With The Good Life, IÃ±aki Ãbalos serves as our guide for a tour of seven iconic twentieth-century homes that represent various concepts for living. Some of the homes were actually built, while others were merely planned, painted, or created as part of a film set. We see Mies van der Roheâs House with Three Patios, Martin Heideggerâs cabin in the Black Forest, Picassoâs 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 Tatiâs Mon Oncle, we travel to the famed hobby-kit house in Buster Keatonâs One Week and on to the sunny swimming pool and home in David Hockneyâs painting A Bigger Splash. Ãbalos guides 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.
A fascinating work by one of Spainâs most prominent architects, The Good Life presents a powerful picture of the concerns that guided the course of architectural modernism.