Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty | Know Your Architecture: Midcentury Modern

The home at 3809 Trails Edge Road is priced $774,900.
The home at 3809 Trails Edge Road is priced $774,900.

The Midcentury Modern movement in America was an adaptation of two austere, straight-lined architectural movements in Europe: the International and Bauhaus styles. American mid-century architecture, which spanned roughly from the late 1930s to the 70s, is warmer and more organic, often with wood elements, beams, columns, walls, where the Europeans employed concrete and steel.

What makes it Midcentury is the flat or vaulted roofs, large plate-glass windows, open floor plans and a feeling of the inside and outside blurred into one, thanks not only to walls-of-glass and large glazed doors that slide away but also to the continuation of the same materials outside as inside, especially flooring (think slate, terrazzo or travertine). Other cues may be carports, clerestory windows, atriums and large stone or brick fireplaces that anchor the whole house. Midcentury Modern brings nature in via its walls-of-windows.

Famous examples include architect Philip Johnson’s glass-walled house for himself in rural Connecticut and the long, low, see-through Stahl House by Pierre Koenig, which cantilevers dramatically off a hill over Los Angeles. Movies starring Midcentury Modern houses include North by Northwest, A Single Man, The Big Lebowski and Diamonds are Forever.

The custom home at 3809 Trails Edge Road in Fort Worth’s Overton Park is a textbook example of the style. Built in 1959, it is an entertainer’s dream, featuring an open floor plan, a gourmet kitchen and a large garden room addition, complete with indoor swimming pool, by celebrated architect Albert Komatsu. The nearly 7,000-square-foot home also boasts covered porch areas with views over Overton Park.

The home, priced $774,900 is represented by Laura Spann and Jeremy Spann.

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