This style harkens back to the architecture of the 50’s and early 60’s. It incorporates everything from late International Style to the ranch style home to California modern. The characteristics are predominantly horizontal and angular buildings with flat or low pitched roofs, wide eaves and lots of glass. This style brought us the patio door and picture window. Interiors are open and unadorned. The exterior materials tend toward panels or smooth faced brick, cut ledge stone, or plain stucco. They are characterized by very simple plans and a lack of any and all decorative elements.
This style, called Mid Mod Revival and its update, Modernist, is extremely popular amongst the Gen-X, Gen-Y and Millennial demographics as well as Boomers who are returning to the homes they grew up in. Nationally there is clearly a desire for something new. People are getting tired of “old” style architecture.
This modernist style seems cool and fresh after three decades of basically 19th century architectural forms and retains the plain open interiors and open kitchen/family room/living space which appeal to the new generation of young adults that have never lived with it before. It also resonates with rekindled interest in simple living and more responsible eco-friendly thinking.
It is rapidly becoming THE style for multi-family housing especially in reviving inner city neighborhoods as well as new building on the urban edges near new light rail transportation systems that are taking hold in most aspiring cities. You will find elements of this style in condos, townhouse and apartment communities of every fashion, from two-story to high rises. It is often called “Loft Style,” trying to capture the fashionable flavor of downtown loft projects. A real draw is that the style is also fairly cheap to build as it has minimal detailing or fussy embellishments.
The style is basically characterized by concrete, stucco, or smooth faced brick punctuated with panels of metal, wood, tongue-and-groove wood or something similar. Angular metal railings for balconies, stairs and the like are an essential style motif as are large plate glass windows. Commonly now alternative energy ideas are incorporated in the designs—everything from solar panels to grass roofs. Sustainable materials like bamboo are commonly used especially on the interiors.
This is also clearly the preference for the majority of young architects coming onto the scene who are going to be taking over the industry and are hungry to do something new and exciting. This is not a force to be overlooked. Everywhere you look you see new work by young architects who have embraced this direction as their own.