachmaier -- who, with Luftwerk partner, Sean Gallero, created the multi-sensory experience -- to learn more about their work and the creative vision behind it.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi

Julia Rocchi is the director of digital content at the National Trust. By day she wrangles content; by night (and weekends), she shops local, travels to story-rich places, and walks around looking up at buildings.

[Q&A] What Life is Like in Louis Kahn’s Esherick House

Posted on: February 9th, 2015 by Katherine Flynn 2 Comments

 

The southeast-facing back wall of the Esherick House floods the home with natural light.
The southeast-facing back wall of the Esherick House floods the home with natural light.

In early January, we rounded up the current status of each of the nine private homes designed by renowned Modern architect Louis Kahn, all located in the greater Philadelphia metro area. After seeing our post, the new owners of the Esherick House in Chestnut Hill reached out to us, hoping to share their story.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.

The Houses of Louis Kahn: Where Are They Now?

Posted on: January 6th, 2015 by Katherine Flynn 15 Comments

 

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The Esherick House in Philadelphia

In our Winter 2015 issue of Preservation magazine, Modernism-loving managing editor Meghan Drueding brings us the story of Bianca Sforni and Charles Firmin-Didot, a European couple who were so entranced by the Louis Kahn-designed Fisher House in suburban Pennsylvania that they recently decided to make it their home.

Dr. Norman Fisher and his wife Doris, who commissioned the house in 1960, weren’t the only people to seek Kahn’s renowned expertise in designing a relatively affordable, at the time, Midcentury Modern home. The Estonian-born Kahn designed an estimated two dozen houses during his lifetime, nine of which were built in the Philadelphia area for private clients.

Of these nine, all are still standing today, some still owned by the original families. We wanted to get the lowdown on each of these houses, so we did some digging. We hope our findings are as interesting to you as they were to us.

For more information (and beautiful photos,) check out The Houses of Louis Kahn by George H. Marcus and William Whitaker. ... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.

What It’s Like to Live in a Louis Kahn House

Posted on: December 29th, 2014 by Meghan Drueding 1 Comment

 

The Fisher-Kahn House presents an understated, cypress-clad façade to the street.
The Fisher-Kahn House presents an understated, cypress-clad façade to the street.

Most people associate the revered Modernist architect Louis Kahn with his enduring institutional buildings, such as the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, the National Assembly Building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut. But Kahn designed houses, too -- extraordinary dwellings filled with natural light and beloved by their owners. One of the nine in existence, the 1967 Fisher-Kahn House in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, was deeded to the National Trust in 2011 through an agreement with its original owners, Doris and Norman Fisher.

The National Trust created a strict protective easement for the property and found a preservation-minded couple, Charles Firmin-Didot and Bianca Sforni, to buy it. A story in the Winter 2015 issue of Preservation magazine takes a closer look at the house’s past and present, but here we’ve included some reflections on what it’s like to be there from those who know it best.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Meghan Drueding

Meghan Drueding

Meghan Drueding is the managing editor of Preservation magazine. She has a weakness for mid-century modern, walkable cities, and coffee table books about architecture and design.