Mid-Century Modern design movement guide, 20th Century architecture style, Property

Mid-Century Modern: Iconic Design Movement

21 June 2022

A Mid-Century Modern Mindset – Why This Iconic Design Movement is Taken as the Design Ethos of Design and Build company ‘MCM Homes’

Mid-Century Modern iconic design movement

Simplicity, optimism, and (re)connecting with loved ones and nature – it seems like the mid-century modern mindset is just what we need in these hectic and uncertain times.

Known for its large window panes, open floor plans, seamless integration of the indoors with the outdoors and focus on functionality and efficiency, the mid-century modern design movement emerged after the global upheaval of the Second World War, giving voice to a renewed sense of hopefulness and a future-oriented outlook. In our current post-COVID landscape, the principles of this iconic design movement could well be the bedrock of our foundation as we, as a society, are looking to leave the lockdown reality behind us.

Is Australia’s architecture ready for a mid-century turn? Mid Century Modern Homes (MCM Homes), the Sydney-based up and coming property developers focusing on affordable and site-specific homes, would argue so.

With 40 years of combined experience in architectural design, MCM Homes founders Lam Pappas and Charles Alexiou set themselves apart from other designer-builders.

‘As architectural designers, it’s our job to not only make something look aesthetically pleasing but also reflect critically on the needs, wishes, and implications of certain design choices’.

Especially in architecture, each decision impacts the future inhabitants of the building.  As Tim Ross, architecture enthusiast and television documentary maker of ‘Designing a Legacy’, reminds us, Winston Churchill said “We shape our homes and then our homes shape us”.

For instance, mid-century modernist architecture embodied the wishes to spend more time with family and the outdoors through its open spaces and large windows as well as increasing outdoor access points. In short, the interconnection between form and function should be the locus of every designer’s process.

‘In our own practice, the functionality of the mid-century modern movement reminds us to work cost-effective, affordable, and site-specific. We take the functionality principle to heart when we envision MCM Homes’ houses but also integrate it within our overarching organisational identity and the choices that stem from that. We find it important to make the entire process as simple and effortless for new homeowners, from design through the build process and to final handover of the key to the front door.

At MCM Homes, we take the necessary time to reflect on potential bottlenecks, thereby ensuring that risks are minimised for our clients and adjust course when needed – functionality par excellence.’

With the risk of seeming overly nostalgic, Pappas and Alexiou stress that functionality furthermore means taking into account new developments, insights, materials and techniques. Therefore, MCM Homes incorporate the design ethos of the fifties and sixties but imbues this with the technical innovation of our contemporary age. For instance, their homes and granny flats make use of passive solar design which feature techniques that were available to pioneering mid-century modern architects like Mies van der Rohe, Charlotte Perriand, and Frank Lloyd Wright but sadly forgotten, unitil now.

To quote the aforementioned Mies van der Rohe ‘Architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space.’ So, Pappas and Alexiou ask us, what will our surroundings look like?

Designed to inspire, Pappas and Alexiou have cleverly re-awakened these design principles in MCM Homes.

Interested to see what modern and affordable housing options MCM Homes has for you? See their website to access more information.

Comments on this guide to Mid-Century Modern design movement article are welcome.

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