US Modernist Radio - Architecture You Love

Join George Smart and Frank King as they talk and laugh with people who enjoy, own, create, dream about, preserve, love, and hate Modernist architecture, the most exciting and controversial buildings in the world. A program of US Modernist and NC Modernist Houses, the largest open digital archive for residential Modernist design in America.
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US Modernist Radio - Architecture You Love



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Jul 27, 2015
Paul Rudolph was not as well-known as Frank Lloyd Wright but he designed some of the most fascinating and creative Modernist buildings in America. While inspiring a generation of architects, the public generally does not warm to his large brutalist designs, finding the intense use of concrete and steel to be ugly and oppressive.  But hey, we love 'em, and today we welcome two passionate and willing-to-do-something-about-it architects who fight for Rudolph’s brilliant buildings from different parts of the country.

Gene Kaufman has designed over $1B of hotels in New York City.  In 2011, his firm Gene Kaufman Architect joined forces with the esteemed Modernist architecture firm Gwathmey Siegel; the result is Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman & Associates Architects.  Gene talks about his attempt to save a building you can’t check into for the night, the Goshen government complex designed by Paul Rudolph.

Joe King is an architect and contractor practicing in Bradenton FL.  With Christopher Domin, he is co-author of the book Rudolph: The Florida Houses.  He has owned several Rudolph houses and is re-creating Rudolph's famous Walker Guest House for a national tour.

Noah Goldstein, the ark-itect!  Why you don't want to see Joe King coming down the driveway with a crowbar!  And those damned hotel air conditioners that blow the curtains up!

Jul 13, 2015

Sarah Susanka is an internationally-known architect and author of the best-selling "Not So Big" series of books, which kicked off with The Not So Big House in 1997.  Over the years, she has been featured on Oprah, Charlie Rose, and many architecture and design publications.  She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Monique Lombardelli is a San Francisco filmmaker, CEO, Realtor, and developer. She produced three documentary films, including Little Boxes and People in Glass Houses: The Legacy of Joseph Eichler. From her work on Eichler's much-loved homes in California, long out of production, she revived the brand and is launching them nationally.

What's up with America and big houses? Learn more about the people and topics mentioned in this episode: 

Sarah Susanka / Monique Lombardelli / Joseph Eichler / The Not So Big Life Workshop / Las Vegas Eichler / Where Steve Jobs Grew Up

Houses like Eichler:  Stoneson Brothers / Brown & Kaufman / Mackay Homes / Robert Rummer


Jun 29, 2015

Joe Kwon is the cellist for the internationally acclaimed band The Avett Brothers.  He's the client of Robby Johnston and Craig Kerins, principals in the design/build firm Raleigh Architecture & Raleigh Construction.  Block by block, they are developing a stretch of Raleigh's downtown into small, sustainable, walkable Modernist houses.  Joe's recently built house is the third in what will be about a dozen completed within a three year timeframe.

Robby and Craig drink their way through Belgium!  What's Joe's favorite room of the house? 

Jun 15, 2015

Ever since Modernist houses hit the mainstream market in the 1950’s, the real estate community has largely stayed away. Unaware of history, contemptuous of design style, and overreacting to certain flaws, realtors can do more to scare buyers away than to close the deal.

Two Modernist realtors keep it real about these livable works of art.

Crosby Doe is one of the leading Modernist realtors in America. Since 1983 he has sold houses by internationally prominent architects including Richard Neutra, Harwell Hamilton Harris, Rudolph Schindler, Frank Lloyd Wright, John Lautner, Charles Eames, Craig Ellwood, Pierre Koenig, and Frank Gehry.

Emilie Huin started in real estate only four years ago but has become one of the leading Modernist realtors in North Carolina.  She sold (and preserved) an important and endangered Modernist house in Chapel Hill by the late Arthur Cogswell.

Crosby Doe's first sale (it was a Neutra)!  Growing up with the Guild's in Durham!  Life lessons from liposuction! 

Jun 1, 2015

Imagine buying a lot, designing a house, getting all the neighborhood and city approvals, starting construction, then - boom - your neighbor sues to stop construction.  Here's the background.

You'll hear one couple's incredible story - and how it attracted worldwide coverage.

Louis Cherry has been an architect since 1983 and is principal of a design/build practice focusing on modern residential, commercial and institutional design.  He is the husband of Marsha Gordon, associate professor of film studies at North Carolina State University.

Their contested house, aka Oakwood House, is at 516 Euclid, RaleighThe house also has its own Twitter feed, independent of the owners. They honestly don't know who's behind the often-hilarious comments: @ModernOakwood.

Paul Goldberger is an architecture critic and winner of the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.  He is the author of several books, including Why Architecture Matters, and wrote about the Cherry Gordon house for Vanity Fair.

Contact the guests @MarshaGGordon, @LCherry, and @paulgoldberger.

USModernist Radio's parent organization, North Carolina Modernist Houses, provided financial support to the Cherry's cause through its Legal Defense Fund.

May 19, 2015

John Morris is a Usability Engineer by day but by night he's the Batman of downtown architecture documenting buildings in Chicago and Raleigh. He's also a superfan of Modernist architect Milton Small Jr., student of Mies Van der Rohe.  

Although Small died in 1992, his firm lived on through Small’s son Milton Small III of Small Kane Architects.  We'll talk with John and Milton about the man they both admire.

Frank relives his Modernist childhood!  Water heaters over the sink!  Mt. Olive University!  The masterpiece at 3515 Glenwood Avenue!  John tries to speak Russian!


May 6, 2015

Author J. Michael Welton writes about architecture, art, and design for national and regional publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Dwell, and Architectural Record. His new book is "Drawing from Practice: Architects and the Meaning of Freehand."

One of the architects featured in the book is Jim Cutler, Seattle-area architect well-known for his work in sustainability.  He also designed a little $66M house for Microsoft's Bill and Melinda Gates in the 1990's (with Peter Bohlin). Cutler is a passionate advocate for the return of freehand training in university architecture programs. His theory on how drawing affects thinking has huge implications for creativity in architecture.

The Ferrari of drawing pencils! Does Bill Gates' house use Windows Update? Does CAD make architects dumber? What area of the brain lights up when you draw? Anyone want to start up a Kickstarter campaign for the externalization of cognition? The first iPad-like product by Microsoft!

Apr 27, 2015

Christine Madrid French is one of America's foremost experts on Modernist preservation. She is co-founder of the Recent Past Preservation Network (the first Modernist preservation organization) and served as President for nine years. She pretty much knows everything modern from Bauhaus to Bob's Big Boy. We'll hear her brave, decade-long attempt to save the Modernist icon of Richard Neutra's Cyclorama at Gettysburg.

Learn about Mission 66! Was John Wayne a Modernist? What is brutalism and do you need handcuffs? And how about moving some Frank Gehry (again)!

Apr 15, 2015

Although actress Kelly Lynch appeared in Drugstore Cowboy, Roadhouse, Charlie's Angels, and the swanky Miami TV series Magic City, we love her movies about Modernist preservation.  She's also got two killer Modernist houses in Los Angeles.

Myrick Howard has been President since 1978 of Preservation North Carolina, the state's premier preservation organization, and knows how to keep these works of art alive.

On this episode, learn how to win a best-dressed award for just $15! Choose the right chair for a Basic Instinct re-make!  Protect your favorite Modernist house from the bulldozer!

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