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Tomorrow's Houses: New England Modernism Hardcover – April 5, 2011
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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"What I love most about this book, ...the rich photographs come alive, it feels as if you could step right into the homes." Joseph Truini This Old House
"I'm eagerly awaiting this beautifully shot tribute to early modernist architecture, especially the Bauhaus-influenced house Gropius designed for his family." Reed Krakoff, NYTimes.com
"don't know much about 20th c. architecture in New England... you might like looking at cool 20th houses in colour"- WowHaus --wowhaus.co.uk/2011/05/19/new-book-tomorrows-houses-new-england-modernism-by-alexander-gorlin-and-geoffrey-gross/
"I usually like Modern(but), its interiors often leave me cold.Mr. Gorlin's book changed that. It is a feast of beauty&warmth..leaving me to imagine how wonderful it must be to live in any of them." --nysocialdiary.com/node/1906432
"Why did modern architecture take root in this region of colonial homes&entrenched tradition?" asks Gorlin. He traces its roots to the Puritan cult of honesty&simplicity...- FORM --formmag.net/michael-webb/tag/tomorrows-houses
From the Author
Photographer's Statement-I was privileged to spend a day photographing at a house in Massachusetts while the family was present. A beautiful crisp autumn picture post card day; the mom-spent time in the kitchen and spent time with the daughter as well as both children. Dad did yard chores, went on errands and so forth. In the afternoon the son engaged in some hunting, bagging a few rabbits that were skinned and saved, whatever that entails. Toward the end of the day I was invited to stay for dinner- an invitation I eagerly accepted, the cooking aromas of the day ever-present.Towards evening the mom prepared dinner while I played checkers in front of the fireplace with the children. I lost every game.We sat down to a meal of venison stew that couldn't be beat; watched the sun set thru the extensive glass windows/walls and as that progressed I became aware that the house interior now came "alive"- what had been a thin invisible skin was now a safe, nurturing protective but transparent barrier against the night.The house, by design, was a true "machine-for-living". A nurturing structure, it provided shelter and warmth when needed, let the sunlight shine in when present, and provided a constant cocoon-like safe, protective environment.
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Beyond a mere presentation of historical information, the author convincingly argues that the laying of a literary foundation, as it were, enabled the new movement to take root
and for a time flourish here.
The bulk of the book consists of the presentation of 27 houses, from a pioneering Prairie School effort through mid-century works. Each 6 to 12 page section opens with a spectacular,
two page color photo. More large sized, with a smattering of smaller sized, equally well done color photos follow. The accompanying informative text and photo captions elevate this above
the typical coffee table architecture book. Floor plans are provided for 24 of the houses and, though unlabeled, are invaluable in understanding the disposition of spaces. Unfortunately,
for multilevel homes only the main floor is illustrated. More often than not the text picks up the slack by giving us descriptive information where the graphic input falls short.
All in all, a very satisfying presentation of modernist New England houses by top notch architects, famous and obscure.
On page fifty-four there is an interior of the 1938 Gropius House in Lincoln, Massachusetts, almost the same shot is on page thirty-four of 'Modernism reborn' by Michael Webb but without the strong shadows. Also in Webb's book, on page 118 is a photo of a room in Philip Johnson's 1956 Boissanas House, New Canaan, Connecticut, nearly the same shot is in TH but it has strong diagonal shadows that do nothing for the appreciation of the room's design. In 'Classic modern' by Deborah Dietsch on pages seventy-four and five there is a big photo of a living room in Joseph Sert's 1958 house in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it's bright with very controlled color and minimum of shadows, the same room is featured on pages 214-5 in TH with very subdued color and dark areas.
The book is full of dull color, lifeless house photography and only slightly redeemed by the author's interesting text which has plenty of architectural and background detail for each house.
Published in 2011 and it seems to have been made a close-out title quite quickly, no wonder my still shrink-wrapped copy cost so little.