Catalogue


Eichler : modernism rebuilds the American dream /
Paul Adamson, Marty Arbunich ; with photography by Ernest Braun.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
Layton, Utah : Gibbs Smith, c2002.
description
240 p. : ill.
ISBN
1586851845
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
Layton, Utah : Gibbs Smith, c2002.
isbn
1586851845
catalogue key
4789579
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Excerpt from Book
Modernist residential design was, in many ways, ideally suited to the everyday realities of 1950s American middle-class culture, and in California it meshed with the emerging post-World War II culture better than anywhere else. Many California architects of the generation that matured during the immediate postwar period avidly pursued modernism. They realized that in many ways it directly addressed some of the most pressing social issues of their time. California modern architecture was an outgrowth of European modernism, whose refined building methods, open planning, and technical innovation dovetailed with an emerging, innately modern California culture, defined by an unpretentious social structure, outdoor living, and the beginnings of an economy based on aerospace and electronics.
Flap Copy
Joseph Eichler was a pioneering developer of residential suburbs whose socially conscious ethic progressive planning, and elegant modern design for moderately priced housing in California still serves as a standard for housing developments today. Defying conventional building industry wisdom by hiring a group of progressive architects to plan subdivisions and design reasonably priced homes, Eichler provided more than 11,000 residences that helped meet the dramatic need for post-World War II housing with extraordinary commodity and style. Through the 1950s and sixties, Eichler Homes gained national and international acclaim for its innovative yet affordable features. Eichler and his architects improved family living when they initiated flexible open planning and built-in furnishings that reformed traditional rooms. The kitchen opened onto a "multipurpose room" (the forerunner of today's great room); the living and dining rooms were combined, and often used to separate the children's rooms from the parents' room; and a central atrium brought the ambient joys of the Californian climate inside while expanding interior vistas. Eichler's social conscience inspired him to confront prevailing business and political trends that promoted racism and discouraged creative land use. His subdivisions, recalling the planning ideas of Clarence Stein, were based on village concepts, and he publicly declared a policy of nondiscrimination. Fifties-era photographs capture the now-classic style that introduced middle-class families to a modern way of life. Popular today, as they were then, the Eichler homes represent a legacy of design integrity and demonstrate a level of quality for residential development that remains unparalleled in the history of American building.
First Chapter

Modernist residential design was, in many ways, ideally suited to the everyday realities of 1950s American middle-class culture, and in California it meshed with the emerging post-World War II culture better than anywhere else. Many California architects of the generation that matured during the immediate postwar period avidly pursued modernism. They realized that in many ways it directly addressed some of the most pressing social issues of their time. California modern architecture was an outgrowth of European modernism, whose refined building methods, open planning, and technical innovation dovetailed with an emerging, innately modern California culture, defined by an unpretentious social structure, outdoor living, and the beginnings of an economy based on aerospace and electronics.

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This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, February 2003
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Summaries
Back Cover Copy
Atriums, household conveniences, and sleek styling made Eichler Homes a standard-bearer for bringing modern home design to middle-class America.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Joseph Eichler was a pioneering developer who in the 1950s employed progressive architects to design Modernist homes for the middle classes of California. This book examines his legacy, seen both in his original homes & in the continuing revival of the Modernist movement.
Main Description
Atriums, household conveniences, and sleek styling made Eichler Homes a standard-bearer for bringing the modern home design to middle-class America.
Main Description
Joseph Eichler was a pioneering developer who defied conventional wisdom by hiring progressive architects to design Modernist homes for the growing middle class of the 1950s. He was known for his innovations, including "built-ins" for streamlined kitchen work, for introducing a multipurpose room adjacent to the kitchen, and for the classic atrium that melded the indoors with the outdoors. For nearly twenty years, Eichler Homes built thousands of dwellings in California, acquiring national and international acclaim. Eichler: Modernism Rebuilds the American Dream examines Eichler's legacy as seen in his original homes and in the revival of the Modernist movement, which continues to grow today. The homes that Eichler built were modern in concept and expression, and yet comfortable for living. Eichler's work left a legacy of design integrity and set standards for housing developers that remain unparalleled in the history of American building. This book captures and illustrates that legacy with impressive detail, engaging history, firsthand recollections about Eichler and his vision, and 250 photographs of Eichler homes in their prime. Paul Adamson, AIA, holds a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University and has practiced in New York and San Francisco. He is currently a designer at the San Francisco firm of Hornberger + Worstell, Inc. He lives in Kensington, California. Marty Arbunich is director-publisher of the Eichler Network, a Bay Area based company devoted exclusively to supporting and preserving the architecture and lifestyle surrounding California's 11,000 Eichler homes. He lives in San Francisco.
Long Description
Joseph Eichler was a pioneering developer who defied conventional wisdom by hiring progressive architects to design Modernist homes for the growing middle class of the 1950s. He was known for his innovations, including "built-ins" for streamlined kitchen work, for introducing a multipurpose room adjacent to the kitchen, and for the classic atrium that melded the indoors with the outdoors. For nearly twenty years, Eichler Homes built thousands of dwellings in California, acquiring national and international acclaim. Eichler: Modernism Rebuilds the American Dream examines Eichler's legacy as seen in his original homes and in the revival of the Modernist movement, which continues to grow today. The homes that Eichler built were modern in concept and expression, and yet comfortable for living. Eichler's work left a legacy of design integrity and set standards for housing developers that remain unparalleled in the history of American building. This book captures and illustrates that legacy with impressive detail, engaging history, firsthand recollections about Eichler and his vision, and 250 photographs of Eichler homes in their prime. Paul Adamson, AIA, holds a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University and has practiced in New York and San Francisco. He is currently a designer at the San Francisco firm of Hornberger + Worstell, Inc. He lives in Kensington, California. Marty Arbunich is director-publisher of the Eichler Network, a Bay Area-based company devoted exclusively to supporting and preserving the architecture and lifestyle surrounding California's 11,000 Eichler homes. He lives in San Francisco.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgementsp. 7
Foreword: Reconstructing Suburbia by Gwendolyn Wrightp. 9
Prefacep. 15
Modern Architecture and Everyday Lifep. 20
Ambition and Idealismp. 42
Modern Technology and the Middle-Class Housep. 82
"The Wonderful World of Eichler"p. 122
Selling Modernismp. 152
Addressing Communityp. 178
Afterwordp. 224
Photo Creditsp. 228
Indexp. 230
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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