Baby Boomer Nostalgia – Mid Century Modern Architecture

Baby Boomer Nostalgia – Mid Century Modern Architecture

If the Baby Boomers have an Architectural Style to call their own, it is Mid-Century Modern.

Key Elements Include:

  • Flat planes. The geometric lines of the house are regular and rigorous. Flat roofs are common, though modern ranch-style houses had gable roofs.
  • Large windows. Sliding-glass doors and other expansive panes of glass allow light to enter rooms from multiple angles.
  • Changes in elevation. Small steps going up and down between rooms creates split-level spaces. A mid-century modern might have partial walls, or cabinets of varying heights to create different depths in the space.
  • Integration with nature. Rooms have multiple outdoor views, or multiple access points, encouraging an appreciation of healthy living.

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Famous Examples

  • The Philip Johnson Glass House. This New Canaan, Conn., house was designed in 1949 by architect Philip Johnson as his own residence, with interior space that’s divided by low walnut cabinets and a brick cylinder that contains the bathroom. The house is governed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and sits on a 47-acre estate overlooking a pond.
  • Farnsworth House. Designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, this 1951 house in Plano, Ill., is known for its transparency and simplicity. The calm landscape of the Fox River and surrounding trees, its minimalist expression, and a floating terrace make it one of the architect’s most noted works.
  • Stahl House — Case Study House 22. This 1960 house, made famous by Julius Shulman’s classic photo of two well-dressed women enjoying cocktails in a glass house that seems to float above Los Angeles, was designed by Pierre Koenig and is located in the Hollywood Hills.
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