Here is a little inspiration to kick off your week. Cheers!
Here is a little inspiration to kick off your week. Cheers!
A Mid-Century in the Woods | What do we love more than a cool mid-century home? One in the woods that sends us into day dreaming of our own sweet retro pad here in the mountains. As with most of our clients they long for a modernism that uses natural materials and has a strong indoor/outdoor relationship. For inspiration read this article on one of architect Henry Hoover’s most remarkable houses. Built for Kenneth and Polly Germeshausen in 1958, it is representative of the late period in Hoover’s work. Enjoy your Sunday. Cheers!
The Silver Lake was one of our favorite neighborhoods in LA while living there. Like Asheville, Los Angeles has hidden mid-century treasures tucked into hillsides. Enjoy this brief video on Richard Neutra’s own house and have a great Monday!
MOD MEN | Here is a timely story as we at Modern Asheville Real Estate work to enter a couple of mid-century homes for Griffin Preservation awards. It would be a first for this era of homes locally. As inspiration enjoy this story about the restoration of a mid-century architectural masterpiece. In 1962, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill architect Arthur Witthoefft won the AIA’s highest honor for a home he built in the lush woods of Westchester County. Having fended off a developer’s wrecking ball, Todd Goddard and Andrew Mandolene went above and beyond to make this manse mint again. Check out the article HERE. Happy Sunday!
Kelly and I were chosen to be representatives for the Preservation Society of Asheville & Buncombe County. Their yearly calendar acknowledges various people involved in local preservation efforts. As champions of mid-century and modern homes and buildings we were selected. Here we are pictured inside a well-preserved 1955 Bert King mid-century home in the Grove Park neighborhood. For more information and ways you can help go to psabc.org. Cheers and Happy Holidays!
…Modern Asheville Real Estate joins Atomic Ranch Magazine! We are so excited to now be part of one of our favorite magazines. Look for us in this month’s Design Issue coming out. Our participation should put a spotlight on our atomic sellers and the mid-century modern community here in Asheville. Cheers! And here is wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday today. Troy and Kelly
Article from February 2009 | Architect Mark Allison is a native of Asheville. He left Asheville after high school to study at UNC Charlotte. He followed that with studies in Denmark and then finished with his degree from the Pratt Institute. Eventually, he moved to Atlanta where he spent several years working for the Epsten Group. The Epsten Group was one of the first design groups in Atlanta practicing sustainable principles and LEED certifications with their projects. In 1997 he returned to Asheville where he worked for both PBC&L Architects and Samsel Architects. One year ago, after completing a home for him and his family, he opened his own design office.
Mark’s office is in his new home, which is located in one of my favorite mid-century neighborhoods off of Town Mountain Rd. The home was constructed on a steep slope opposite many 1960’s contemporary homes. While creating a 3300 sqft modern home for today his design is sensitive to the context of his neighbors all while balancing with the steep slope of his 1.5 acre site.
Mark’s use of sustainable materials was evident through much of his home along with incorporating some passive solar exposure. The steep slope of the site allowed the incorporation of a deep basement into the foundation. Mark made use of a pre-cast concrete system to allow for larger openings and more a natural light. The basement does not feel like a basement.
One of the mechanical items I knew little about was the Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV). Mark tried to explain it to me, but it went in one ear and out the other while admiring the house. Doing an online search I found the dictionary explanation in unreadable technical jargon. Still not getting it I found this video that will helped. Take a moment to watch.
Previous to visiting Mark’s office and home I looked at his website. I noticed two projects I wanted to discuss with him.
One of the two projects is a concept for a commercial building along Merrimon Ave. Mark has a great deal of experience developing commercial projects. In Mark’s words, “This building for a retail or office tenant creates a pedestrian oasis against heavy automobile traffic on Merrimon Avenue. A south-facing courtyard shielded from the street by an armature of precast concrete and glass block wall creates a multifunction courtyard. One passes from here to an inner court between an existing building and the new. The design reinforces the emerging pedestrian character of this new urban edge. The challenge was to create an economical, energy efficient shell that is true to its concept, affords flexibility to its future tenants.” I could immediately recognize and appreciate the attempts Mark was making to address both the automobile and the pedestrian. The simplicity, scale and continuous portion of the architectural marquee creates a billboard to help identify it from an automobile. At the same time the way the pedestrian level falls back becomes welcoming to those on foot. For me they are simple, clean gestures that get the job done while addressing issues that many new buildings along Merrimon don’t.
The other project I noticed is a home he is creating for a family in Asheville. He is designing a 1500q/ft., sustainable house that will house 3 generations under one roof. The house utilizes passive solar design principles and is tailored to its gently sloping site. Shared terraces and courtyards join both the public and private wings. I appreciated what he and his clients were working to achieve and believe that they were creating something we will see more of in the future which is a smaller home with the flexibility to house more generations, accommodate a professional office all while working to be energy efficient.
Looking at Mark’s projects you notice that he works closely in blending the program of each project with the context of the specific site. He works back and forth with all the different issues involved in designing a building until there is a natural balance of all the pieces while always including his individual, creative vision as part of the process and result.
(text by Troy Winterrowd, Mark’s house photos by John Fletcher of the Citizen Times)
The Playful Architecture of Andrew Geller | Yesterday, I was scrolling through our Pinterest pages for some thoughts on a post for today. As always I was drawn to Horace Gifford‘s architecture on Fire Island and thinking of the gay culture given the events of the week. However, that led me to a cool documentary called Modern Tide on the mid-century homes of Long Island. While I’m not showcasing the whole documentary this section on designer Andrew Geller is very inspiring given the combined desire for design and innovative, affordable homes. Watch this nine minute segment and think about how this sense of efficiency and play could be applied to some fun little homes in the mountains. Do enjoy and have great Sunday!
A Round House from the Sixties | Thanks for our community members for sending us this fun little video. It truly captures the heart of those who live and breathe the nuances of a unique, mid-century home.
Most people would assume that a dream home in the 1960s and a dream home today would be quite different. But, for Desiree Meyers and Julien Goldklang their dream home is a 1967 time capsule. The 1,250 square foot Nolan House just happens to be round with a quirky zig zag roof! The designer of the house, Leon Meyer, produced many buildings, but only a handful of his round homes are still standing, and this may be the most well-preserved. Filled with vintage and mid-century furniture, the couple has gone the extra mile to make sure that the decor is spot-on 1967 authentic. Picking only the most iconic and well-made pieces (since they are furniture dealers) the home reads like a catalog of the best of the 60s. A veritable time capsule, the owners say the house “is kind of like stepping back into time.” Enjoy this video here. Cheers!
Documentary Film about Henry Doelger | If you haven’t seen this little film yet take time to watch it. It is a fascinating look at the “Henry Ford” of housing and the development of a community that is still enjoyed today. It gets even better the deeper you go in to it as it includes some of the first Googie style designs and some amazing AIA Award winning school buildings. Go here to watch. Happy Sunday. Cheers!
The Architecture of a Classic mid-century Suburb is a fascinating visual journey through the Westlake District of Daly City, California, one of America’s first and most iconic postwar suburbs. Located just south of San Francisco, Westlake has frequently been compared to Levittown, New York, the first major postwar suburb in the United States. Developed by Henry Doelger, once the largest home builder in the nation, Westlake has long been the subject of adoration as well as ridicule. Perhaps Westlake’s greatest claim to fame is that it inspired Malvina Reynolds 1962 anti-suburban folk song, Little Boxes. Although the neighborhood’s quirky architecture has been featured in books, newspapers, and national magazines, this is the first book exclusively about Westlake.
General Mid-Century Design here…
…to Retro Interiors from magazines here…
…and Mid-Century Home Plans here…
….and bringing it all back home to Asheville here. Exploring further you’ll find boards on everything from Eames to Eichler. Enjoy!
Thanks for Mary Fierle of our local AIA for sending this story our way. We love it when our friends look out for us. The story on West Coast architect William Krisel was recently featured on NPR. It goes on to say: “When you think of tract homes, you think of houses that look the same: the same color scheme, the same style; homes that form two uninteresting walls on either side of a suburban street. That might be the case today, but nearly 60 years ago — at a time when “real” architects wouldn’t touch tract homes — one architect did everything he could to break the monotony. His name is William Krisel and he’s being honored by a place whose look he helped define — Palm Springs, Calif.” Read or listen to the rest here. Cheers!