I always enjoy discussing architecture, formally at forums and informally at parties and gatherings. Thanks to the Internet, I’ve had the privilege of hosting an even broader conversation about architecture, with participants from around the world, by way of my Facebook Modern Homes.
For 15 years, international visitors have come to Architecturally Significant Homes and, on occasion, described the impact this site has had on something they are building or designing in their respective countries. This correspondence has been interesting and satisfying in the same sort of way a personal letter in one’s mailbox brings a smile.
Now, because of the ease of communicating on Facebook, the response to homes posted on Facebook.com/ModernHomes has been abundant and immediate. Readers have sent thousands of reactions and hundreds of comments discussing modern homes located in Dallas on the Modern Homes Facebook page.
Interest in architecture in Dallas and around the world has exploded in the last ten years. In Dallas, a traditional “house walks” have been replaced with sophisticated tours of architect designed homes.
The Dallas Architecture Forum’s lectures featuring celebrated architects, are always full, as are the Forum’s more informal panels orchestrated by architect Mark Gunderson. You can see this same enthusiasm for architecture around the world. In a short time, over 20,000 people from 5 continents and 50 countries have joined Facebook.com/ModernHomes. It is as encouraging to see young people and students participate as it is architects, professors and sophisticated adults with a fresh or long standing interest in architecture and design.
I compare this growing phenomenon of interest in architecture to the explosion of interest in wine about three decades ago. When it began, anything other than a jug wine was considered exotic. Now, virtually everyone is at least minimally fluent in discussing vintage wines.
Facebook.com/ModernHomes has offered an incredible international response to a wide range of homes found in Dallas.
As a practical matter, my experience with the Facebook Modern Homes page has helped me better understand how people respond to different architectural photographs. Photographs of homes are such an integral part of marketing architecturally significant homes. It also shows the depth and range of architectural interest. Even a few years ago, there was a strong perception that, while a modern home might be great, a homeowner would have difficulty selling it later. That has all changed. Now there is a market shortage of modern homes. As I have a particular passion for Dallas homes, seeing how people from different parts of the world respond to Dallas homes has been very interesting, including the comments in languages other than English. Here a few comments found on Facebook.com/ModernHomes.
Only this photograph of the home Harwell Hamilton Harris designed in Dallas in 1958 for Seymour and Jane Eisenberg was posted. Among the very positive comments received were Smriti Sachdev ‘s: “What a lovely transition space.” Iman Fouad Sleiman added “I love corridors that are open to interior gardens, this is just bliss.” Coleman Jolley, said “Beautiful. The atrium concept needs to make a return in modern architecture!”
This midcentury modern home was designed by Jim Wiley and Bud Oglesby. It is a very primitive, inexpensive structure that only survives because of its original owner, a 95 year old inhabitant. I was curious if this modern home would receive as many positive comments as the dramatic twilight shots of recently designed modern homes. It did. Mónica del Haya wrote, “Serene, I love the openness to light and the environment.” Hashu Rahman: “Simplicity.” Alexandra Hoepfner added, “…I like the ‘original modernist look’ of the space, that with the wooden elements reminds a lot of Marcel Breuer.”
Architect Gary Olp designed this green home in 1999. The comments this modern home generated included Suha Yuce’s: “I don’t like it, I love it!” Shahina Aslam: “splendid”
Murambiwa Tarabuku: “Splendid; nature/man-made dialectic; The massing a bit like balancing rocks – with the front ones sliced; for those familiar with rock formations in Southern Africa (Zimbabwe – Epwoth o Matopos-Matonjeni). Lurv it.
Become a fan of Facebook.com/ModernHomes and comment on architecturally significant modern homes and read what others say. I am more convinced than ever that Dallas has the best collection of 20th and 21st century architecture in the world.