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The Architecture Thread

edinatlanta

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It's hard to pick the worst element in that tragedy, but ultimately I land on the ceiling fans in the bedrooms.
You must've missed the chandelier.
 

Van Veen

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I'll go with "Complete Lack Of Any Architectural Qualities At All" for $2,700,000, Alex.
The funny thing is the architect does some good work. This must have been a brutal project for him. Here's another house of his, built a few years earlier, that was recently on the market.


p.s. The bathroom is the worst part of that tragedy to me.
 

venessian

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The funny thing is the architect does some good work. This must have been a brutal project for him. Here's another house of his, built a few years earlier, that was recently on the market.


p.s. The bathroom is the worst part of that tragedy to me.
Many architects are capable of better than what actually gets built. Not to blame clients entirely at all, but it is a certainty that bad, compromised, and/or confused clients make for bad, compromised, and/or confused projects. In residential work this is doubly true.
 

Van Veen

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Many architects are capable of better than what actually gets built. Not to blame clients entirely at all, but it is a certainty that bad, compromised, and/or confused clients make for bad, compromised, and/or confused projects. In residential work this is doubly true.
I don't know what your specialty is, but I assume someone seeking out a modernist architect falls into one of two camps:

1. Artistic types who understand the process and allow the architect to have creative freedom, but perhaps with a limited budget. (I've noticed a lot of homes and studios for artists, authors, professors, etc. in architects' portfolios. These are the projects the architects have chosen to show off.)

2. Rich people who have bigger budgets, but will probably exert more control over the project.

The combination of 1 & 2 is probably the ideal client. Creative freedom + large budget.

I wish I could afford even a modest modern home, but that's just a wild dream. Once again we get into the catch-22 of modernism: most of the modernist architects talk a big game about urbanism and combating sprawl, but their portfolios don't reflect those ideals, possibly because of the price tag that comes with building modern homes vs. more traditional homes.

I may be talking out of my ass here, but that's what Styleforum is for, right?
 

venessian

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Not at all talking out of your ass.

The fallacy though is that "more money = better architecture". That is simply not true, and I have worked at all scales and budget levels.

Wealthy clients do not necessarily exert more control at all. Some of the most controlling clients are in fact those who are counting half-pennies at midnight, and then come to the 9:00 am meeting always angry but unwilling to compromise/cut program/accept reality.

Otoh, really wealthy clients do not all equate greater sophistication, either. My old employer gave up what would have been a $1Billion project because the client was a real jerk...and we fortunately could say to him, "Sorry, but no thanks. This is not the project for us." to him. It would have been a complete nightmare to "work with" that guy.

I do not really agree that "modern homes" cost more than "traditional homes"...here speaking of architect-designed work, not developer/tract housing. An Alan Greenberg or Robert AM Stern, etc., Neo-Classical residence will easily equal or surpass a Gehry or Meier, etc., residence in sf costs.

One sad legacy of American Modern residential architecture is that pre-fab never really gained sufficient traction, and now has become just as "niche" as so many other attempts to corral costs. In addition, there is almost 0 tradition of great, high-quality, carefully considered lower-cost/social housing in the USA (although in certain cities there is some (minor, and small-scale) improvement in that area).

It is true (ime) that many artists, etc. indeed do gravitate toward more "modern" work, for obvious reasons.
 

brokencycle

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Three dumb questions.

1. Why do they have those seemingly random places chrome colored frames for the windows? Is that so they are a more standard size or require less expensive glazing/framing and thus cost less?

2. What are those things on the wall in picture 17?

3. Most modern houses I see have large picture windows and not much in the way of operable windows. This appears to have a couple. Why is that? I would miss having the windows open if I was surrounded by glass.
 

venessian

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Three dumb questions.

1. Why do they have those seemingly random places chrome colored frames for the windows? Is that so they are a more standard size or require less expensive glazing/framing and thus cost less?

2. What are those things on the wall in picture 17?

3. Most modern houses I see have large picture windows and not much in the way of operable windows. This appears to have a couple. Why is that? I would miss having the windows open if I was surrounded by glass.
1. Hard to see, but they look like spandrel panels to cover structure + shading devices.

2. I think a sculpture.

3. There seem to be plenty of operable windows/doors in that house, plus since it is all active HVAC they likely made the choice to not install more, for no need/maintenance/cost/aesthetic reasons.
 

brokencycle

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1. Hard to see, but they look like spandrel panels to cover structure + shading devices.

2. I think a sculpture.

3. There seem to be plenty of operable windows/doors in that house, plus since it is all active HVAC they likely made the choice to not install more, for no need/maintenance/cost/aesthetic reasons.
I understand in that house there appear to a decent amount of operable windows, but that comment was pointed at modern architecture in general. Maybe it is because so much of it is done in urban settings where if you can't open the windows it is no big deal..

Are there good examples of modern architecture where a lot of windows are operable?
 

venessian

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I understand in that house there appear to a decent amount of operable windows, but that comment was pointed at modern architecture in general. Maybe it is because so much of it is done in urban settings where if you can't open the windows it is no big deal..

Are there good examples of modern architecture where a lot of windows are operable?
"Good" is subjective of course, but imo there certainly are, moreso outside of the USA. The USA is very "airtight HVAC-centric", especially regarding office/commercial work and high-rise residential.

I have worked a lot in Europe where the "green thing" is historically and currently not spelled "GREEN+LEEDS+$", etc.; that is, not as driven by commercial product interests but rather much more by basic common sense and site-context considerations, and many projects there, even multi-story/high-rise/urban, good/bad/indifferent, utilize almost 100% operable windows. It is part of the culture.

This one for example. An office complex in Dusseldorf, Germany. I do not recall exactly now, but ~1800 windows of very few (3 or 4) basic types situated in ~800+ different "frame-boxes"...and every single one of them operable.

Dusseldorf - Der Neue Zollhof







 

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