Reframing Modernism: Famously Severe Homes Softened by Lush Landscapes

The site and setting of Modernist masterpieces is a key ingredient of their aesthetic, so what, wondered one architect, would happen if these famous buildings were repositioned, set instead in oddly idyllic landscapes ala painter Thomas Kinkade?

Suddenly, the Eames House, Farnsworth House, Eames and Glass Houses are all transformed into surreal standouts against incongruous backdrops of cobblestone walks, colorful gardens and old-fashioned wells. Some, though, like Gehry’s Deconstructivist home (actually located on a residential street in Santa Barbara) look surprisingly cozy in an impossibly idyllic rural setting:

Robyniko explains that it started as a one-off suggestion: “A fellow architect I’m friends with on Twitter asked if anyone did modernist paintings in the style of Thomas Kinkade. It was one of those things you chuckle to yourself thinking about ‘what if’ and then move on with your life.

“But my family was gone for the weekend,” he explains, “so I decided to indulge my curiosity about how these famous modernist homes would fit into Kinkade’s universe.”

The architect started with well-known photographs of these iconic structures, then set to work in Photoshop hacking them into new environments. The result is weirdly jarring in some cases, and oddly satisfying in others.

Overall, the mixed effects show just how much buildings (and our images of them) rely on what surrounds them, for better or worse.