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Chapter 7

JAV132H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Case Study Houses, John Entenza, William Pereira

Architecture Studies
Course Code
Hans Ibelings

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7 - L.A
"The Style of the Future"? The Vicissitudes of Modernism in Los Angeles
FLW: said that there was nothing rlly special abt LA in terms of arch (65)
o Ignored that LA was an "incubator of modernism for decades" --> Hall's critique: says he
likes the ordinariness, there's a sense of individuality of each building (65)
"critiques modernism's supposed monotony" --> modern arch seen as "un-
American" bc it wasn't that diff from what was going on in EU, could even sense
communist vibez (65)
Pre-WWII: modern arch usually reserved for stores, offices, and commercial structures, not for
homes --> ppl who DID live in modern homes were usually rich and could afford an archi to
design their new modern home (66)
o Ppl thought it would be hard to live in a new modrn home --> " professional and
economic regulations of the period made it difficult for modernist archis to convince
potential clients" this wasn't true (66)
American Institute of Architects (AIA): made it illegal for archis to promote their work in any way
and be "too closely associated with any kind of business" --> archi's should only make choices
that are best for the "needs" of the client (66)
Banks also kind of discriminated against modern archis --> consideredmodern houses to be
"unstable property", leading to foreclosure so they refused to give mortgages for modern
homes (66)
Also expensive to build a modern home, so it was hard to build one when you need to build the
entire thing first to "persuade" the client (66)
"gradual appreciation of modernism in L.A. is isile… i the reatio of oder arh… ad its
reception" --> also thanks to writers and critics (66)
This reading is about "the study of the taste for modernism and the factors that infl the taste"
Modernism wasn't really received well until the 50s when there were more modern projects
being built (mainly commercial) (68)
o but there were some developers that commissioned modern archis to build several
modern homes --> "surprisingly sold well" (68)
To gain popularity to the public, archis had to publish their works in newspapers and magazines
--> arch journals were hard bc they were all based on the E coast (68)
o The only (popular) arch journal was Arts & Architecture, eventually bought by John
Entenza (68)
o Started Case Study House Program in 1945 for 2 reasons:
Promote modern living --> show ppl what it'd be like to live in such a modern
Promote using prefab/mass produxn --> way of solving the eventual "shortage
of housing" after the war --> hard to promote to ppl (68)
Compared it to cars: each part of a model of a car is the same, but once
you get the whole car to yourself you feel like it's yours even though
there's more ppl driving that exact same make --> prefab homes are
built with the same materials but put together in a way that looks diff
from anything else using that same part (68)
o Modern archis were open to contribute works to the program, aiming to show tat
modern arch isn't "cold" or "impersonal" --> could also use it as a way of advertising
"industries that had delivered components of the house" (71)
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