2.10.2010

The 1940 Book of Small Houses



A few pages from The 1940 Book of Small Houses, a treasure trove of International Style. 
Above, for a competition between modern and traditional styles put on by LIFE magazine, Frank Lloyd Wright presents his modern Usonian "good time space" to the Blackbourn family, who, out of four families in the competition, are the only ones to choose a modern house. From the book: 
"The Blackbourns like both houses. The traditional house includes everything they were sure they wanted. They chose the other house. "It is completely different," they say. "It is the only house of its kind in the country. We chose Mr. Wright's design entirely on its own merits." The Blackbourns are now convinced that they want to live not as they have always lived, but in the manner made possible by the modern house." 
Kudos to them. Below are some other designs, including two by Richard Neutra, one which came in second place in a Ladies Home Journal contest, and another which merited only an also-ran in an American Gas Association contest. If you're ever thinking about building your own house, this is an excellent book.
Click to enlarge them all.

another LIFE modern house not chosen, even with the awesome ping pong room.







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