Personal tools
log in | join | help
Sections

Welcome Virginia Modernists

by Josh McCullar last modified Dec 04, 2008 06:42 PM
Editorial Rating: 1 2 3 4 5
Average Rating: 1 2 3 4 5 ( 0 votes)



 

 

Welcome Virginia Modernists

Posted by Josh McCullar at June 17. 2007

Welcome to the Virginia Modernist forum. This is a place to promote modern residential architecture in Virginia, discuss ideas, network with others, and hopefully connect with potential clients.

As Virginians, we are fortunate to have such rich architectural traditions in our small towns, our farmsteads, and our cities. Thomas Jefferson's legacy as been immortalized in the "red brick colonial" for centuries in Virginia, but in the truest Jeffersonian spirit, we should honor our own time and place as he honored his.

Many have said Jefferson was a modernist in his own time. I believe he surely was, and would decry the faux historicist stylistic pander that has come to dominate the built environment we have today in the region. Much of our architecture today is cheap imitation - a stage set or billboard -  with emphasis on two dimensional surface treatment, rather and artful spatial experience. Jefferson was indeed a master at spatial manipulation in architecture and landscape design. The integration of natural light and perspective was achieved cleverly in cross section, while keeping the plan as compact and efficient as possible. In fact, these are all traits of timeless modern design as well. The word "style" shouldn't even be part of the conversation when creating good architecture today. It should be about space, craft, and sustainability, through the honest expression of materials. In this, I hope we as modernists will create a new architecture of authenticity to bequeath to our children.

I invite you all to share your thoughts and ideas, or just say hello to like minded people in this region.


Josh McCullar, Richmond, VA

Re: Welcome Virginia Modernists

Posted by Guido Goldkuhle at June 22. 2007
Hello Josh, Having grown up and gone to college in Virginia know where you are coming from, place seems trapped by its history. I have a glass studio, www.kuhldoors.com, and try to blend the traditional techniques and materials with more contemporary designs. regards, Guido guido@kuhldoors.com

Re: Welcome Virginia Modernists

Posted by Josh McCullar at June 22. 2007

Guido,

 

Thanks for the reply. I am very touched by your family history and story. I enjoyed very much, reading about it on your website. You've been given quite a legacy. I see your dad's studio is in Reston. That is an area of Virginia where some good modern design has been done by several residential architects over the years. In central and southside, VA however time seems to move at a much slower pace. It's a pace I enjoy though. I grew up in "rural tobacco country"  for the most part, so I am "at home" down here.

 

I am also a fellow UVA graduate. I did my undergraduate study in architecture at NC State, and then went to UVA School of Architecture for grad school. It  was a great time. Yes, Virginia is so captivated by it's past, but I chose to practice architecture here because I hope in time, to bring modern design (one small project at a time) to this region. I'm just beginning. Although a native of Virginia, I grew up much of my life in the Carolinas, and ironically modernism down there is alive and well (especially in the Raleigh/Durham/ Chapel hill area). After college, I considered going back to NC to join a modernist design firm, but thought I could have more of an impact in Virginia. It will take some time though. I am convinced good design transcends style, and there is an undercurrent of potential clients here who are sophisticated enough to understand that and be willing to learn.

 

 

Josh

 

 

Re: Welcome Virginia Modernists

Posted by Patrick Farley at July 15. 2007

Josh,

I just stumbled across this site (really) and appreciate your taking the initiative in introducing a forum for this important subject in the Richmond area.  I agree wholeheartedly with your thoughts on the dominance of shallow architectural thought cloaked in Jeffersonian or otherwise "traditional" garb and sold as quality design.  A UVa grad ('88/'93) as well, I too benefitted from the Clarke/Menefee indoctrination many years ago (I am a native Richmonder).  Though every project is not overtly modernist for us, the pursuit is always on for appropriate, sensitive, ecological design solutions - - good design in our times (esp. in the context of energy scarcity/climatic effects) simply MUST get back to basics while drawing from the essence of place as a matter of architectural expression.  And, I believe to my core that if Jefferson were here today, we'd likely see a very different take on Monticello (with the exception of its rather sophisticated passive nature)...

Keep up the good work and I'll look forward to chiming-in from time to time,

Patrick Farley

Watershed

www.watershedarch.net


Re: Welcome Virginia Modernists

Posted by Steff Adams at July 15. 2007

I am a brand new member in search of MCM homes in Virginia under $300,000.  If any of you have a nice Atomic ranch or Mid Century Modern home over 2,000sf in good condition I would love to hear from you.  I know, I know!  I am asking alot...What can I say!!  I am open to just about any area of Virginia not in a flood zone.  Also, if anyone knows of any neighborhoods with Atomic age homes, I would love to get that information, too.  Thanks! Steffa

Re: Welcome Virginia Modernists

Posted by Bob Johnsen at July 16. 2007
Josh, Thanks for starting this forum. My wife and I are interested in building a modern home, be it stick built or pre-fab. We believe there is a hidden demand for modern homes, even here in conservative Central Virginia. One thing holding people back, in our opinion, is the lack of product and service available to people who are not high-end buyers. What we would like to see are more plans for homes under 2,000 sqft., costing between $100 - $125/sqft. excluding land and site prep. If any architects, designers and builders are up to the challenge, contact us. Bob Johnsen

Re: Welcome Virginia Modernists

Posted by Josh McCullar at July 16. 2007
Bob,

Please call or email me directly to discuss your ideas for the kind of home you and your wife are interested in. Do you have a site in mind? Like you, my wife and I also live in the Midlothian area, so I agree wholeheartedly that there is an under-served group of people in the area who dream of living in a modern house. We do too. I also agree that a modern house can certainly be designed within a middle-class income level and that modernism is not only for the higher-end buyer. It's amazing what a little imagination and artful thinking can do for any "new construction" situation, if the creative thinking is applied from the very beginning.

Thanks for writing, and I look forward to hearing from you again at the email below. If you have some images or books that you have collected that represent the kinds of spaces or materials you would like to see in your home, it would be great to sit down and look at those together sometime.

Josh

jmccullar@enterosdesign.com
804.861.1200

Re: Welcome Virginia Modernists

Posted by Josh McCullar at July 16. 2007
Patrick,

Thanks for writing. Your presence will add a lot to this forum. I am a friend of Shannon's (your co-worker JD's wife), from working together at SMBW (where I worked for 4 years until this May), so I have have followed your work over the past few years and admire it greatly. I hope you will "chime in" and become a regular on this forum. I'd love to learn about your research on sustainable design sometime. Enteros is designing the new Petersburg Public Library, and when touring the new Tuckahoe Branch Library a few weeks ago, I noticed a flyer about a "talk" you were giving about green design. We are researching options for LEED on this library and have discussed green roofs and a rain cistern with this client. As always, the budget will have to flex a bit if we go down this route. If you're ever in "old town" Petersburg during the week, feel free to stop by and say hello. (314 Exchange Alley).

Keep up your good work as well,

Josh

jmccullar@enterosdesign.com

Re: Welcome Virginia Modernists

Posted by Patrick Farley at July 23. 2007

Josh,

Thanks for the positive feedback and I'm glad to learn of yet another mutual connection (and I am an SMBW alum as well).  I certainly would love to hear more about the library project sometime and even throw my $0.02 in you're interested.  Libraries are of particular interest and I have to acknowledge that while at Tuckahoe for my talk it was difficult to ignore the incongruity of subject matter in relation to its venue.  Not that it wasn't pleasant, but I much preferred the facility that it replaced just down the street (I was a frequent visitor growing up).  Given the magnitude of public and natural resources being invested in these facilities (esp. on the operations side), I'm of the mindset that less focus should be on grandiosity and high-end fit-and-finish and more on simplicity, function, and energy use (which of course is hand-in-glove with sound day-lighting design), as well as low impact development/water management.  It sounds as though you and your team are giving some consideration along these lines, and hope that your efforts will yield a model development. 

I look forward to ongoing dialogue...

Patrick

 

Re: Welcome Virginia Modernists

Posted by Ryan Mayton at July 29. 2007


All:

Count me in, too.  As an interior designer, I too have a hunger for something different in our marketplace.  Given the size of our central virginia marketplace, and the recent influx of people from outside of the Richmond area, I would think that we would be primed for a renaissance in the area of affordable contemporary residential architecture.  If I see another neo-colonial house (and I currently live in one) pop out of the ground here, my head might explode.

When I was looking for a home 7 years ago, my priorities were in finding an area with good schools for my growing family, affordability, and style.  I got two out of three when I moved into suburban Hanover county.  You can guess which one I didn't get.

I know that conservatism is widespread in this area, but I can't help but think that there a significant number of  people out there like my family that want good schools, affordability and modern style.  Or am I deluded?

I'm glad to find other who share a similar interest.

Here's to a brighter future!

Ryan Mayton



Re: Welcome Virginia Modernists

Posted by Josh McCullar at August 22. 2007

Ryan,

 

Isn't it frustrating to be a design professional, and not even be able to buy a house here that reflects your aesthetic tastes? Residential developers simply aren't offering anything around here but  'Mr Roger's Neighborhoods." It's sickening honestly. It is very frustrating to me, but like you (with a growing family) I had to buy in an area with good schools and high re-sale value.

 

Josh

 

Re: Welcome Virginia Modernists

Posted by Christiane Rudd at September 29. 2007

Ditto on all the above comments. I am an artist and moving from the west coast to the Richmond area. I'm actually here now and have spent the last disappointing week looking at colonial houses that seem beyond even my design skills! Of more interest though, some old farmhouses that could either be teardowns or just a major remodel. I would like to be out in Hanover or Powhatan. I am dreaming of building a small modernist guest house(for me at first) along with a big studio, with later plans to build a larger house in 5-10 years. I've got some ideas, but will need an architect familiar with this area and what can be done, as well as modernist sensibility within a budget! :). Anyone up for it? I've been on livemodern for quite a while, and was very glad to see this Virginia forum sprout. Thank you so much!

Christiane Rudd

clrmoi@yahoo.com

 

 

Re: Welcome Virginia Modernists

Posted by Josh McCullar at October 01. 2007

Dear Christiane,

 

I was excited to read your comments about renovating an old farmhouse and/or building a modernist guest house and studio. That sounds wonderful. Our firm, Enteros Design has extensive experience with restoration and adaptive reuse of old homes and buildings, and the design of new contemporary buildings. From your comments, it seems like we share very similar values and I believe we would be a good fit for your project.

Would you be interested in visiting our office? We are located in the Old Town district of downtown Petersburg, which is an area booming with artist’s studios and other creative people. We have found this to be a great place to practice the art of architecture as well.

The firm’s principal, Gil Entzminger and I would be interested in meeting you and discussing your ideas and interests.

 

Josh McCullar

 

 

jmccullar@enterosdesign.com

 

 


Re: Welcome Virginia Modernists

Posted by Mason Hearn at December 20. 2007

Hey, another UVa architecture alum here, another to stumble across this "great idea" forum with high hopes.

As a designer and contractor (Richmond area), I hope I can bring some unique perspective.  I am likewise quite intrigued by the idea of affordability, but thwarted in its achievement, especially in the modern language, and when (as rightfully all structures should be) demands for craftsmanship are high.

It is my experience that, in the quest for uniqueness, even though (perhaps especially since) the modern paradigm suggests simplicity, the manner of well-achieving that suggests higher levels of craftsmanship (labor hours and/or skill levels to accomplish).  Do we not also tend toward bumping-up the level of material finish, even if done in a simple manner?

The comparison that comes to mind, is the common "Phony Colony" developer spec-home, whose exterior is comprised of foolproof vinyl or Hardie siding banged-up with pneumatic nailers, finned vinyl-clad windows, and the like.  Interior joints of drywall and prehung six-panel doors simply covered with moldings... all of which every low-level carpenter's helper can do with very little training.  Mistakes are covered with putty and caulk before liberal coats of spray paint.  And in the end, the McMansion is marketed for $125 per SF.

Heck, the Dwell prefab kits, which are touted as "affordable" are supposed to run in the neighborhood of $200/SF if I recall correctly.

So, are there systems that one can design around to build likewise in the modern aesthetic, with similar material and labor costs, to achieve this affordability?

Re: Welcome Virginia Modernists

Posted by sarah daily at July 15. 2008
Hi there,
 
I'm moving to Richmond to attend grad school next month. Does anyone have advice on where I can find a modern rental? I thought there would have been some amazing renovations inside the old warehouses in Shockoe, but they're very contemporary and disappointing (so far--maybe I'm missing something). 
 
Thanks very much!
 
Sarah
 
 

Previously Josh McCullar wrote:


Welcome to the Virginia Modernist forum. This is a place to promote modern residential architecture in Virginia, discuss ideas, network with others, and hopefully connect with potential clients.


As Virginians, we are fortunate to have such rich architectural traditions in our small towns, our farmsteads, and our cities. Thomas Jefferson's legacy as been immortalized in the "red brick colonial" for centuries in Virginia, but in the truest Jeffersonian spirit, we should honor our own time and place as he honored his.

Many have said Jefferson was a modernist in his own time. I believe he surely was, and would decry the faux historicist stylistic pander that has come to dominate the built environment we have today in the region. Much of our architecture today is cheap imitation - a stage set or billboard -  with emphasis on two dimensional surface treatment, rather and artful spatial experience. Jefferson was indeed a master at spatial manipulation in architecture and landscape design. The integration of natural light and perspective was achieved cleverly in cross section, while keeping the plan as compact and efficient as possible. In fact, these are all traits of timeless modern design as well. The word "style" shouldn't even be part of the conversation when creating good architecture today. It should be about space, craft, and sustainability, through the honest expression of materials. In this, I hope we as modernists will create a new architecture of authenticity to bequeath to our children.


I invite you all to share your thoughts and ideas, or just say hello to like minded people in this region.




Josh McCullar, Richmond, VA


 

Re: Welcome Virginia Modernists

Posted by Josh McCullar at July 16. 2008

Sarah,

 

There is a re-surging former industrial area in Northside off the Boulevard (5 minutes from The Fan) called "Scotts Addition". There are several warehouses being converted to residential use. You might try there. They are not as old as the buildings in Shockoe. They do have large industrial windows. Another area to try is Manchester across the river from downtown. Again, that is a former industrial area with nice early 20thc buildings with large windows and tall ceilings. These places are a little more "real" in their genuine grittiness and lack (perhaps a good thing) the trendiness factor that shockoe has.

 

 

Good Luck.

Josh McCullar

 

Re: Welcome Virginia Modernists

Posted by sanuja hemamali at July 25. 2008

 

 





This is a small story and I have seen this before,Like wise these problems are usually happening in other countries.

 -------------------

hemamali

Addiction Recovery Vermont

 

 

 

Re: Welcome Virginia Modernists

Posted by jason hendricks at December 04. 2008

The sad thing is, i have been unable to find affordable systems out there that are in the modern aesthetic (without going to IKEA)

 For example,  According to the Kolher salesman, the kolher purist faucet line isn't any different the base line model.  Because it has a modern look they charge more.  Same goes for door knobs, doors... even detailing 

The large scale, cheap labor market in richmond cant even put a 1/2" reveal between door/window casing and the drywall wall, thereby eliminating all trim (and putty/painters caulk) on the job. 

I agree affordable in richmond isn't $200/ sf.  There has to be a way to get modern at $120-$150/ sf.


Heck, the Dwell prefab kits, which are touted as "affordable" are supposed to run in the neighborhood of $200/SF if I recall correctly.


So, are there systems that one can design around to build likewise in the modern aesthetic, with similar material and labor costs, to achieve this affordability?


 

Powered by Ploneboard

 

 

 
 
 

Website migration, maintenance and customization provided by Grafware.