Saturday, May 26, 2007

Mediterranean Modern

I’ll be totally upfront here – I hate modern architecture. That being said, Mediterranean Modern, by Dominic Bradbury is a great book to page through. And even though I find the majority of the houses themselves to be appallingly ugly and jarring in their natural setting, some of their elements are just beautiful. The infinity pool of the Fontpineda House (pg 42) makes it appear as if you will swim off the edge of the cliff. The bathtub (bathing pool, really) in the Tsirigakis House (pg 118) is inviting, romantic and exotic while at the same time being very plain and austere. That house in its entirety is actually quite nice, with just enough traditional elements to avoid the blocky, modern look. It also blends magnificently into its setting. My favorite house in this book, if I had millions and millions of dollars, is Can Helena in the Balearic Islands (I confess, I had to look them up in an atlas – they’re off the east coast of Spain, and Majorica is the largest island in the group). The house is a series of levels carved into the hillside, overlooking the Mediterranean, with multiple pools and water features. Lovely. Although, looking at all these houses, I can’t help but wonder if the bank of windows that are so necessary in our gloomy climate wouldn’t just bake you like an ant under a magnifying glass in the heat and sun of the Mediterranean. If any of the homeowners in this book would like to invite me for the summer, I’ll report back to you.

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