Recognising the Value of Mid-Century Modern Architecture


Recognising the Value of Mid-Century Modern Architecture

July 17, 2017
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Architecture has become a major part of everyone’s lives, it starts with a simple thought and transforms itself into a complex masterpiece which is held and conceived by a series of experienced individuals who are extremely passionate about this art form. Humanity has been lucky enough to witness the development of some of the biggest architectural achievements of our modern time, including the Guggenheim Museum or the Sydney Opera House, and countless others. Today, Coveted will recognise the value of Mid-Century Modern Architecture, by displaying the best features of this architectural type as well as renowned architects one must get to know, amongst other aspects, so be prepared to be inspired.


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“Architecture starts when you carefully put two bricks together. There it begins”

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe


Architecture is and has always been a reflection of the times we are living in. Not only because of the materials that are used in its construction but also because of the lines, shapes, and dimensions keep on changing in order to reflect the new trends and movements of our ever-evolving world. During the mid-twentieths, architects were trying to reach something new, something different. The great architects of the 40s and 50s believed that their forward-looking style could be a vehicle for social change, and thus creating a better society. As a matter of fact, it was during this time that the public garages started to appear, trying to mirror that social change.




Architects such as Eero Saarinen or Arne Jacobsen were at the forefront of this movement, right next to personalities such as Le Corbusier and even the great Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. Although it all started in Europe, it quickly made its way across the ocean into American lands, where it immediately received a wide and warm welcome, especially in the West Coast, where Palm Springs would come to be the pinnacle of everything mid-century related, from designs to homes, to overall inspirations.




Flat Planes


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It’s very easy to notice that most of these homes have very regular and rigorous geometric lines. One of most regular features of them all are the roofs. It’s very common to see flat planes, and they instantly became one of the most popular features in mid-century homes.


Large Windows


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Sliding-glass doors and other expansive panes of glass allowed light to enter rooms from multiple angles.


Changes In Elevation


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Small steps going up and down between rooms creates split-level spaces, even if the rooms’ height differs just a few inches. A mid- century modern home usually has partial walls, or cabinets of varying heights to create different depths in the space.


Integration with Nature


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Mid-century modern houses are usually located in areas with a lot of natural surroundings. To enjoy this advantage, rooms have multiple outdoor views, or multiple access points, encouraging an appreciation of healthy living, mirroring a very northern-European way of living.


♣ Get to Know the Most CovetED Architects ♣


Eero Saarinen


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Image Credit to Shannon Stapleton


Eero Saarinen was a 20th-century Finnish American architect and industrial designer noted for his mid-century modern and neo-futuristic style. Some of his most famous works include the now-closed TWA Terminal at the JFK airport, as well as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.


Alvar Aalto


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Image Credit to Samuel Ludwig


Alvar Aalto’s career is reflected in the styles of his work, ranging from Nordic Classicism to a rational International Style Modernism during the 1930s to a more organic modernist style from the 1940s onwards. One of his most notable works is Maison Louis Carré, depicted above.


Arne Jacobsen


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Image Credit to Flickr user Seier


Arne Emil Jacobsen was a Danish architect and designer, probably best remembered for his contribution to architectural Functionalism. His works are mainly located in the North of Europe, with a very typical mid-century social building being one of his most famous works: Aarhus City Hall.


Ludwig Mies van der Rohe


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Image Credit to Farnsworth Foundation


Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a German-American architect. Along with Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius and Frank Lloyd Wright, he is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of modernist architecture. One of this most notable works has to be The Farnsworth House, which is probably one of the most famous houses in the world.


Richard Neutra


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Image Credit to Thom Watson


Richard Joseph Neutra was an Austrian-American architect. Living and building for the majority of his career in Southern California, he came to be considered among the most important modernist architects. His Kaufmann House is probably one of his most renowned works.

♣ Discover the Enticing Beauty of Palm Springs ♣


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Abernathy Residence by William F Cody | Image Credit to Jake Holt


As we have stated earlier, Palm Springs is the pinnacle of mid-century modern architecture and overall design. For some reason, the rough landscape of the Californian region served as an inspiration to many architects, which decided to site their creations in the desert lands of Palm Springs. The minimalist style of the mid-century modern homes ended up creating a stunning contrast with the arid plains and mountains all over the region, creating those dreamy and uncanny ambiences we are now so familiar with.


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Elrod House by John Lautner | Image Credit to Nelson-Moe Properties