Architecture and Environmentalism
By the beginning of the 1960s, experimentation in the modern solar house was largely over. Many of the houses built in the 1950s were sold, often without their solar heating systems intact. Modern architecture more generally had been subject to attack from many directions, and was largely stripped of its social purpose. This end to the modern solar house was simultaneous with the emergence of popular environmentalism, largely spearheaded by Rachel Carson’s 1962 book Silent Spring. Though innovative, the book led to a managerial and regulatory approach to the environment, one that largely lost the experimental aspect that had driven the interest in the solar house. Solar architecture as a lifestyle experiment was over. Though foundation support continued, and a few architects maintained interest in alternative energy, it was not until the oil crises of the 1970s that solar house heating was again of concern for architects.
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