The New Modern House: Redefining Functionalism


By Jonathan Bell and Ellie Stathaki

Jointly written by the Wallpaper* architecture editorial duo Jonathan Bell and Ellie Stathaki, The New Modern House is a timely study of contemporary domestic architecture built on the functionalist principles laid down by the better modernist architects of the post-war period. In keeping with the functionalism of the projects within its covers, the book groups projects into three sections: rural, suburban and urban – a format clearly designed to challenge any preconceptions around where better architecture might originate and to inspire readers with a set of reference points that might be applicable for their next home.

Drawn from across the globe and from a wide range of budgets, each home is explored with clear photography, concept sketches, models and applicable construction detailing. This allows readers to simultaneously explore the larger themes running through the book around the careful use of space and natural light, material selection, sustainability issues and a high regard for the local context with a more detailed focus on site specific constraints and solutions, application of new and old technologies and the beauty of a high level of detailing and workmanship. While readers of architectural journals may be familiar with a number of the projects, this book's strengths come from both the level of information conveyed and that all the projects have had time to age a little and to prove their worth following any initial media hype.

Quarter bound with cloth, well laid out and with pertinent commentary, we think its admirable to see a book with high-minded ideals popularly championing the well-designed over the highly-designed; an everyday quality over luxury; and conveying such enthusiasm and appreciation of the homes that it presents. This book is ideal for those who appreciate principled contemporary architecture and may well be instructive for those contemplating realising their own new-build home.

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From the Publisher

Modern architecture is a story of movements, styles and genres. But what of the work that remains defiantly unique, refusing to submit to a label or genre? The New Modern House is a comprehensive look at the emerging trend of architecture that favours substance over style, combining functional design and sustainable processes with a straightforward, honest aesthetic. The New Modern House features around 50 projects, from single family houses to self-builds, eco-friendly structures, recycled projects and creative re-uses. All are accompanied by full details, models, sketches and diagrams, allowing a closer look at their conception and construction. At the heart of the book is the concept of a new authenticity, and how an emerging anti-aesthetic approach demonstrates a logical evolution of modernist design. The emphasis is on unselfconscious, modest architecture projects that are at odds with contemporary obsessions with high concept design, big names and brand identity. The New Modern House is an inspirational guide to this new architectural concept, describing a diversity of new forms and approaches to the modern house.

Published by Laurence King
ISBN 9781856696845

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