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Black and White

Black and White

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This is an interesting topic scheduled for discussion at the next forum of the Nashville Civic Design Center. I encourage you all (living in Nashville) to attend.

URBAN DESIGN FORUM

ANGST IN NASHVILLE: MODERNISM ARRIVES IN THE HOOD

Tuesday, February 27 at 5:30 p.m.

A recent flurry of newspaper articles remind us once again of the angst that accompanies the arrival of anything resembling modern architecture in many of Nashville's neighborhoods. As Tom Spector recently wrote, "(Its many) desirable qualities should make Modernism in architecture an easy matter to champion and justify to the world at large but instead the opposite is more often the case."

And perhaps nowhere more so than here in "The Athens of the South." This Urban Design Forum will explore the ongoing "project" of modern architecture as alive and well here in Nashville. A panel of Nashville architects whose work would appear to be, in some way, a part of this modernist trajectory have been invited to come and show one project each-- completed, ongoing, or abandoned-- in ten minutes or less each. With these presentations forming a visual base line, a panel discussion, with audience participation, will ensue regarding the potential, and limits, of "modern architecture" here in Tennessee-- and elsewhere.

Nashville Civic Design Center

138 Second Avenue North, Suite 106

I have a few questions to consider prior to this forum.

1. What angst? This just sounds like more elitism from the professional planners.

2. What about all the New Mayberryism being pushed by Purcell, the Planning Department and their shills at the NCDC? Can I design and build a Corbu machine-for-living in the Lenox village commune?

3. What about the Small House? If this house isn't the argument for seriously questioning the talent of your architect and the context of your house, I don't know what is. In case you don't know the Small house it is an anything but small modernistic-type MacMansion on Chickering Road near the the Warner Parks. Set on a hill between two much less ostentatious Georgian manses, it sticks out like the fever blister. The Small house is living proof that modernism does always equal good taste.

4. What happens when an architect of less skill designs a modern house as opposed to a tradtional house (see the Small house example above)? I'll go ahead an answer this one. Traditional house motifs are easy to dupicate within a certain range of styles. Pattern book and prefab houses have been around forever. It doesn't take much to trow some gables and columns on a four-square and have something that looks presentable and forms the basis for the owners customization.

A modern house can go wrong so quickly that nothing can bring it back from the abyss. Plus, after it's done - that's it.

5. Hasn't everyone except the NCDC learned that (most) people don't want to live in machines?

Can't wait for this one. How about a forum meet afterwards?

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3. What about the Small House? If this house isn't the argument for seriously questioning the talent of your architect and the context of your house, I don't know what is. In case you don't know the Small house it is an anything but small modernistic-type MacMansion on Chickering Road near the the Warner Parks. Set on a hill between two much less ostentatious Georgian manses, it sticks out like the fever blister. The Small house is living proof that modernism does always equal good taste.

4. What happens when an architect of less skill designs a modern house as opposed to a tradtional house (see the Small house example above)?

ROTFLOL!!!!!

Yep. The architexts that did that one are the "best ones" in town...Didn't you know that!?

Several friends and I had an outing while that one was under construction. We sat across the street, pulled out our pick a nic baskets, ate lunch and sat there and laughed for the full hour. What a fun day that was.

I love modern architcture. But with everything talent is required. I can't do it myself, but I do know good design when I see it.

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FYI, for anyone who doesn't know, the Small House of topic is owned by a family with the last name "Small". And no, it is by no means physically small.

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ROTFLOL!!!!!

Yep. The architexts that did that one are the "best ones" in town...Didn't you know that!?

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There was a mention of the (Big) Rich house on Love Circle in today's Tennessean gossip column. It stated that the design for the house could be seen on the builder's web site.

I'd like to see just how modern/tacky it is. Does anyone know who the builder is?

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I think I know that house!! Is it a white long triangular house? I believe the architects are Tuck/Hinton. They also did Adelicia among many, many others around Nashville.

Speaking of Chickering, does anybody know the story of a 1930s/1940s(?) era modernist house about a quarter mile from Belle Meade Blvd. (on the right going toward the parks)? As memory serves, it's a brick house, but has curved corners and a glass-brick window in the front and straight, metal pipe rails around the porches.

It's stood out (to me) among all the Georgians along that street, and makes a nice change from the others. Its apparent age (presumably ahead of the post-war modernist wave) also makes it interesting to me.

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There was a mention of the (Big) Rich house on Love Circle in today's Tennessean gossip column. It stated that the design for the house could be seen on the builder's web site.

I'd like to see just how modern/tacky it is. Does anyone know who the builder is?

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