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Coast Modern’ Showcases Modern Architecture On The West Coast

The Smith House, designed by Erickson/Massey Architects and built in 1965,  i...

Above: The Smith House, designed by Erickson/Massey Architects and built in 1965, is just one of the modern homes that's included in the documentary "Coast Modern."

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Photo credit: Courtesy Photo

"Coast Modern" Directors Gavin Froome (left) and Mike Bernard.

The West Coast's landscape would look very different had modernists had their way. Alas, modern architecture did not become the norm during the development boom of the mid-20th century. These days, modern architecture has developed its own cult following of those who have fallen for its aesthetic and ideals. In a new documentary, two modernist aficionados set out to film what's left of the West Coast's impressive collection of modern homes and how the modernist lifestyle has fared over the years.

"Coast Modern," a film by Mike Bernard and Gavin Froome, began as a casual idea between the two longtime friends. They both had other projects, day jobs and families, but, over the course of six years, they spent their free time traveling to storied modern structures that had rich histories and, most of the time, killer views. Bernard says the two spent a lot of time "knocking on doors and just following the trail."

That trail led them to homes whose design elements draw from the main sensibilities of modern living: space, climate, light and mood. Their journey also brought them to some of the most respected names in modern architecture, including Ray Kappe, Dion Neutra and Julius Shulman.

The end result of their research is not just footage of modern homes, but a statement about what humans need in order to live life productively and comfortably, and how modernist housing can benefit those who choose to live that way.

"Coast Modern" will screen on Thursday, Feb. 21 at the La Paloma Theatre (471 South Coast Hwy 101) in Encinitas.


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