Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Robin Boyd Residence II

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Photo ©Darren Bradley
I had the good fortune to spend a few hours last week at the Boyd House II in Melbourne. The Boyd House is one of Australia's most celebrated modernist homes by one of Australia's most celebrated modernist architects. I loved it. 


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Orange County Eichlers

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Fairhills Eichler Plan OJ-1605 by A. Quincy Jones & Frederick Emmons (1964). Photo ©Darren Bradley
"Eichler" has become a household word these days, used to describe just about any modernist tract house. Sort of the way "Eames" is used on eBay as a catch-all for any object remotely modern that looks like it may have been made sometime in the 50s or 60s. But actually, there are very few Eichler developments in Southern California. That was more of a Northern California thing, and there are many tracts around the Bay Area. In SoCal, there are only four: three in Orange County and one  two in the Valley. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

El Rancho Vista Estates

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Photo ©Darren Bradley
When I first visited El Rancho Vista Estates in 1999, it was a sad experience, and more than a bit frightening. I was even concerned about getting out of my car. Its turnaround today, to one of the most beautiful and intact modernist neighborhoods in the Coachella Valley, is a shining example of how preservation can work for a community. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Brutalist Enclave in a Sydney Suburb

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UTS Kuring-gai. Photo ©Darren Bradley
The architect stated that the natural landscape was so beautiful, it should not have been built on. But he did it anyway. And I'm very glad he did. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Climate Change: Mid-century modern La Jolla

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Period photo by Charles Schneider of the Russell Forester Residence. Much of the furniture and objects seen in the photo can be viewed in person at the exhibition. 
La Jolla (pronounced "La Hoya" for the non locals and non-hispanically inclined) is a small, exclusive resort town just north of downtown San Diego. As far as architecture goes, it's long been known for its late 19th and early 20th century traditional, craftsman-style beach cottages. But La Jolla was also fertile ground for modernism beginning even in the 1920s. The post-war period was an especially prolific time in La Jolla, and a small group of architects, artists, and craftsmen made a significant impact on the community with their contributions. These contributions have been largely overlooked until now. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Lillie Residence

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Carmen and Todd in their dining room. Lillie Residence by Lloyd Ruocco. Photo ©Darren Bradley
Architect Lloyd Ruocco left an enduring mark on San Diego, through his unobtrusive architecture that seems to disappear into the surrounding environment. There are many examples throughout the county - and especially in the east around Mt. Helix. The Lillie Residence is the nicest example of Ruocco's work that I've ever seen. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Missed Opportunity

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SAHMRI Photo ©Darren Bradley
The South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) has just been completed in Adelaide, South Australia by the architectural firm of Woods Bagot. I've been watching it go up for the past couple of year during my frequent visits to Adelaide, and documenting its progress. Finally, the SAHMRI building has been completed, which coincided with my most recent visit to that fair city. So I was really looking forward to the opportunity of finally seeing the interior and perhaps getting a few photographs from inside. That didn't happen. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Ullman Residence

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Photo ©Darren Bradley
The Ullman Residence was designed by local San Diego architect John Mock in 1964. Like Ellwood's Bobertz Residence, it's a perfect example of what can happen when the right owners find the right house. It's without question one of the nicest and most pristine modernist homes in San Diego. But it wouldn't be this way if not for the herculean efforts of its owners, Loretta & Mark Chavez. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Bobertz Residence

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Bobertz Residence by Craig Ellwood (1953). Photo ©Darren Bradley
The Bobertz Residence is the only home designed by Craig Ellwood (with Ernie Jacks and Jerrold Lomax) in San Diego County. The young couple who commissioned it - Gerry & Charles Bobertz - had recently arrived from upstate New York by way of a brief stint in the SF Bay area. They were avid fans of John Entenza's Arts & Architecture magazine, and chose Ellwood as the architect of their new home after seeing his work in the Case Study House Program. And indeed, this could easily have been one of the homes featured in that program.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Columbus, Indiana

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North Christian Church by Eero Saarinen (1954). Photo ©Darren Bradley
In my previous blog post, I talked about my visit to the famous Miller House in Columbus, Indiana. That house was the legacy of one exceptional man - J. Irwin Miller, CEO of the Cummins Diesel Engine Company. But his legacy didn't stop at the front door of his own home. Turns out, Miller left an extensive legacy of modernist architecture in his home town - enough to make this small city of 40,000 in southern Indiana one of the most important concentrations of significant architecture in the country, if not the world.