May 17, 2013
Believe it or not, some of modern architecture’s most storied white boxes were never meant to remain so white. While Adolf Loos was skirmishing with Vienna’s Secessionist architects and descrying the whipping, stylized vines of their nature-inspired ornament, his 1930 Villa Müller in Brno was designed to be partially concealed in actual, living vines. Like Loos, Mies van der Rohe intended for some of his plastered white facades to be covered in vegetation. Few have paused to contemplate how this affects modernism’s clean, hard-edged historiographies, but with all this in mind, Act Romegialli Architects’ renovation of a disused garage on the slopes of the Raethian Alps — which uses raw nature as its primary form of exterior ornament — can be considered quite modern. More after the jump.