With some of its oldest homes dating back centuries, Richmond is well known for its historical architecture — but the area is not without its share of modern homes. From brand-new builds to Midcentury gems designed by world-renowned architects, there are plenty of contemporary and modern homes in Richmond, if you know where to look.
What’s the difference between modern and contemporary homes?
Although they may seem interchangeable, modern and contemporary styles are actually different. The modern design movement took place from the early to mid-twentieth century, coinciding with the modern art movement. The mid-century modern movement grew out of that in the 1950s and ‘60s.
Contemporary design doesn’t refer to a specific time period. It’s more ambiguous, constantly evolving to reflect the popular styles of the day. Because it often borrows from modernism, you’ll often see some similarities between modern and contemporary design, including clean lines, minimalism, and neutral palettes. For the purpose of this post, we’ll focus on true modern homes in Richmond as well as contemporary homes heavily inspired by the modernist movement.
What are some design characteristics of a modern home?
Modern homes tend to be quite minimalistic and built from practical, industrial materials such as steel, concrete, and architectural glass. Modern architecture is typically rectangular in form, with lots of straight lines. Inside, you’ll find open concept living areas where form follows function. Rooms may be sparsely decorated, but warmed with large windows bringing the outside in with natural light and views of the surrounding area.
The history of Modernism in Richmond
The modern movement arrived in Richmond in the 1930s when metal manufacturer George Edward Hoppe Jr. built the first International Style home at 1900 S. Meadow St. in the Maymont neighborhood. According to a Richmond magazine article entitled “Richmond’s Modern Movement,” Hoppe built 15 homes in the area and is generally regarded as our first true modernist. The modernist movement spread throughout the city and into the suburbs over the next three decades, with architects like Bud Hyland (a Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice), George Matsumoto, and Richard Neutra leaving their mark.
Where to find modern homes in Richmond
While modern homes are sprinkled throughout the Richmond region, there are a few pockets where you can find more concentrated examples of these houses. Highland Hills in Bon Air is one all-modern neighborhood. There are also a number of midcentury modern homes in Tuckahoe and Hillcrest, as well as in Southside along Riverside Drive and Cherokee Road.
As for newer homes inspired by modernism, there’s been a wave of modern construction in the city over the last few years. Projects like The Reserve in Church Hill and The Mews at Cary Mill have continued Richmond’s modern architecture tradition in the city. RounTrey’s Midlo Modern development is extending the action to the suburbs.
There are also individual examples of new modern homes popping up throughout Richmond, including one of Ruckart Real Estate’s newest listings: 3810 Kensington Avenue in the Museum District. Built by the masterminds at Richmond Hill Design + Build, this 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom stunner combines the very best of modern and contemporary design. From its modern exterior and landscape design to thoughtful details like a linear fireplace with a floating hearth, luxurious bathrooms, and a gourmet kitchen, this house is a fine addition to Richmond’s modern landscape.
Ready to start your search for your very own modern home in Richmond? Get in touch with Ruckart Real Estate today and we’ll set you up with one of our experienced team members to guide you on your way.