Walking the Walk

Urban design from the front lines

Kevin Klinkenberg

Using urban design to make our lives more enjoyable and create wealth

This site is for all those interested in the making of cities and towns, and especially the lives of the humans that inhabit them. Kevin Klinkenberg is an architect and urban designer who's practiced from coast-to-coast. 

Modern architecture & nostalgia

A common dismissive comment by architects of any design not striving to be "of our time" is that it's nostalgic. So it's no small irony to see nostalgia employed in this manner:

When a Massachusetts couple wanted to add a greenhouse to their property, they did what most people would do: They picked up a catalog. But after reviewing classic gable design after gable design, it became clear that the cottage look was not what they were envisioning. The site is secluded, barely visible from the main house, and the couple wanted to create a modern but unobtrusive space for entertaining, gardening and gathering. They hired architect Colin Flavin to design a structure that would suit the aesthetic they were after — something fresh and modern. His first step? Looking back 60 years or so for inspiration.


With strong references to Philip Johnson’s Glass House, inspired by modern master Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s glass and steel vocabulary, Flavin borrowed many elements for the structure.

It's worth noting that Phillip Johnson's Glass House is 65 years old and Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona Pavillion is now 85 years old.