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Midcentury Houses Today


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This is the story of American modernism that has not been told in full before-not as a moment frozen in time, but an evolving legacy that adapts to contemporary life. Midcentury Modern Houses takes on the unparalled concentration of residential modernism in New Canaan, Connecticut, and demonstrates how the houses are experienced and lived in today.

About the Author

Jeffrey Matz is an architect and design evangelist with deep roots in the modern movement. His father was an architect who worked with Marcel Breuer, and who designed his family home in the Modern style. A graduate of Pratt School of Architecture, Matz has practiced for 30 years and now works and lives in Greenwich, Connecticut. Cristina Ross is an architect and preservationist with more than 25 years of design experience. Cristina's practice has focused over the last several years on the restoration, research, protection and restoration of Philip Johnson's Ball House in New Canaan. Michael Biondo is an accomplished fashion and architectural photographer who grew up in the New Canaan area. His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including W, Interview, Vanity Fair, Elle, and Vogue. Lorenzo Ottaviani is an award-winning graphic designer and the Creative Director of Lorenzo Ottaviani Design, a multi-disciplinary design studio.


"This elegant hardcover book showcases a selection of midcentury architecture in New Canaan, Connecticut. Each chapter focuses on a specific house, showing plentiful photographs of both the interior and exterior, while providing background information. The book takes a close look at residential modernism and how it has been adapted to contemporary life."
-Architectural Record

"Philip Johnson may have put New Canaan, Connecticut, on the architectural map with his Glass House, but he wasn't the only modern architect paying homage to the Bauhaus in this leafy suburb. Midcentury Houses Today documents the legacy of architectural masters such as Marcel Breuer, Landis Gores, Eliot Noyes, and Edward Durell Stone, who left their mark in New Canaan, and, most interestingly, the book looks at how these houses are lived in today."

"In the 1940s and '50s, a klatch of iconoclastic architects gathered in New Canaan, CT, and began building a series of residential structures that promoted simplicity, openness, and a reverence for nature and the site surroundings. Midcentury Houses Today checks in on those incredible structures-and tells their life stories."

"America's longstanding epicenter of midcentury architecture, New Canaan is home to 91 surviving modern homes (of 118 originally built there). Midcentury Houses Today examines this concentrated residential modernism by following 16 houses and how they've adapted to contemporary life. Step into the world of midcentury modernism illustrated in vivid original and current photographs and floor plans. It sends the message that modern architecture is not static but lends itself to reinvention through time."
-Connecticut Cottages & Gardens

"An early black-and-white photo, an original and a contemporary plan, along with luscious color photography by Michael Biondo, represent each house. Legendary architectural editor John Morris Dixon provides a superb historical essay 'Then and Now,' which reminds us that these designers were considered 'by many townspeople as disruptive cultural rebels imposing their Ivy League ideals.' An intriguing aspect of this book is not just how these houses came to be, but how they have survived. It is not surprising that New Canaan has become a pilgrimage destination for Modern architecture mavens. The town's Modern legacy constitutes an incredible treasure trove, far more authentic than, say, a Sturbridge Village or a Plimoth Plantation. We can be grateful for a study such as this."
-Design New England

"Every year design enthusiasts make the pilgrimage to this longstanding shrine of mid-century architecture, where ninety-one of the 118 modernist houses originally built still survive. This book looks at sixteen of them in detail to study the range of approaches that have led to their preservation and adaption to contemporary life; each house has a chapter of its own, with floor plans, archival shots of initial construction, and new photography of additions made by significant contemporary architects, such as Toshiko Mori, Roger Ferris, and Joeb Moore. Included, too, is a comprehensive timeline of the most famous projects, not only by the Harvard Five but also by Victor Christ-Janer, Edward Durell Stone, and Alan Goldberg."
-Modern magazine

"A fresh look at 16 significant modernist homes in New Canaan, Connecticut."
-Architectural Digest

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