Neo-futurism: A response to modern architecture’s skeptical designs

Since the Industrial Revolution and the boom of 20th century technology, mankind has witnessed changes that our ancestors would and could have never imagined to ever exist neither in their lifetime nor in the millennia to come. What was once impossible has now become a reality, thanks to the continued quest to simply see beyond and outside the box.

 

Image source: fsmedia.imgix.net

 

Truly, many sectors and industries have benefited from the modern world’s innovative ideas as well as the ever developing technology, and the same story is true in the field of architecture—probably the single most important reason for the success (or failure) of many real estate and property development projects. Therefore, it plays a critical role in shaping up the business and the economy as a whole.

 

As a form of art that highlights a respect for structural and geometrical balance, it has expressed its own appreciation and genuine acceptance of what the modern world has to offer in the form of a “new” architectural style, neo-futurism.  Essentially, it is a late 20th century architectural style derived from high-tech architecture.  It combines concepts of urban design that utilize new materials and technologies. However, unlike its other modern counterparts, the style is more in touch with human emotions, promoting ethical values, and eco-sustainability.

 

Image source: londontopia.net

 

This is why neo-futurism is described as an idealistic and more optimistic take on the future. As a form of an avant-garde movement, it is as a departure from post-modernist’s skeptical and referential style in design. One of its goals is to rethink functionality and aesthetic in response to the rapidly developing urban areas.

 

Buckminster Fuller and other designers introduced this concept in the late 1960s and early 70s but rise of this art movement in modern architecture can be credited to prominent figures such as Zaha Hadid, Iraqi-British Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning architect, and the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

 

Other famous neo-futurist figures are French architects Denis Laming, British artist Olivia Peake, urban-noise artist Joseph Young, and many more.


REPOST: Why are houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright a tough sell?

Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpieces, while culturally important and aesthetically impressive, require serious upkeep and diligent maintenance. In the article below, The Financial Times explains why it is often very difficult to sell any of the famed architect’s famous projects:

 

Coonley House (1908) in Riverside, Illinois, $1.7m

 

One of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most distinctive homes was collapsing in 2000, when Dean and Ella Mae Eastman bought the property in the Chicago suburb of Riverside for about $1m. Known as the Coonley House, it had a roof that was falling down, thousands of handmade tiles designed by the famed architect had disappeared and the façade had been damaged by a fire years earlier. “You couldn’t open any of the doors,” says Dean Eastman, a retired physicist. “They were all warped.”

For a more than a decade, the Eastmans worked meticulously to restore the century-old building, tracking down Wright’s original plans and hiring craft companies to repair the woodwork and art glass that were signatures of Wright’s Prairie style. Now the Eastmans, who are both in their seventies, are ready to sell the home.

“We’re of an age that we don’t want to be taking care of the house all the time,” Ella Mae says. “We enjoyed it and had fun, and now somebody else can have fun with it.”

Yet it hasn’t been easy to find a buyer, even after the Eastmans’ painstaking restoration. The property has its quirks: it is part of an estate that was carved into four separate properties and any buyer must agree to preserve the exterior of the historic landmark and more than 270 art glass windows and doors. A year after the 6,000 sq ft house was listed for $1.79m, it is still available and the price has dropped to $1.7m.

The property has prompted “many inquiries but no real interest”, says Catherine Simon-Vobornik, an agent with Baird & Warner, the agency that is listing the house.

 

FB Henderson House (1901) in Elmhurst, Illinois, $1.1m

 

Wright is one of America’s greatest architects, but the homes he designed are often a tough sell. They are old and often require meticulous maintenance, and typical vendors are looking for a premium to other homes in the area.

“It’s going to take a particular type of buyer,” says Marilyn Fisher of LW Reely, the agent marketing a Wright-designed home in Elmhurst, a city outside Chicago. Built in 1901, the six-bedroom, 5,500 sq ft home is another example of Wright’s Prairie style and includes 80 feet of original stained-glass windows, three fireplaces and large formal rooms.

However, the house can seem dark and dated to modern buyers and the bathrooms are smaller than in most new homes. Fisher acknowledges this. The house has been on and off the market since 2013; once priced at $1.29m it is now listed for $1.1m.

“It’s just an old house,” Fisher says. A few years ago a Frank Lloyd Wright home “would have been a feather in the cap, something you could show off”, she says. “I think nowadays people are not into that as much.”

 

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