Mid-Century Architecture

    6a00d8341c86d053ef01676929ea76970b-500wiYellow Door: A Rummer Home in Beaverton, Oregon 
Houseplans.co. (2012, August). A Rummer house in Beaverton Photograph]. Retrieved   from  http://chatterbox.typepad.com/portlandarchitecture/2012/08/whe ranch-goes modern celebrating-rummer-homes.html

What Defines Mid-century Architecture?

Mid-century modern (MCM) homes were designed with an eye to the outside by opened the line of vision from the inside out. Following the Bauhaus design out of Germany, it was radically different from the typical bungalow cottages of the 1900’s. The MCM architectural movement began in the 1930’s and became established as an architectural style by the late 1950’s. From 1933 to 1966, MCM architecture was considered cutting edge, testing the boundaries of material use, building design, architectural aesthetic and site design.
 The MCM style homes and buildings must have appeared to be out of place in the  traditional post-war neighborhoods. Beginning in the early to mid 1970’s, the architectural styles of MCM segued into Contemporary Modern Architecture. MCM architecture was defined as Period Mid-Century Modern Architecture and separated from its predecessor,  Contemporary Modern Architecture.


MCM designs and architectural elements marry with concurrent themes of  clean lines and open interior spaces. By  incorporating post and beam structural elements made of wood indigenous to the region, MCM architecture in the Portland, Oregon area is unique. The use of angular shapes and thoughtfully placed windows integrated the MCM structure with nature.

Simplicity, clean transitions between rooms,  and a seamless flow from outdoors to indoors were strong design elements in MCM structures. By  including atriums, large sliding glass doors, skylights, sleek built-ins and vaulted ceilings, MCM homes gained the nickname “atomic ranch”  for what was considered state-of -the-art during the atomic age of the twentieth century.

Landscape & Design

Mid-century modern homes wove form and function together, with an important link to nature: one could walk outside the master bedroom door to a private, park-like yard, employing landscape materials such as stone, architectural concrete block, multi-color fiberglass fence panels and moss covered walkways.

Landscaping took into consideration the damp and rainy climate, local fauna and flora and opportunities for maximizing light. MCM homes in the Portland area are specifically designed to take advantage of open spaces to create more light to benefit both the inside and outside environments.

Scope: Mid-Century Modern (MCM) Architecture

This website focuses on period MCM architects and architecture in the Portland, Oregon area. 

Domain: MCM Portland, Oregon exists as a live website.

Designed to serve as a subject specific resource and an educational tool with a high level of interoperability. 


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