Modern Modular
May 29, 2003 2:10 PM   Subscribe

The Modern Modular. Resolution: 4 Architecture is redefining prefab housing with its thoroughly modern-looking modular designs. Their premier design just won the Dwell Home competition sponsored by Dwell Magazine. Nice profile in today's WSJ.
posted by me3dia (13 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
modern-looking modular designs

Why can't they ever come up with traditional-looking modular designs???
posted by oissubke at 2:50 PM on May 29, 2003


Probably because most architects find traditional boring, and because there's already a ton of traditional-looking prefab home designs available.
posted by me3dia at 2:56 PM on May 29, 2003


Well, these would be impractical in most subdivisions. With all of those floor-ceiling windows, there is a distinct feeling of a lack of privacy. To prevent people from looking into each other's homes, most traditional subdivision homes these days have few or no windows on the sides. Those modular designs all have wrap around windows.
posted by PigAlien at 3:04 PM on May 29, 2003


sheers and drapes. what's so wrong with seeing into each other's homes?
posted by grimley at 4:04 PM on May 29, 2003


Probably because most architects find traditional boring, and because there's already a ton of traditional-looking prefab home designs available.

I don't see how they find traditional boring, since "modern" is all architects seem to do these days. Something notstruggling to be modern would be a refreshing change.

And it's not the prefab part I'm interested in as much as the modular part. I'd like a modular cottage or a modular castle or something like that. Something different.

The idea of "modular and modern" has been done to death. They've been doing in since the 50s at the very least.
posted by oissubke at 4:18 PM on May 29, 2003


I agree that modular and modern have been done - to death. But the other problem raised by oissubke is a matter of style and taste. Why any architects don't usually like to do "traditional," "colonial", or any old style, is because those styles and ideas have no relevance to our lives. Why live in a Gothic house? ever think what Gothic was all about? Besides being the glorification of the Judeo-Christian god, it also was the style generated by rich, white noblemen, who ruled over the poor populace. These "styles" are unable to manage the current technology; how would a "gothic" builder treat ethernet? Electricity? Plumbing? It can't. If you want a gothic building, you have to go all the way: thick masonry walls, tapestries to act as insulation, no heat, no plumbing. If not, you are just getting window dressing.

Authenticity is the problem.

And oissubke, the term "modern" has no relevance. Is it the Modern Movement of the 1920's Bauhaus, 1950's Modernism or plain Contemporary architecture that you find problems with? Because, these terms carry separate, and different meaning. Being in the architectural profession, it sometimes grates when people dismiss out of hand "modern". Get to know it first, and don't just look at the window dressing, or the surface - please.

And, PigAlien, maybe we need to change the concept of subdivisions, and the house at the same time - both don't seem to work for contemporary Americans nowadays.
posted by plemeljr at 4:43 PM on May 29, 2003


If it's conservatism that you want then by all means check out the New Urbanism. While you're at it, stop by and read a Pattern Language. I'll be over here in this modern world reading up on some criticism. And shopping for sheers. Thanks.
posted by grimley at 4:46 PM on May 29, 2003


post preview, plemeljr probably said it better and less snarky than i. I've been drawing conpemporary things all day. Nice thesis, plemeljr.
posted by grimley at 4:49 PM on May 29, 2003


If you want a gothic building, you have to go all the way: thick masonry walls, tapestries to act as insulation, no heat, no plumbing. If not, you are just getting window dressing. Authenticity is the problem.

Why can't we have inauthentic gothic buildings? Why do we have to "go all the way"? It can be an authentic faux gothic.
posted by kindall at 5:46 PM on May 29, 2003


nice link. thank you.

http://www.modernity.nu

some mod furniture to go with your mod house :)
posted by specialk420 at 6:10 PM on May 29, 2003


maybe those architectural magazines seem to show only "modern" attempts at modular. but have you driven out in the world recently? mostly they are boxes. boxes everywhere. i at least appreciate a real attempt at style, done in a producable manner.

Why live in a Gothic house? ever think what Gothic was all about?

i'd like to think that you were kidding. we imitate styles we like. what kind of arrogance assumes that these imitations must fulfill only what was intend in the era they were built? ethernet in a gothic styled house? why the fuck not?
not that i like gothic styling. i think most people have poor taste in the style of their abodes.
but no, i completely do not understand your reasoning here.
posted by kid_twist at 8:01 PM on May 29, 2003


plemeljr: And, PigAlien, maybe we need to change the concept of subdivisions, and the house at the same time - both don't seem to work for contemporary Americans nowadays.

Well, for what its worth, I hate those subdivisions and find them life-draining. However, its unfortunately untrue to say that they don't seem to work for contemporary Americans. I'm actually in Real Estate, and contemporary America is eating them up hook, line and sinker. *sigh*
posted by PigAlien at 10:27 PM on May 29, 2003


Thank you me3dia for the links, by the way.

And before I pull an Ayn Rand on all you 'traditionalists' spouting your crown moulding and doric column ideal of perfection, remember that 'traditional' is the prevalent style, and has been unfortunately for some time.

Whether you call it modern, po-mo, or whatever, remember that it is the relative new comer on the block. If you don't like clean lines, open space, and lots of light, so be it. There are plenty of 'traditional' suburbia/exurbia pre-fabs waiting for your occupation with widened garage doorways beckoning you and your SUV. Take heart little campers, the modernists won't be taking over, just yet.

When did I get so jaded?
posted by jazzkat11 at 11:08 PM on May 30, 2003


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