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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