Ultra-Modern Homes Promise Better Health and Comfort (Oct, 1933)

Ultra-Modern Homes Promise Better Health and Comfort

A NEW architectural age is dawning! Proof of this is seen in the strange new types of homes which are springing up throughout the country, presaging the day when we will be living literally in glass houses.

Our faithful old wooden and stone dwellings are primitive and unscientific, not so very far removed, so far as comfort and convenience is concerned, from the caves in which our half-human ancestors dwelt, say exponents of the new housing era. Bouncing health and inexpensive comfort are the goals towards which home designers are striving. No more muggy rooms on torrid summer days; no more dry, over-heated rooms on cold winter days. Plenty of health-giving sunlight shining through glass walls and plenty of terrace space for sun bathing and al fresco dining.

An amazing new method of heating your rooms in winter time by means of a forced draft system operating in conjunction with heating panels embedded in walls is the contribution of heating and ventilating engineers to increased home comfort.

As illustrated in an accompanying drawing, the walls, floor and ceiling of the rooms are kept at a temperature of 80 degrees F. by the wall heating panels. In the ceiling, a row of air ducts circulates through the room a current of air cooled to 60 degrees F.

Now bodily health and comfort demand that the heat generated by the ordinary processes of life be dissipated. With the wall temperature kept at 80 degrees F., this dissipation is prevented, so it remains for convection and moisture evaporation to relieve the body of its excess heat.

Experiments showed that with 80 degree walls and 60 degree air current circulating through the room, the artificial climate is very invigorating and productive of the last word in comfort.

Contributions of architects to home convenience amounts to a wholesale scrapping of all our cherished housing ideas. The metal and glass structures they have designed for our habitation are as far ahead of our present day dwelling as 1933 streamlined auto is ahead of spluttering, balky 1904 model Ford.

Several of these new ultra-modernistic dwellings are pictured herewith. Especially noteworthy is the “House of Tomorrow” on display at Chicago’s Century Progress fair.

The edifice comprises three stories, and has plate-glass walls set in steel frames. On the top floor is a conservatory replacing the old fashioned flower garden. Encircling the conservatory is an observation platform from which the country side may be viewed, and where you can relax for a healthful sun bath.

The heart of the structure is the second floor, whereon are found the living rooms, sleeping rooms, as well as a terrace for al fresco dining, dancing, and other forms of outdoor recreation.

Though the walls of the rooms are glass, the inhabitants may have complete privacy simply by dropping the Venetian blinds which shut out prying eyes as well as too intense sunlight.

It is the ground floor of the home which will hold the keenest interest of M-M fans, for here is located the garage, recreation room, a workshop, and a hangar large enough to house a light sport plane. In addition, but less interesting, there’s the laundry and the heating and air conditioning plant.

Though glass is favored by ultra-modern architects for wall material, metal is fast coming to the fore as a close competitor. The Mellon Institute recently boosted the cause of metal by the introduction of a new marble surfaced steel. The stone effect is achieved by laminated resin woven inseparably with the metal. A wide variety of finishes may be had, ranging from wood to wall paper.

Although home designers do not expect that their innovations will take the country by storm, they do look forward to the gradual displacement of our conventional wood and stone homes by their product over a period of years.

1 comment
  1. Stannous says: February 19, 20078:35 pm

    Startlingly modern building by Howe and Lescaze:http://www.scholarsreso…

    Howe and Lescaze
    George Howe was born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1886. He attended Harvard from 1904-7 and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris from 1908-12. He started his Philadelphia practice in 1916 and produced a wide spectrum of eclectic designs.

    William Lescaze was born in Geneva in 1896. He was educated in Geneva and graduated from the ETH in 1919. In 1920 he emigrated to the U.S. working in Cleveland and New York before hooking up with Howe.

    The partnership of Howe & Lescaze was established in 1929 and lasted until 1934. Responsibility within the office was divided. Howe generated the concepts and provided direction on the projects, while Lescaze worked on detailing and design.

    Instrumental in introducing the International Style to the U.S., the firm completed the first truly modern skyscraper, the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society Building in Philadelphia in 1932. This building demonstrated for the first time the tenets of International Modernism, applied to both exterior and interior detailing of a building.

    Howe died in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1955. Lescaze, who also helped introduce the Modern Movement to England, died in New York in 1969.

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