Authors: Carolyn Muldowney
Faculty Mentor: Vandana Baweja
College: College of Design, Construction, and Planning
The transition to suburbia created a need for new house building techniques as a majority of American postwar builders opted to clear the land and leave houses vulnerable to harsh climates. For American architects, often influenced by their European partners, the experimental premise of European modernism was an ideal they wished to reimagine. House Beautiful’s Climate Control Project, created by editor Elizabeth Gordon and led by a team of eight researchers from a variety of disciplines, became the first prominent steps to explore and reinvent the theory, technology, and material relationships in a home. This study will explore how the Climate Control Project addressed climatic research, design, and comfort through studying the plans, sites, and materials of successful postwar American homes in House Beautiful editorials. Comfort begins at the foundations of a home; many Climate Control Project innovations focused on incorporating climatic research and regional architecture technologies into simple design techniques that could be adjusted to individual sites. Planimetric arrangements with new spatial relationships between rooms that used new materials such as steel, concrete, and glass. House Beautiful was able to showcase homes from different regions across the country and had a lasting impact on the design of post-war America.