It was not a long time ago when the best descriptions about a place were the ones that were a reflection in lieu with one’s culture and the way of life. Agatha Christies houses; (albeit the victims or the perpetrator’s), always used to be the one’s located amidst lush greenery at the corner of Hyde Park or some even obscure place by the name of Holkham Hall or Wells-next-the-sea!!
Enter the Millennium and call it a shift in mindset or (as I prefer to call it: The love for all things ‘Box’), the ornate cravings seem to have vanished, the dome-shaped ceilings have disappeared. John Vanbrugh and his Baroque style of architecture no longer stood trial. Royally sidelined by the common man, the newest penchant for contemporary designs was something that took the world by storm.
A friend of mine who roamed around the world looking for the perfect shelter to settle down once told me, “Contemporary/Modern" in the world of art and architecture means sleek, clean and mathematical lines. It's industrial and geometric based instead of free-form and organic. That's why these houses are not called traditional, Victorian, country or whatever else. These houses are beautiful because they have amazing spaces. They do not need "embellishments" or useless tacky additions to be presentable and they are much more than "boring looking boxes.” Thereby finishing off with a flourish and shooting me a dirty look at the end of the last word.
Yeah..the box part of it was in retaliation!
But is this at the cost of efficiently turning a blind eye towards what has been?
“Seems unlikely”, quips another one of the box-loving generation.
Contemporary designs and living are not something that has evolved out of the governance or the fall-out of from the reign of a certain style of architecture. It is more of a fusion that binds the technological conveniences as the fission of a developed revolution to integrate it with space fluidity, functionality, open spaces and sleek décor.
From fashionably warm windy afternoons on your patio to the prized piece of Mies van der Rohe Barcelona day bed, clearly it is minimalism and al fresco’s that looked like they’ve been held over and over again in the Museum of Modern art rule the world this minute.
And while I keep up my constant struggle with whatever happened to the Tudor mansions yet being utterly tempted by the Tout de Suite ‘Frank Gehry’ creations, there are those who go in for yet another helping of their extra-rare Beef steaks on their ‘contemporary’ patios.
Another helping of Carlo Scarpa anyone?