19 March 2010

Architectural Details in Modernist Construction

During the last few weeks, I have been showing high-end modernist homes (to wonderful clients, which makes it all the more fun). Some architectural elements I found interesting enough to mention (and which you do not see in wedding-cake architecture, a.k.a. Spanish revival):

Kitchens: A lot of details come straight out of restaurants. (I love those; my dad produced professional kitchen equipment. When he suggested to my mum in the mid-seventies that our kitchen overhaul should include stainless steel backsplashes and appliances, she let him chose: between instant divorce or a non-stainless kitchen. But he sure didn’t lack vision, did he?) 
Miele, Gaggenau and Neff are of outstanding quality, so are Wolf and Thermador. Preferred are six burners. Also: double ovens, warming-, chilling– and freezer-drawers. Not seen yet: professional exhaust hoods.

Restaurant-type faucets and large stainless sinks.

 Silky limestone flooring (feel them next time you can!), as groutless as possible.

Cantilevered stairways, this one made from steel (bouncy!).

Brushed stainless door hardware; door frames with an all-around shadow-gap, insert shown is brushed aluminum.

Recessed brushed-aluminum kickboards instead of baseboards and shadow-gapped doorframes make for an overall impression of museum-style walls. (Above house still under construction, so things are a bit rough. And photographing a white corner is about as easy as taking pictures of limestone flooring).

Structural-glass flooring panels (photo: IBP).

Matching inside flooring, pool deck is cast-concrete tile, tying interior to exterior spaces. 

Dry-stacking, as wall or accent.

Not sexy, but extremely important: a bundle of energy-saving measures include low-e glazing, temperature-controlled (air-conditioned, vs. vented) attics, and low-e roofing, such as standing-seam metal roofs with sprayed-on underside insulation (photo: Ocean Drive Roofing). Seems like we’re finally waking up to energy conversation as the Europeans did a while ago... about time!

I may be wrong, but currently I observe a greater emphasis on craftsmanship and detail in modernist design than in Spanish revival, which still accounts for the majority of upscale new construction in SE Florida. True or my selective perception?

As always, your observations and comments are most welcome.

Have a nice weekend!

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