Modern Design in Birmingham, Alabama? - Frusterio Design

I have had the pleasure of working with several clients throughout their project, here at Frusterio. One of the best reasons to work with Chuck Frusterio, is because he designs an excellent custom home. I have had meetings with him and a client with nothing but a stack of magazine clippings and before the hour is over, Chuck will very calmly explain that he already has exactly what the client wants in his head. Amazing talent and amazing knowledge of the building process combine to make the client’s dream home a reality.

An additional thing I have noticed in home design in this area of the country is the lack of desire for modern architecture. I have subscribed to a few blogs, and one really caught my eye this morning in regards to design. WebUrbanist showcases architecture and alternative art and this particular post showcased some beautiful and interesting modern architecture.

Now I have a question- why is this not popular in our area? The homes are functional and efficient, beautiful and one of a kind- so, why aren’t people requesting them here? Is it because we are traditional in our values and also traditional in our architecture? Are there more modern homes that I don’t know about?

Post your thoughts and comments about this and why we like what we do.

Also, here is the original post for Dream Designs: 10 Uncanny Ultamodern Homes

6 thoughts on “Modern Design in Birmingham, Alabama?”

  1. For your question, I think that people in Alabama do have their own likes and dislikes, maybe at this time, they aren’t sure if they should change it because of economic slowdown. This is a wild guess, okay?

  2. I have found that tastes in B’ham run to the conservative as far as home design goes. Traditional, colonial, the McMansion-psudo european tends to dominate. Mid Century Modern does exist, but on a very limited basis. Usually custom built or remodled by owners. Very rare to see spec built except for a few loft conversions in the “trendy areas” and a few actually built back in the day. When they come on the market they tend to sit on the market a long time and sell at a discount, at which time the new owner remodels to bring the place “up to date” and destroying the mid-century style. Remember this is the heart of southern tradition, not L.A. or NYC.

  3. Velochicdunord

    I’m a relative newcomer to Birmingham. I think that it’s a combination of factors.

    The first is that in the city’s early twentieth century industrialization, there was an emphasis, by those with money, on acquiring the “old world” status symbols of fine French and English furniture (that you’d done the “Grand tour”, shopping along the way), in combination with wanting to look back to a local buccolic past… that never was.

    Those references, in domestic architecture, are still regarded by local agents, as more “sellable” than any modern period looks from the thirties forward.

    From the sixties forward, a lot of “improved” (affordable) housing in rural Alabama has been of the “drop on site” variety – and until recently, most of those have also used designs that referred back to earlier periods as well.

    I think that any local push to develop a local modern regional style has been hampered by a lack of local manufacturers with an eye – and some design training.

    If there’s an post secondary art and design school in the state, I haven’t found it yet.

  4. I heard an architect remark several years ago that one of his professors said that Birmingham residents became enamored with Greek and Italian architecture due to the influx of financially successful residents with those backgrounds. He said that when the rest of the world was turning to the mid century movement, Birmingham was building columns! Makes sense. I’ve been searching for a great MCM to buy for years (even before they were ” in” again!

  5. Hi- old thread but maybe someone will see- I’m from B’ham & designing a house in Lillian AL on the bay. Stucco out of hand expensive and not ideal here climatewise anyhow so we were looking to do fiber cement siding and learned that Hardi and other fiber cement manufacturers only sell here commercially- a dealer said it was too much rainfall but they sell to Seattle commercially. Very frustrated as there seem to be no good design ideas for our exterior now. Any advise appreciated!!!

    1. Hi Amy! I just spoke with a product spec rep (Freddie) with James Hardie. He said that they sell their product nation wide and rainfall would have no effect on their product. He said to call anyone in product specifications and they will be able to give you additional details, along with a local distributor. Here is their number. 1-888-542-7343. I just followed prompts to get to products questions. Hope this helps! If you have any further questions, please let me know. Have a great day!


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