A lot of people don’t really like modern architecture, and it’s easy to see why. All too often, the great ideas behind the architectural revolution of the 20th century – pioneered by the likes of Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright – have been taken as dogma and applied inflexibly to all types of building in every kind of context.
Yet what works for an arts centre in Barcelona can fall distinctly flat on a community centre in Bradford – especially when the plans are drawn up with little regard for the surrounding area and are executed without flair.
But modern principles applied cleverly, and with sensitivity, can produce great results, which are all the more evident when you actually enter the structure created. It’s all due to the founding premise of modern design: form follows function. In other words, how a thing looks should be governed by what it’s meant to do.
Which means that to appreciate modern buildings you have to get inside them. That’s where their functionality lies, so that’s where the beauty of their design can be seen to full effect.
When applied to family homes, modern elements are often incorporated into a traditional design, or vice versa, in a blend of comfort and functionality toned down to satisfy both homeowners and planners. The following three properties are all “modern” to differing degrees, and are all currently for sale in our area.
Roma is Collingham is a unique contemporary home designed in seven sections to represent the seven hills of Rome. Each module has a mono-pitch slate roof with floor-to-ceiling windows and high-level window lights, giving each room a sense of space and light.
The vendor says: “The house was designed to take full advantage of the morning sun therefore benefiting from thermal gain. We over-specified on the insulation requirements to keep the heat in, but also introduced electric-opening high-level windows to allow heat to escape.”
The house has four bedrooms – all with en suite wet-rooms – as well as an open-plan kitchen-diner, sitting room, music room, hobby room and, on the lower ground floor, via a spiral staircase from the kitchen, a large family room, gym and utility room.
Outside, there are lawns, decking, terracing, a small orchard, summerhouse and triple garage.
South View was built just three years ago at Calcutt, near Knaresborough. With extensive eco-credentials, it is extremely well insulated, has triple glazing and an MVHR heat-recovery system, giving it extremely low running costs.
There are four bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen and huge open-plan sitting room, utility room and study. There’s also a south-facing garden with uninterrupted country views, a decking area and gravel path leading to the garden room and tool shed
Finally, 22 Beckwith Road is a thoroughly modern family home with four double bedrooms, bathroom, living room, large open-plan kitchen diner, lounge/cinema room with mood lighting and surround sound, utility room and downstairs shower-room. The loft is boarded for extra storage and outside there’s an integral garage and large back garden which is not overlooked.