I serve on the board of the Oregon chapter of DoCoMoMo_US. Could not be more excited to share our ongoing efforts to document the modern resources (buildings only currently) of Oregon. Bit of background on DoCoMoMo_Oregon: A non-profit dedicated to promoting the interest, education, and advocacy of the architecture, art, landscape, and urban design of the Modern Movement. We offer interactive programs including, walking-tours of our states modern movement buildings, sites, and neighborhoods, as well as educational lectures led by nationally recognized architectural historians, architects, and preservationists. And here is our on-going inventory you can help us shape: Inventory of Modern Buildings. A few of my favorites are highlighted above.
A great piece of leather furniture will last a life time. By great piece, I am thinking a sofa, side chairs, lounge chair, bench or stool that can withstand the ever changing "home trends" of the moment. Think of a this type of leather furniture as an high-quality LBD equivalent. It will never go out of style. Whether you pick a vintage, modern, or contemporary piece leather furniture will always be in vogue. Personally, I gravitate towards leathers in various shades of brown, and the occasional cream or black leather piece (Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman!) As of late, I have been enjoying lighter tan or pale pink leathers that invoke a relaxed northern Californian meets Southwestern vibe.
Looking at efforts to repair and utilize some of Portland’s recent past architectural resources.
DoCoMoMo_Oregon, a local chapter of DoCoMoMo_US, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the interest, education, and advocacy of the architecture, art, landscape, and urban design of the Modern Movement. Recently the Board voiced concerns for the type of alterations proposed for the late modern (post modern!) PacWest Center designed by Hugh Stubbins & Associates / Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which underwent a Design Advice. John Russell, the original developer of the project who chose Hugh Stubbins as the architect, from a shortlist that included Philip Johnson and Minoru Yamasaki, provided testimony that agreed with the design team that the retail in the building isn’t currently working, but that the building’s design isn’t the major contributor. Overall, the Design Commission encouraged the design team to treat the PacWest Center like a historic building, and use the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards as an approach for the renovation.
The Koin Tower, designed by ZGF Partnership in 1984, is one of the most prominent buildings in Portland’s downtown rising sky-line, and an example of Post Modern architecture. It is Post Modern with whimsical lines and historical references to Gothic, Spanish, and Deco architectural characteristics. (King, 106) However, unlike the Post Modern Portland Building (interiors designed by ZGF), the Koin Tower has been accepted for its architectural whimsy in a place with a known tag line, “Keep Portland Weird.”
And on a smaller scale that truly connects to placemaking, the Lovejoy Fountain Pavilion designed by Charles Moore in 1962 as part of Lawrence Halprin’s fountain sequence was thoughtfully restored in 2012.
Appreciating the Recent Past
So, has Portland come to appreciate its architectural heritage from the recent past? While these three examples offer a glimpse of optimism towards the maintenance and rehabilitation of architecture from the recent past, there is still an uphill battle towards the preservation and rehabilitation of Post Modern, Modern, and historic architectural resources. This is not an argument to save every resource, but it’s our responsibility to our present and future communities to have places rich in architectural resources from different movements of history- architecture rich in diversity. For architectural diversity contributes to our place making, culture, and identity. Let’s Keep Portland Architecture Weird by both adding to and maintaining and rehabilitating.
The Pantone 2016 colors are subtle, muted, yet charming and playful colors. While slated for this year’s colors, their subtle and charming nature allows for them to stay relevant for much longer. In this color punch round up, the focus is my favorite of the two colors, Rose Quartz. Who doesn’t love a light pink that is versatile enough to act as the main color or accent on textiles to wall treatments, as art or objects, and for furniture. Starting with the perfect mix of modern meets traditional, the linen glenlee sofa is beautiful as comfortable. Douglas and Bec's Line collection of lighting (table to floor) offers an elegant rose quartz light, which utilizes hand blown glass. For under foot a wool Moroccan rug with complementary colors provides a minimalist geometric focal point to your space. However, its texture and color can also be paired with furniture objects that provide a more boho energy. And because my pillow obsession and collection is real, the dash pillow from leif shop is super soft thanks to its merino wool fabric. Rounding off this round-up is a beautiful print by Lene Norgaard. Rose Quartz, a subtle yet powerful color punch.
California modernism has long been generally associated with architecture & design from Southern California. However, Northern California has a vital architectural history that contributes to California modernism. Pierluigi Serraino successfully demonstrates this in: NorCalMod. Icons of Northern California Modernism. The author rediscovers the complexity and richness of Northern California modernism that for many in the Bay Area and surrounding communities is hidden in plain sight.
As of late, my focus has shifted from the living room to the dining room. Perhaps it’s the upcoming holiday of feasting with friends and family, or that I have finally been able to decorate one. Regardless dining rooms offer the opportunity create a space for more than dining. The foundation and focus of the dining room include the table and chairs- all the fabulous chairs one could include. I have a preference for mix and matching chairs, or using the same type of chair in various colors. Another option is to have a bench or reclaimed church pew along one side, with chairs along the other. Breaking up the type of chair and seating allows your dining space to avoid looking like a conference table. For table wares and textiles one can get as fancy or minimal as they like. Table linens are great for incorporating texture and color into your space. And the same goes for table wares. Additionally, these components are the best for changing out depending upon what type of gathering you are having. Go gather.
Can hardly believe it is already (almost!) Halloween. Rather than focus on home accessories and decorations- architecture with a pinch of macabre art is the focus of this post. From black façade's, real American ghost towns, to a vernacular of architecture destined to be haunted, these structures will get you in the Halloween spirit. Black façade's are here to stay despite their current trend status. Although mainly depicted on modern & contemporary architecture, Victorian and Mid-Century architecture with black façades are just as alluring. Regarding Victorian architecture, have you ever wondered why this vernacular of architecture is most commonly associated with the ghastly and gruesome? From real life to Hollywood produced horrors, Victorian architecture seems to be the perfect backdrop and, Art Historian Sarah Burns might have the answer to why. Ghost towns are a real thing across the globe. I have visited a few in the states, and even if they are technically not haunted, there is something unsettling in abandoned towns or neighborhoods (hello Detroit). Finally, the art history lover in me couldn’t resist the Getty’s latest post on Illuminated Manuscripts that highlight how death and meditations on death were a daily presence during the Middle Ages through the Medieval periods. BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
In my recent travels, I was introduced to one of the best collections of refurbished mid-century modern furniture. Reeves Antiques in Houston, TX. While the shop has a robust inventory of mid-century furniture, naturally I was drawn to the chairs (obsessions!) Additionally, the majority of the upholstered pieces had been refurbished in house, with fabrics as close to the originals as possible. From the wood, acrylic, or metal framed to purely upholstered pink velvet barrel back chairs, it was hard not to try and lounge in or purchase them all.
Tile isn't just for the bathroom and kitchen. Whether you go bold with color and pattern or streamline and traditional, tile is a great alternate flooring (or wall!) option to hardwoods and carpet. A large part of tile is the pattern created from solid color tiles or patterned tiles. Adding another dimension to creating pattern, is using curved ceramic tiles. Marazzi Progetto Tiennale via Archiform has beautiful curved ceramic tiles that spark a dialogue between present production and their inception in the 1960s. Additionally, they can be used as wall or floor tiles. Now for those that truly embrace the bold- sitio by commune slash tiles are amazing. They have a limited color palate, but the geometric pattern created is a tile trend worthy of lasting a lifetime. The herringbone pattern is quite traditional, but when executed in a bright color, the result is a classical revival (modern!). Another option is encaustic cement tile. It can be used for both floor and wall tiling, and has a nice smooth feel to its surface. And for those that love traditional Spanish / Mexican tile, Latin Accents is a great resource for sourcing.
Mid-century lighting design is equally as fantastic as furniture design from the same era. It expresses a bold geometric form thru simplistic line- with circular shapes dominating its shades and other bulb coverings. From floor to pendant residential lighting, mid-century lighting is still contemporary today. A few of my favorite inspirations include: brass sputnik pendant light; gorgeous Italian Lumi ceiling lamp with enamel details; French Lightolier sputnik inspired pendants; Serge Mouille minimal floor lamp; and the retro Angelo Leli floor lamp. From pendant to ceiling to floor-lightening from the mid-century is as illuminating as ever.