What is Mid-Century Modern Architecture and can you find examples in Asheville?

MCM AVL Atomic RanchAccording to Wikipedia: “Mid-Century Modern is an architectural, interior, product and graphic design that generally describes mid-20th century developments in modern design, architecture and urban development from roughly 1933 to 1965. The term, employed as a style descriptor as early as the mid-1950s, was reaffirmed in 1983 by Cara Greenberg in the title of her book, Mid-Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s (Random House), celebrating the style that is now recognized by scholars and museums worldwide as a significant design movement”.

The hallmarks of Mid Century Modern Architecture are:
– Simple, clean lines with an emphasis on horizontal/vertical
– Use of natural and manmade products
– Large windows and sliding glass doors to bring the outside in.

– Simple one-level/open floor plans
– Flat, angled or low-pitched rooflines

In her article All About Mid-Century Modern Architecture Dinah Eng of FrontDoor.com states that

“If houses reflect the times they were designed in, mid-century modern is the architecture of ideas, created by those who believed the forward-looking style could be a vehicle for social change to create a better society. Characterized by flat planes, large glass windows and open space, these homes — built from 1945 to the 1980s — featured simplicity and an integration with nature, encouraging residents to explore the world in new ways.”

“The birth of mid-century modern was after the war,” says Sian Winship, president of the Southern California Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians. “The houses had open floor plans and giant sliding-glass doors, which encouraged people to go outside and be healthy. In a traditional home, the window height is 4 to 5 feet, and you can’t see out as a child. With these walls of glass, children became engaged and open-minded because the environment stimulated the senses in a different way.”

She notes that architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who trained mid-century modern architects like Richard Neutra and Rudolph Schindler, was also a huge influence.

“It’s nice to see mid-century modernism being appreciated now,” she adds, “as we’re entering a period where houses from the 1960s are becoming eligible to be on the National Register of Historic Places.”

Glenview Road 026Can you find mid century modern homes in Asheville? Yes, there are many stunning examples of custom, architect-designed homes from the 1950-70’s scattered throughout Asheville as well as numerous noteworthy ranch homes. You don’t have to look far to find a great mid century home in Asheville.

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