At the beginning of the 20th century, a new vision of architectural
space was born; free-flowing floor plans were made possible by new
construction methods that eliminated the need for interior partitions.
This first half of this book explores the evolution of the open plan
house in the work of well-known European and American architects. From
Frank Lloyd Wright's 'destruction of the box' at the turn of the
century, the free plan of the modernist house enabled the demolition of
traditional social and familial constraints. In the 1950s, residential
architecture began to blur the distinction between inside and outside,
offering casual, free-flowing space and seamless integration of
exterior and interior spaces. The open house had arrived. Today, the
free plan, and in turn the open house, has taken yet another turn as a
new generation ofarchitects takes up the reins of modernism. As can be
seen in Shigeru Ban's minimalist retreat perched in the hills of Japan,
or LOT/EK's industrial vernacular duplex in New York, the modern open
plan house is alive and well. Twelve projects by some of today's
leading international architects, including Ben van Berkel and Caroline
Bos, Patkau Architects, Robert Mangurian and Mary-Ann Ray, Wes Jones,
Daly Genik, Kuth Ranieri and Prtizker Prize winner Glenn Murcutt, are
showcased in full-page colour photographs that illustrate and celebrate
the enduring relevance and formal variety of the open house.
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