The Good Life
A guided visit to the houses of modernity
Iñaki Ábalos


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What is the role of architecture if not to realize a shared vision of the “good life,” a vision that in the age of architectural modernism shaped a range of ideas about the home? With The Good Life, Iñaki Ábalos serves as our guide for a tour of seven iconic twentieth-century homes that represent various concepts for living, some of them actually built, others merely imagined or realized as film sets.

Essay / Literature, Modern Architecture
We see Mies van der Rohe’s House with Three Patios, Martin Heidegger’s cabinin the Black Forest, Picasso’s Villa La Californie in Cannes, and the New York loft that Andy Warhol called the Factory. From the ultramodern geometric houses and gardens in Jacques Tati’s Mon Oncle, we travel to the famed hobby-kit house in Buster Keaton’s One Week and on to the sunny swimming pool and home in David Hockney’s painting A Bigger Splash. Ábalos takes readers through the key philosophical precepts that likely guided the creation of these homes, making insightful points about the relationship between ideas about a particular modern way of living and approaches to architecture and design. What he concludes is that modernism marks less a coherent triumph of positivism, as is often assumed, than a loose celebration of the radical pluralism of the twentieth century.

Iñaki Ábalos is co-director of Ábalos+Sentkiewicz Arquitectos. He is also a Professor of at ETSAM since 2002 and Professor-in-Residence at Harvard Graduate School of Design since 2012.

256 pages, 116 illustrations
Paperback, 15.5x21 cm
Park Books, 1st edition 2017
ISBN 9783038600510