From Architecture & Morality: It’s not easy being green

Architecture and Morality spells out much more eloquently than I that as green design has become more and more fashionable recently it is easy to forget that it has been around for awhile. As in most creative endeavors, there isn’t much that is beautiful or functional in modern design that truly is original but rather a new twist on old ideas.
Although it wasn’t called green at the time, good regional mid-century architecture is inherently green in that site location, climate, local cultural and historical traditions, all played a role. In my area of the country, northwest modernism of the mid twentieth century was influenced heavily by local Native American long house design with use of steep pitched post and beam construction, cedar and stone, as well as the symmetry and simplicity of Japanese design brought by early twentieth century immigrants. My home, pictured at the top of this blog, is more of the desert style and although beautiful to me, is not really a good example of regional modern and thus not particularly green as the flat roof and white stucco exterior require much maintenance in our climate and the floor to ceiling westerly facing windows bleed heat in the winter and cook you on summer afternoons. I do love the place though.
Green is and always has been simply letting the site and local conditions speak to you and then having the lack of hubris necessary to listen carefully and act.

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One response to “From Architecture & Morality: It’s not easy being green

  1. Thanks for linking to our blog!

    My, that’s a gorgeous home at the top of the page!

    I’m not too familiar with mid-century modern in the Pacific Northwest, but I often think of the work of James Cutler when you describe it. I like his work and I generally like architects who work in a more contextual but less literal mode.

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