Saturday, February 17, 2018

Architectural Spotlight

Midcentury Modern, with its clean lines and simplicity, still has an edgy feel

By Steve Carney, Special to the Los Angeles Times

As World War II ended, advances in manufacturing, easing of wartime austerity and pent-up creativity among builders and architects led to a design explosion with its ground zero in Southern California: Midcentury Modern.
The Stahl House in the Hollywood Hills (Damon Winter/Los Angeles Times)

Known for its open floor plans, wide expanses of glass and indoor-outdoor living, the Midcentury Modern movement created homes that still seem avant-garde today, 50 to 70 years after they were built.

“It’s about simplicity, clean lines, getting away from ornamentation and molding, exposing the raw structure,” said Doug Kramer, a real estate agent who specializes in modern homes. “Obviously, the style is very much centered on a connection with the outdoors — the experience of just being able to slide open a wall of glass and be open to the outside.”

Kramer was a fan long before he bought and sold these houses — he’s lived in a midcentury Cliff May-designed home in Long Beach for 22 years and was hooked when he first saw the modernist design of the Tucson airport, his childhood hometown.