Modernism and Architecture in Atlanta

I’ve recently had a few listings that a few Atlanta real estate agents called “contemporary”, and although the homes themselves would not be called contemporary it seems that anything different than what Atlantans are used to seeing being built by builders around 2005 gets labeled contemporary. I’ve had agents tell me contemporary doesn’t sell in Atlanta.

I want to be the first to disagree and talk about the contemporary trend in metro Atlanta real estate.

Contemporary influences and style can be found in homes throughout metro Atlanta, including this home for sale in Smyrna at 1912 New Haven Court.  Click on the photo for more pictures and information. Listed by Tina Hunsicker of Prudential Georgia.

Contemporary influences and style can be found in homes throughout metro Atlanta, including this home for sale in Smyrna at 1912 New Haven Court. Click on the photo for more pictures and information. Listed by Tina Hunsicker of Prudential Georgia.

When I first started in real estate in 2002, I may have agreed.  I saw builders all building the same things – brick and stone with a lot of mixed media in between.  The floors plans all had a similar feel.

In 2013, not only do we have a different audience in Atlanta, but also we have a very global influence on our home designs and clients’ desires.  Those from NY, California and yes, many places in between have been seeing modern architecture and finishings a lot longer than here in the heart of the South where oriental rugs and draperies seem to be the preference.

The dining room at 1912 New Haven Court is also modern - note the light color palate with an intentional splash of color.  Wonderful!  Click on the image for additional information and more photos.

The dining room at 1912 New Haven Court is also modern – note the light color palate with an intentional splash of color. Wonderful! Click on the image for additional information and more photos.

I was inspired to write this post this morning after reading an article in my daily Prudential e-news.  The article which I’ll post below is about Legos and the simplicity their new design holds.

I find myself starting to move everything in my house to “white” or variations of it.  I like the simplicity, the ability to add accents in different seasons and have a new look all the time.  Sometimes when life is crazy, the best retreat is to a room that is clean and simple.  It’s relaxing to me. I guess that’s the Zen feel that many look for.

whitekitchentraditionalhome

Anyway, I hope we continue to see more structures in Atlanta that are “simple” with clean lines, and our children can take the monochromatic Legos and really “create” versus copying the picture off the front of a box.  I like the lesson learned here, and I think I’ll find this set for my son for his birthday.

LEGO Architecture Studio

Lego, the Tool of Young Modernists

By Christopher Hawthorne
RISMEDIA, Thursday, August 29, 2013— (MCT)—Over the last couple of weeks, a tiny monochromatic skyline has been growing in my kitchen.Since opening Lego’s new Architecture Studio, my daughters (who are 9 and 4) and I have been putting together, dismantling and redesigning a group of about 10 buildings. We’ve kept the results on display on a shelf above the sink.Because the Architecture Studio includes bricks in just two shades — white and transparent — the buildings we’ve created all seem to be related, at least distantly, to modern architecture. This is a decidedly Corbusian color scheme; as my 9-year-old put it, gesturing in the direction of a house she’d made, “If that was hot pink, it wouldn’t look modern.”Even her barn-like structure with a pitched roof looked as much Cliff May as old-fashioned stable, thanks in part to a transparent ground floor. The limited palette also seems to make the kit more forgiving — nearly any design looks pretty good in all white or the Lego equivalent of all glass (or a mix).Lego has produced a number of architecture-related products, but they’ve tended to be kits to design a single famous building: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, for example, or the Sydney Opera House. The Architecture Studio is closer in spirit to the original Legos, the ones that allow you to build whatever you feel like building.And as Edwin Heathcoate, the British architecture critic, pointed out recently, there’s something to be said for simplicity and open-endedness in toys. Part of that is nostalgia, I think, for a pre-digital age; but you can’t argue with the number of accomplished architects who talk about playing with Legos or wooden blocks as a formative experience. In that sense it’s surprising Lego didn’t release a set like this years ago.

The Architecture Studio comes with a pretty thick book featuring interviews with (and design advice from) architecture firms, including Tokyo’s Sou Fujimoto and the Swedish office Tham & Videgård. But it’s as much a collection of conceptual essays on the nature of architectural play as instruction manual — and to be fair, this is a product pitched at a target audience older than my kids, really teenagers and up.

I decided I liked the limited color scheme: It made the ungainly buildings I put together seem to come from the same architectural family as the ones the girls made, even if the shapes and sizes were quite different. I suspect more than a few kids, though, will open the box and immediately wish for brighter colors.

As I thought back on the time we’ve played with the set, I realized something surprising: The only time the three of us spent a sustained period of time using it together was right after we first took it out of the box.

The 1,200 pieces in the set come all mixed up in a bunch of small pouches. Before we built anything we decided to sort them by type as we all sat on the floor. That took a full hour. It was strangely meditative. A rare quiet descended on the house as we tossed the little bricks into growing piles.

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