Back in pre-covid times I spent the afternoon photographing Habitat '67 in Montreal by Moshe Safdie. It's always a treat getting to spend time in a time capsule of the future. A great example of Brutalist modern architecture that designed with community and quality of life in mind. I got especially lucky with the clear weather. The sun brings out the warmth in the concrete and creates such dynamic shadows and shapes.
Last fall I spent some time in New York and on the drive back to Canada I stopped at Manitoga in Garrison, NY. Manitoga (1941-61) is a midcentury modern house designed and built by industrial designer Russel Wright and his business partner and wife Mary. Wright is most known for his mass produced ceramic dinnerware line, American Modern. The house was terraformed into a piece of land formerly used for logging and as a quarry. I love how the stone is incorporated into the home as the floor and stairs. The home studio is connected to the main house with a trellis covered in leaves. The site and relationship to the landscape is reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water in Pennsylvania.
Photographing Philip Johnson's Glass House (1947-49) in Connecticut has been on my shoot list for a long time and I finally had the opportunity to cross it off while on a road trip from Boston to New York. It was perfect weather to experience the site, minimal house and out buildings. One of my favourite parts of photographing a mid-century modern house is imagining all the interesting conversations and wild parties. The modernists knew how to entertain!
I had a couple extra days while I was in San Francisco so I drove up the coast to Sea Ranch. I've wanted to check it out for awhile but timing never seemed to work out. I arrived to a misty humid morning and thought the fog added a beautiful mystical quality to the waterfront site. The sea-weathered modern architecture took on the appearance of a herd of elephants looking over the ocean. As the sun slowly came out I made my way around the infamous grounds designed by architects Al Boeke, Joseph Esherick, Donlyn Lyndon, Charles Moore, Richard Whitaker, landscape architect Lawrence Halprin and graphic designer Barbara Stauffacher Solomon.
I had the chance to photograph men's clothing store Isaia's San Francisco location. It's in Frank Lloyd Wright's only project in the city, the V. C. Morris Gift Shop on Maiden Lane built in 1948.
Here's just a small taste of the photo set I took at Neutra VDL Studio and Residence in Los Angeles. I love learning the history of these mid-century modern houses. Not long after photographing this space I attended a talk by Richard Neutra's son who detailed the work of his father and discussed living in the house as a kid and how it was always buzzing with activity. Check out more modern homes in my modern love gallery.