If you’ve ever seen an episode of Mad Men, you’re already familiar with Mid-Century-Modern design. The term was coined in 1984 by author Cara Greenberg. She used it to discuss the signature looks of the 1960s in her book Mid-Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s.
“Rather than requiring a bunch of ornate embellishments, the mid-century look is all about stripping items down to their barest elements and letting their function become the star. In mid-century architecture, large windows often play a key role.
The free plan, as it relates to architecture refers to an open plan with non load-bearing walls dividing interior space. In this system, the building structure is separate of the interior partitions. This is made possible by replacing interior load-bearing walls with moving the structure of the building to the exterior, or by having columns that are free from space dividing partitions.”*
This type of architectural continues to influence today’s highly desirable “open” floor plans, where kitchens flow into family rooms and the inside opens to outdoor living spaces.
“Simplicity was my goal, and a connection to the outdoors. In a house like this you live in spaces, not tight rooms, in order to expand your view of the world.” – Charles H. Richter, Jr.
The 4-bedroom home that Richter designed for himself and his family in 1962 is snugged into a hillside in Ruxton, overlooking several wooded acres adjacent to Lake Roland. Spare and clean, the house is deceptively simple from the front, but enter the main foyer and you are treated to a sensational view of the outside. Slate floors gleam like still pools of water, reflecting the furniture, recessed lighting and outdoor views.
The entire rear of the house (both floors) consists of floor to ceiling windows with uninterrupted forest views. The expansive deck soars out into the trees, and the feeling is one of being in a private tree house, with only the sounds of breezes and birds.
“This was a wonderful home to grow up in,” says Richter’s daughter, “It was so different from all of my friends’ houses, and they loved coming over!”
Don Draper himself would feel right at home in this Ruxton retreat. See more photos.
Other Richter homes in the area: