Updated: December 2021
They drove an era of innovation in design and architecture. They created homes and commercial spaces out of materials that had never been used, in shapes that had never been considered. But what elements of their work did they love enough to put in their own homes? Take a peek inside the personal spaces of some of the midcentury design movements powerhouses.
Case Study No. 8—Ray and Charles Eames
The Eames home, also known as Case Study No. 8, was often open to guests and students. Two glass and steel boxes with 17 ft tall walls, their home acted as both home and studio. It boasted balconies overlooking an indoor courtyard that acted as the center of the home. They allowed the surrounding nature to take precedent by building the main structure into the hillside, rather than centrally on the land. Ray and Charles Eames lived on the ocean side of the home and worked in their home studio in the other box. The Eames House is located in Los Angeles, and is still open to visitors today.
“The Barn” and Laurel Canyon Home—A. Quincy Jones
We know what a lion of industry A. Quincy Jones (LINK) was a lion in the industry, producing over 5,000 designs in his career. Will be looking inside two of his personal residencies, both formidable in their own right.
The first is his Laurel Canyon home, shared with his first wife Ruth Schneider and designed by the architect himself. His home was situated on 2 acres of natural habitat, built on a slope and effectively camouflaged by its wooden exterior. His homes feature 13ft bi-fold glass doors. Perhaps the most remarkable feature of the home is its slanted build, built so in response to the hillside in which it was built and visible in the slanted ceiling on each level of the home.
His final residence, shared with widow Elaine Sewell Jones was fondly called “The Barn” and like the previous residence, served as both his home and residence. A modernist redesign of a New England Barn, his home featured 35 ft ceilings with a sky-lit multipurpose atrium surrounded by numerous living and studio spaces.
The Gropius House—Walter Gropius
The founder of the Bauhaus and one of the fathers of the modernist movement, Walter Gropius emigrated to the United States 1937. Native New England features—wood, brick, and fieldstone were combined with innovative materials. The home featured chrome banisters, ribbon windows, a white facade and the latest technology in fixtures.
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