The Arts & Craft Movement
And the Bungalow
Our Plans | The Arts & Crafts Movement | William Morris | Frank Lloyd Wright | Mission Style | Georgia O’Keeffe | Louis Comfort Tiffany | Greene & Greene |
 
Growing up on the beach in North San Diego County I had always been drawn to the bungalows of the narrow platted subdivisions of the beach communities as what defined a beach house. I figured researching bungalows was the place to start. Nearly every house built in the beach communities of California prior to 1927 had its roots in the Craftsman tradition. The bungalows of the 1920’s were a leading expression of the Craftsman tradition. Many of these bungalows were interpretations of the Craftsman bungalow style set forth by the architects Charles and Henry Green of Pasadena. The Craftsman Movement of America originated from the Arts and Craft movement of late 19th century England. Thanks to the internet and Amazon.com I started to become way more familiar with the likes of William Morris, Gustov Stikley and the Arts and Crafts Movement than I ever imagined. As I weaved my way through the books and articles the central theme of the arts and crafts movement, a return to a simpler way of life in tune with nature, began to sound a lot like stepping back in time to a simpler uncomplicated era. I decided I might be on to something because that’s how Gold Beach seamed to make me feel.
 
As I read my books and print outs I was pretty much blown away about what I was learning about the Arts & Craft movement. By 1860, Europe’s Industrial Revolution was moving full steam ahead. Mass production was churning out affordable but low quality products for a growing middle class. The Arts and Crafts Movement of the late 19th century was driven by reactions created by the industrialization of Europe. The Industrial Revolution was based in part on the concept of division of labor. The idea was to divide a job into its various tasks. Instead of having a skilled craftsman do everything, have a variety of people perform different tasks to manufacture an item. Leaders of the craftsman movement felt the division of labor robbed workers of the pleasure of seeing their work through from conception to completion. The traditional values of quality and beauty were being replaced by a new motto of economy and profit. The leaders of the movement sought to return to England the values of the simple pleasures of traditional craftsmanship and artistry. Arts and crafts and so the movement got its name. The movement promoted the return to simpler decorative arts and simpler architectural styles emphasizing handcrafts with a closer connection to nature. When ever possible local material from nature was the standard. As I was doing my research I was taken aback by the thought that someone in England in the 19th century would have thought about a simpler time. I guess we all have probably always romanticized the good old days.
 
The bungalow evolved from the Arts & Craft Movement emphasizing a link between the house and the land around it. Bungalows project a picturesque and homey feeling. This homey feeling is what I wanted the Beachcomber to feel like. A place where visitors could reconnect with the beauty of nature and avoid the hustle and bustle of their everyday lives. As I read on it became clear how bungalows followed the craftsman principles with their exposed structural elements, light fixtures and hardware that are decorative. This efficient use of design and the use of natural, local material and colors helped reinforce the home-earth relationship to create a design harmonious with the natural setting. Yea I stole that sentence somewhere. The bottom line is bungalows adopted what ever could be gleamed from the local area as the cornerstones of the building project. The bungalow stressed a return to simple handcrafted workmanship and stressed the integrity and beauty of materials in their native state.
 
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