First of all, one thing I really like and appreciate about some of Thames & Hudson’s design books is that the cover art is hard-pressed onto the surface and the lack of a jacket on certain art/design books makes them quite indestructible, easy to store and appreciate. It also makes the volume convenient to carry and the photographs literally jump off the cover.
Today’s book is Domini Bradbury’s title called: Mountain Modern: Contemporary Homes in High Places.
The book is divided into three sections: Cabin, Chalet and Villa. Living in a heavily wooded community just primed me for liking this book—I am used to driving through nature in all its seasons—and something is always growing year round. To me, there are too many places to live in desire—that all require setting and location by water and mountains. Both of these locales also demand special consideration. And the elevation and elements of nature take its toll in these rugged, outdoor settings, so the materials, sites, and architecture must fit—as well as holding up to the extreme weather conditions. These homes do.
Mostly the architecture is fresh, new. Houses embrace a hillside, tuck into rock, rub up against the unusual—a train for example—or feel like a tree house. The views are often breathtaking and expansive, making one feel as if God choose this place to humble mere humans. The examples provided for your consideration are from the Highlands of Scotland to the summits of the Alps, and include mountain resorts in California.
The interiors are modern or contemporary. Some are very austere. Concrete flooring is popular. Often wood warms the walls. The front rooms have clear and sometimes showy ways to demonstrate a cache of wood for example, firewood awaiting the fireplace. Most have floor-to-ceiling windows to suck in the view. There are favorite interior design elements and furnishings: lots of skin rugs, calfskin chairs and leather. Most rooms have little to no color.
This book allows you to retrain your eyes if you are a traditionalist. To look at line and glass with renewed interest. It’s a very nice book to add to your collection
Mountain Modern: Contemporary Homes in High Places by Domini Bradbury, Photographs by Richard Powers. New York: Thames & Hudson, 2014. $35. US; ISBN: 978-0505-17468