Friday, January 15, 2010

Discovering Mid-Century Modern, Part 4

highlight on A. Quincy Jones and Charles and Ray Eames

A. Quincy Jones was a Los Angeles-based architect and pioneer for "green" design. My wonderful husband got me a book about him several years ago:
I was surprised that I had never heard of him because his modern style and innovative design was so compelling and beautiful. I was captured by his houses that were centered around interior courtyards. He implemented this idea also in his tract housing developments and designed prefabricated units to provide affordable options for urban planning. A lot of his buildings incorporated a usable atrium as well.
According to the wikipedia page on Jones:
The December 1950 issue of the magazine Architectural Forum featured a "Builder's House of the Year" designed by A. Quincy Jones. The same issue also awarded the innovative Palo Alto building magnate Joseph Eichler "Subdivision of the Year". Eichler then invited Jones to tour the Palo Alto development he had just completed where he suggested to Jones that the Builder of the Year team with the Architect of the Year. This relationship continued until Eichler's death in 1974."
Eichler also prompted Jones to partner with architect Frederick Emmons and together the three of them designed and built about 5000 homes. Here are a couple in the Los Angeles area (photos courtesy of

Charles and Ray Eames were a married couple that made much contribution to the mid-century modern era. Charles' story reminds me much of Roark from the book the Fountainhead. A follower of Frank Lloyd Wright, he was dismissed from his university because his views were too modern. Charles and Ray Eames designed and built the Eames House (a.k.a. Case Study House #8) as their home overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with "prefabricated steel parts intended for industrial construction." -wiki

They also designed a lot of amazing modern furniture together:

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