Like the Holy Grail or Colonel Sanders special 11 herbs and spices, people have been searching for the secret to successful prefabricated houses for nearly 100 years. What could possibly be better than reasonably-priced, mostly factory built house parts assembled on your land in a matter of days or weeks, not months? The promise of well-designed houses fast and cheap turns out, not so easy – or popular with a public that still prefers developer tract houses. Joining us is Professor Avi Friedman, author of the new book Prefab Living, and Allison Arieff, founding editor at DWELL and author of the 2002 book Prefab. Later on, special musical guest Maria Muldaur, putting that camel to bed.
The bluest skies you've ever seen? The hills the greenest green? It’s Seattle, Washington, backdrop for TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Frasier, and if you go back far enough, Here Come The Brides, the breakout series for 70’s pop icons David Soul and Bobby Sherman. In addition to having the most tech jobs in North America (sorry, San Jose) the Emerald city is also home to Starbucks and incredible Modernist houses from the early days of Paul Hayden Kirk to today’s guest, architect Jim Olson of Olson Kundig. Later on, jazz with singer Erin Boheme, then a few minutes with Frank Harmon.
There’s a lively city on the West Coast, a sprawling California metropolis that many consider the epicenter of Modernist architecture. Sorry, Bakersfield, it’s not you, although you’ve got two good ones we know of. We’re talking greater Los Angeles, 30,000 plus square miles from the valleys to the sea and across the mountains with thousands of Modernist houses from the 1920’s through today. Joining us is the Director of Advocacy for the Los Angeles Conservancy, Adrian Scott Fine, and LA city planner Ken Bernstein, author of the new book Preserving Los Angeles: How Historic Places can Transform America’s Cities. Later on, jazz from the UK with the charming Hetty Loxston.
Marcel Breuer was one of several architects who brought European Modernism to the US. He was known for hundreds of projects including the Atlanta Public Library, The Whitney Museum in New York, the Pirelli Building in New Haven, The Housing and Urban Development Building in Washington DC, and many iconic houses in Massachusetts and Connecticut. No one was more passionate than Breuer about his work - except for maybe Rufus Stillman, who commissioned four houses over the years. Joining us is James Crump, author of Breuer’s Bohemia, a new Marcel Breuer book - and movie. Later on, a few minutes with architect Frank Harmon.
#209/Albert Frey in Palm Springs: Co-Host Jake Gorst + Craig Hartzman + Brad Dunning + Marc Koller / Musical Guest Rebecca Kilgore with Dave Frishberg
Born in Zurich, Switzerland, architect Albert Frey was the first American to work for Le Corbusier, working on the famous Villa Savoye project among others. Le Corbusier helped Frey get a job with American architect A. Lawrence Kocher, also the managing editor of Architectural Record. After WWII, Frey moved to the resort community of Palm Springs and Frey become synonymous with desert modernism. His projects include the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Valley Station, Palm Springs City Hall, Tramway Gas Station, and many houses. Joining George Smart and co-host Jake Gorst, director of two films on Frey, is Craig Hartzman, executive vice chair of the Palm Springs Art Museum, which is putting on a major 2022 Albert Frey Exhibition; Brad Dunning, curator of that exhibition, and Marc Koller, Albert Frey's godson. Later on, jazz with musical guest Rebecca Kilgore, accompanied by the legendary Dave Frishberg.
1 hr 39 min
Many of our Modernist listeners are planning long-delayed holidays. Oh where shall you go? Roman ruins? Cape Cod Villages? Colonial Williamsburg? We doubt it. You’re planning to hit the Modernist hotspots, and to help you we talk with Stefi Orazi, author of Modernist Escapes. Later on, the leading edge of high school architecture education with returning guest Joan Gand - then music from Palm Springs finest, the Gand Band.
In Sarasota, Florida, one of the east coast’s finest centers for Modernism, names like Paul Rudolph, Gene Leedy, Victor Lundy, Tim Siebert, and Jack West dominated the design scene from the 1940’s through the 1980’s. Then came a new generation of architects that took things to a whole new level. One of those, Guy Peterson, joins us from Sarasota. Later on, returning musical guest Heather Rigdon, then a few minutes with Frank Harmon.
What is a beautiful building? What is an ugly building? People have very different reactions looking at say Biltmore versus Fallingwater, and not just because they are vastly different sizes. Joining us to discuss beauty in architecture is Don Ruggles, author of Beauty, Neuroscience & Architecture and Producer of a new documentary, Built Beautiful. Next, special USModernist correspondent Raymond Neutra interviews Lisa Heschong, author of Visual Delight in Architecture: Daylight, Vision, and View. Later on, a few minutes with our new design commentator, TikTok sensation Louisa Whitmore.
Let’s say you collect stamps. If you go to the stamp club, you’re gonna find people who collect more stamps than you. Then if you go to the stamp convention, you’re gonna find an even more successful crowd. Then if you go to Sotheby’s for one of their top stamp auctions, you’re gonna find Mr. – or Ms. -- Big. In the world of serial Modernist owners, Mark Haddawy is Mr. Big. He’s had his hands and his budgets on more classic Modernist houses than just about anyone. Later on, music with the Sting of Sweden, Anders Holst.
#204/Modernist Chairs We Love: Herman Miller's Amy Auscherman + NC State's Gwen Emery + A Few Minutes with Frank Harmon
It’s almost a certainty that before anyone owns a Modernist house, they own a piece of Modernist furniture, the gateway drug of great architecture. Today’s guests are Amy Auscherman, design archivist at Herman Miller, famous for the Aeron chair, Noguchi table, Marshmallow sofa, and the Eames Lounge Chair, among many other icons, and Gwen Emery, Director of Library Environments at NC State University Libraries and the author of the book ChairHunt. Later on, a few minutes with architect Frank Harmon. Plus George's quest for an ES106!