Film screening celebrates modern architecture |

Film screening celebrates modern architecture

If You Go...

What: Screening of "Coast Modern"

When: 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 25

Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.

— Traveling along the Pacific Northwest coastline from Los Angeles to Vancouver, the independent documentary film, “Coast Modern,” exposes three generations of Modernist architecture in all of its naturalistic beauty.

“Modern architecture is a different way of thinking about design,” said Scott Smith, AIA outreach coordinator and senior project architect for Charles Cunniffe Architects in Aspen, where the film was recently shown. “It influences how we live and work. It’s a different approach to how a building works and how we interact with buildings.”

The film, created by filmmakers Mike Bernard and Gavin Froome, premiered in May 2012 and has been featured in theaters across the U.S. and Canada. On Saturday, AIA Colorado West, a chapter of the American Institute of Architects, will host a free screening of “Coast Modern” at 7 p.m. at the Chief Theater. The event is in conjunction with April’s National Architecture and Landscape Architecture month. Following the film, there will be an opportunity for discussion.

“The intention of the film is to call attention to some of the work from modern architect legends that have been looked over in the past,” said Rob Carpenter, the AIA Colorado West outreach director who also works at the local Kelly & Stone Architects firm.

After World War II, modernism was a popular concept for many architects and followed various themes, including simplicity and clarity, to remove unnecessary detail. Other themes include Frank Lloyd Wright’s notion that “form follows function.”

In the film, modernism is shown as an attainable aesthetic that incorporates an open floor plan and a strong relationship between the exterior and interior to emphasize the natural elements of the area. The filmmakers stated on their blog that a classic Modernist home works in collaboration with the natural environment. Dion Neutra, a modernist architect who is featured in the film, said it is involves “the comfort of being inside, yet you have the feeling of being outside.”

Focusing on homes throughout California, the Pacific Northwest and Canada, the film features interviews with historians, homeowners and architects like Ray Kappe, Michelle Kaufmann and George Suyama.

Despite the film’s primary focus on architectural philosophies and principals, those who have no connection to the craft have found the film inspiring.

“In our audience, half the crowd that came to see this film were not architects,” Smith said. “The thing that is most striking is the way it’s composed with various artistic elements like the creative photography. You don’t have to be an architect to enjoy it.”

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

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