The Modern American House: Spaciousness and Middle Class Identity by Sandy IsenstadtThe Modern American House: Spaciousness and Middle Class Identity by Sandy Isenstadt

The Modern American House: Spaciousness and Middle Class Identity

bySandy Isenstadt

Hardcover | September 11, 2006

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Sandy Isenstadt examines how architects, interior designers, and landscape designers worked to enhance spatial perception in middle class houses visually. The desire for spaciousness reached its highest pitch where it was most lacking, in the small, single-family houses that came to be the cornerstone of middle class life in the nineteenth century. In direct conflict with actual dimensions, spaciousness was linked to a tension unique to the middle class - between spatial aspirations and financial limitations. Although rarely addressed in a sustained fashion by theorists and practitioners, and the inhabitants of houses themselves, Isenstadt argues that spaciousness was central to the development of modern American domestic architecture, with explicit strategies for perceiving space being pivotal to modern house design. Through professional endorsement, concern for visual space found its way into discussion of real estate and law.
Sandy Isenstadt is assistant professor of art history at Yale University. A scholar of modern architecture, he has written on the work of Richard Neutra, Josep Lluis Sert, Leon Krier, and Rem Koolhaus. His work has been supported by the Center for Advanced Study of the Visual Arts (National Gallery of Art), the National Endowment for t...
Title:The Modern American House: Spaciousness and Middle Class IdentityFormat:HardcoverDimensions:342 pages, 9.96 × 6.97 × 1.02 inPublished:September 11, 2006Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521770130

ISBN - 13:9780521770132

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Table of Contents

Introduction: spaciousness, history of a visual effect; 1. The small house era; 2. The production of spaciousness; 3. Spacious interiors; 4. Looking at landscapes; 5. Glass horizons; 6. 'The view it frames': a history of the picture window; 7. Cultivated vistas; 8. The ruler and the eye: the compensations of spaciousness; 9. Conclusion: this excellent dumb discourse.

Editorial Reviews

"Isenstadt exploits a rich array of sources rarely consulted in studies of modern architecture: journals, magazines, popular books, and other widely disseminated publications. He demonstrates that the quest for spaciousness, set against the crowded, industrial city and reflecting American cultural ideals such as virtue, independence, solitude, and freedom, paralleled the emergence and growth of a large, single-family home owning middle class...The Modern American House complicates our received understanding of modern indispensable resource for future scholars of modern architecture and others who seek a richer understanding of the American domestic environment." -Society of Architectural Historians