Museum of Art in Raleigh

Modest Modern is not just about the house you live in. It’s about the life you live too. And nothing makes me happier than to explore the world with my two kids, Chloe 4 and Noah 8. Because I love modern architecture, I want them to love it too. So I try to expose them to as much of it as I can, in a fun way, and sometimes in a way in which they don’t even realize it. We spend many weekends at the North Carolina Museum of Art which boasts the new very modern West Building designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners – and with the largest museum art park in the world – many times we don’t even go inside the museum. We walk around the outside grounds, looking for frogs, jumping off rocks, throwing a ball around…and looking at the building. Why did they make a flat roof? Why is the siding so reflective? Why is the entrance hidden?

And on every trip that we take, I try to pick one architecturally-interesting building for us to explore – mostly modern, but sometimes not. It’s fun to watch how they interact with it, what they see that I don’t, what I love about it that they think is just ‘meh’.

This shelter built by Tonic Design (the same firm that built my house) at the NC Art Museum is one of our favorites. The kids love throwing football off of it and the built in storage units (they swear a mummy is hiding in one of them) – and I love the way it disappears into the landscape so I can hide from the world for a moment.