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更新时间:2018-1-21 10:00:30 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The evolution of the modern living room

Louis XIV’s Palace of Versailles, shaped from the 1680s for the absolutist French monarch, was vast, indulgent and magnificent. No one, however, could call this former hunting lodge comfortable.

路易十四的凡尔赛宫(Palace of Versailles)是1680年代为这位法国专制君主所建,宏伟壮观,放纵奢华。不过,没人会认为这个最初作为狩猎小屋的宫殿有多么舒适。

Court life at the Sun King’s Versailles was a public pageant, a world of extreme etiquette and protocol. Was there a single room in which one could really relax? No.


Curiously, it was here that the idea of the living room emerged alongside theories concerning ways domestic architecture might adapt to what, from the 18th Century, was described as the “modern” world.


Finding his predecessor’s way of life uncomfortably formal, Louis XV adapted a suite of rooms into a parallel private world. The younger king, whose name is forever attached to the glamorous Louis Quinze style of furniture and décor, established a balance of sorts between rigidly formal and relatively informal living.

因为发现自己的前任的拘谨生活方式不那么舒适,路易十五将一套房间改造成平行的私人世界。这位年轻国王的名字就成了路易十五(Louis Quinze)风格的家具和装饰风格的代名词,他在严格拘谨和相对不拘礼法的生活之间建立起一种平衡。

In 1691, when Louis XIV was in his pomp, the Parisian architect Augustin-Charles d’Aviler published his Cours d’architecture (Lessons in architecture) in which he spelt out the difference between appartments de parade, or formal rooms like the king’s, and newly desirable appartements de commodité, rooms in which home owners could relax and be themselves.

1691年,正是路易十四的鼎盛时期,巴黎建筑师阿戈斯蒂-查理·阿维莱罗(Augustin-Charles d 'Aviler)出版著作《建筑课程》(Cours d'architecture),他在书中阐明了像国王所在的正规宫殿房间和崭新的理想公寓房间之间的区别,身处后者之中,能让人感到放松自在。

By the time, Charles Étienne Briseux - a master of the Louis Quinze style - published his L’Architecture moderne in 1728, comfort had become an obsession. At first in Paris, and then across Europe, an interior world of sofas and silks, cotton and chaises longues and small tables for sewing, card games and snacking became the vogue.

到了 1728 年,路易十五风格建筑大师查理·埃蒂安·布里瑟(Charles Étienne Briseux)出版著作《现代建筑》(L'Architecture moderne)之时,人们对建筑舒适感的追求已然风靡。由沙发、丝绸、棉布、躺椅,以及用于缝纫、纸牌游戏和零食的小几构成的室内世界都已成为时尚,先是在巴黎,然后席卷整个欧洲。

This was not true, of course, in the homes of the poor which, if not hovels, were essentially functional. Yet from the Industrial Revolution onwards the idea of domestic comfort grew as did, for those with time on their hands, the concept of leisure. Together, leisure and luxury encouraged the emergence of the living room. Here, at last, was a domestic space - the generalist among rooms - serving no specific functional purpose.


In the 20th Century, the future of this nebulous, yet increasingly desirable room became something of a hot topic especially in the United States. The Living Room of Tomorrow, sponsored by RCA (Radio Corporation of America) at the New York World’s Fair of 1939, was heavily publicised. It did much to establish the idea that living rooms would be focussed on new technologies bringing radio, television, films and newspapers by an early form of fax machine, into the heart of the home. This is where the all-American family of the future would gather as they once had in the parlours of farmhouses.

在20世纪,关于这个模糊而又越来越令人向往的房间的未来成了一个热门话题,在美国尤其如此。在1939年的纽约世界博览会上,由美国广播公司赞助的"未来的客厅(The Living Room of Tomorrow)得到大肆宣传。它的确在很大程度上建立了这样一种理念:围绕收音机、电视、电影和报纸以及早期的传真机等新技术,客厅将引入人们家中,并由此成为家的中心。客厅是未来美国家庭的聚集之地,就像他们以往集中在农场的会客室一样。

In a 1967 episode of CBS’s The 21st Century presented by the news anchor Walter Cronkite, a face familiar in the living rooms of millions of Americans, viewers were introduced to the ‘living room of 2001’, complete with a central control console that, at the touch of NASA-style buttons and switches, would transform living rooms into all-round family entertainment venues.

1967年,在哥伦比亚广播公司新闻主播沃尔特·克朗凯特(Walter Cronkite)在"21世纪"栏目中,面对坐在客厅中熟悉他的数百万美国观众介绍了"2001年的客厅",其中有中央控制台,NASA(美国宇航局)风格的触摸按钮和开关,正是这些东西把客厅变成了家庭综合娱乐场所。

The living room featured futuristic Pop Art furniture including an inflatable see-through plastic armchair, a modular orange sofa, a floor-to-ceiling television screen and one of Peter Murdoch’s nominally disposable Polyethylene-coated laminated cardboard “Spotty” chairs that sell for £2,000 in international auction rooms today. The living room of the future was clearly entertaining, fun and open to rapid change.

这个客厅里布置有未来主义波普艺术(Pop Art )家具,包括一把透明充气塑料扶手椅、一个橘色沙发、落地式电视屏幕,还有彼得·默多克(Peter Murdoch)名义上的一次性聚乙烯塑料"斑点"椅子,后者在当今国际拍卖行的售价为2000英镑。未来的客厅显然很有趣,令人愉快,而且拥抱快速变化。

In countless American soap operas viewed worldwide – from I Love Lucyand The Dick Van Dyke Show to The Brady Bunch and, later, The Cosby Show – the living room was clearly the heart of the contemporary home. Perhaps, an entire house might be one big, playful living room.

在世界各地的客厅中,人们曾观看无数美国肥皂剧,从我爱露西(I Love Lucyand)到迪克·范·戴克秀(The Dick Van Dyke Show)和脱线家族(The Brady Bunch),再到后来的科斯比秀(The Cosby Show),客厅显然成为当代家庭的心脏。也许,整个家可能就是一个令人愉快的大客厅。

In Help!, a 1965 film starring The Beatles and directed by Dick Lester, the fab four are seen stepping inside what appear to be four identical modest terraced houses. Inside, these merge to form one big living room featuring an Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair, an Arco Lamp by Achille Castiglioni, a Black Vinyl G Plan 6250 armchair, meals from a slot machine and a sunken bed pit for John Lennon. Ray Simms, the film’s production designer, was clearly having fun, and yet half-a-century on, the idea remains in tune with that of many people’s dream living room.

在1965年的一部由迪克莱斯特(Dick Lester)执导、甲壳虫主演的电影《Help!》中,甲壳虫四人组走进了四个看起来完全相同的朴素的连栋房屋。进入其中,有一个巨大的客厅,里面有一把阿恩·雅各布森蛋椅(Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair)、一盏阿切勒·卡斯蒂格利奥尼(Achille Castiglioni)钓鱼灯、一个黑胶唱片6250扶手椅(Black Vinyl G Plan 6250 armchair)、一个老虎机和一张约翰·列侬睡的低床。这部电影的美工设计师雷·希姆斯(Ray Simms)显然乐在其中,但半个世纪以来,这种想法仍然与许多人梦想的客厅如出一辙。

In many abodes today, the kitchen has either taken over from the living room as the hub of the home, or merged with it. As urban populations grow at unprecedented rates, a dedicated room for lounging has become an expensive decadence for many.


Meanwhile, the trend for open plan living shows few signs of abating, with interiors magazines filled with giant swooping spaces that serve to function as multi-purpose living areas. All, of course, filled with the latest mod cons again, although these days these are likely to be concealed in clever ways, as loud and flashy interiors give way to an enduring trend for understated luxury.


A perfect balance between formality and informality, modernity and timelessness can be found in the influential Miller House in Columbus, Indiana designed by the Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen. Since 2000, it has been a National Historic Landmark in the care of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, for the industrialist J Irwin Miller.

在美国印第安纳州(Indiana)哥伦布市(Columbus),由美国建筑师埃罗·萨里宁(Eero Saarinen)设计的米勒之家(Miller House)颇具影响力,它在正式和非正式、现代和永恒之间取得了完美的平衡。自2000年以来,它一直是美国印第安纳波利斯艺术博物馆(Indianapolis Museum of Art)的一个国家历史地标,用于纪念实业家J·欧文·米勒(J Irwin Miller)。

The exquisite Mid-Century Modern living room is the work of Alexander ‘Sandro’ Girard. It features a “conversation pit”, its cushions changed with the seasons, a perfectly framed view of Dan Kiley’s geometric gardens, fine fabrics, a lack of clutter and an abiding sense that you could hold court here one moment yet relax totally the next. Here is a living room where you could invite Louis XV around to chat, and watch The Brady Bunch.

本世纪中叶精致的现代客厅是亚历山大·桑德罗吉拉德(Alexander 'Sandro' Girard)的作品。它设有一个"谈心角",其中的靠垫随着季节更迭而更换,饰有精美的织物,在这里欣赏丹·凯利(Dan Kiley)几何规整的花园美景位置绝佳,没有丝毫杂乱之感,给人以永恒之感。你可以在这里谈心,然后全然放松。这里有一个客厅,你既可以邀请路易十五来聊天,也可以看肥皂剧《脱线家族》。