Modern architecture often suffers from a perception of being cold or somewhat sterile due to the influences of the European Bauhaus movement of the 1930’s. “Machines for living” as Le Corbusier was famous for stating, were beautiful to the eye but in many cases were designed without much thought that people are not machines, that pure reason and logic does not a home make.
As modernism evolved in this country, regional architects who practiced in this genre adopted local historical precedent and the materials they found around them to develop a more people friendly architecture that could appeal to the soul as well as to the mind. In the case of Northwest Modernism, the influences of native American culture, aesthetics of the far east due to a thriving Japanese American community, and an abundance of natural materials such as cedar and basalt stone, led to a body of work by a handful of architects entering practice in the post WWII years that is uniquely our own.
Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry is featuring a documentary highlighting the work of a few of these visionary designers.
If you are interested in the history of modern architecture in our region, go here to learn more.