He may not be as famous as Richard Neutra or Rudolf Schindler, but A. Quincy Jones was nonetheless instrumental in bringing a casual, outdoor-oriented modernism to middle-class California in the postwar years.
Though he's often lumped in as one of Joseph's Eichler's gang—and we certainly love what Eichler did for the modern tract home—architect A. Quincy Jones is a mid-century lion in his own right. And thanks to the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles's exhibit A. Quincy Jones: Building for Better Living the man is finally getting the Neutra-level esteem that he deserves. Jones is credited with over 5,000 built projects, many of them the kind of indoor-outdoor-homes for the middle class that have come to define not just California modernism, but post-war American housing in general. The exhibit is part of the Getty-sponsored initiative Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in LA and will dazzle any fan of mid-century design. The show is up through September 8th. Here's a preview.
A. Quincy Jones was a mid-century modernist whose architecture knew no bounds. He designed custom homes for the rich and famous, affordable tract houses, churches, restaurants, libraries, laboratories, university campuses, a factory and an embassy. He also taught, extending his considerable influence to a generation of younger designers. After languishing on the market since 2008, Jones’ Los Angeles home was purchased by the Annenberg Foundation earlier this year, ensuring that it will be preserved. When work is completed at the end of the summer, “the Barn” – as the structure is known – will serve as headquarters of the Chora Council, which is part of the Metabolic Studio, a multi-disciplinary Annenberg project devoted to the study of culture, sustainability and health. AIA award-winning architect Frederick Fisher, who has occupied Jones’ nearby business offices since 1995 and refreshed other Jones projects, is overseeing the restoration with contractor George Minardos. Here, Fisher tells us about saving the residential landmark.
We've featured homes from virtually every continent, in locations as far ranging as busting metropolises to serene suburbs to remote islands, with architectural programs equally as diverse. However, the one style most emblematic of Dwell as a whole seems to be that of the mid-century (the name check in this video at about 30 seconds in is one example). In the following slideshow, view an assortment homes that channel the ethos of the era's architecture, interiors, or progressive design spirit. You'll spy what might be the first modern conversation pit and see a structure whose dramatic seaside locale competes with its sleek high-modern stylings.
If you’re in the Los Angeles area for the holiday weekend, catch the tail end of the A. Quincy Jones exhibition, Building for Better Living, at the Hammer Museum in Westwood, which only runs through September 8. This is the first major career survey of the modernist architect, who died in 1979. The show includes Jones’s personal and professional archives, as well as original architectural drawings, a rare Case Study House model, and vintage photographs by Julius Shulman and Ernest Braun.