Here’s the entry I didn’t think I would ever do. And then once I saw the movie and spotted famous designs, I spent as much time as possible avoiding writing this entry. But, I can’t deny that the Cullen’s house in Twilight is rather magnificent. And Edward’s room, in particular, caught my eye.
The Cullen's house, Forks, Washington
The house used as the Cullen’s home was designed by architect Jeff Kovel and is actually the Hoke Residence (2007) in Portland, Oregon. But I think Christopher Brown (who has also worked on Mad Men) and Ian Phillips, the movie’s art directors and Gene Serdena, the movie’s set decorator, are to be credited with designing Edward Cullen’s cultured bedroom. Remember, Edward Cullen is 109 years old, so if anyone would know good design …I’m just saying he’s had time to work out the kinks in his personal style.
Edward Cullen's bedroom
As everyone knows, vampires don’t sleep. But who am I to question their necessity of a daybed, especially when it is the iconic daybed designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
Barcelona couch designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, 1930
This classic piece of furniture has an interesting background. In 1929, Mies van der Rohe designed the German Pavilion for the International Exposition of that same year in Barcelona, Spain. It was for this pavilion that he designed chairs and stools, creating the Barcelona collection.
The Barcelona Pavilion and the aptly named Barcelona chairs and stools
The accompaning daybed/couch was designed in 1930 for use in Philip Johnson’s apartment at 424 East 52nd Street, New York overlooking the Museum of Modern Art’s garden. And it was not until 1931, at the Berlin Bau-Austellung, or the German Building Exhibition, in Berlin, Germany that this piece of furniture was seen by the public. Featured in an exhibit called “The Dwelling of Our Time,” the couch was featured in Mies van der Rohe’s Apartment for a Bachelor.
The daybed has also been photographed in The Farnsworth House (1945-1951) in Plano, Illinois and Philip Johnson’s Glass House (1949) in New Canaan, Connecticut. Mies van der Rohe sold the design to Knoll in 1953 and it is still made by that company today.
Living room in Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House, 1951, with the Barcelona chairs and couch displayed
Living room in Philip Johnson's Glass House, 1949, with the Barcelona chairs, stool and couch displayed
Besides liking a piece of furniture that had been displayed in a bachelor pad exhibit, I think that I could see the 109-year-old unattached Edward Cullen adhering to Mies van der Rohe’s maxim of “less is more.” (I can’t believe I just said that.)
Another view of Edward Cullen's bedroom reveals more design objects
Other famous furniture in Edward Cullen’s room includes his desk chair. It is an Eames Molded Plywood Dining Chair, or in his case, a desk chair.
Eames Molded Plywood Dining Table and Chairs set
Charles and Ray Eames designed this ergonomical chair in 1946, making it a fairly ironic chair for a vampire to use. It’s not like he’s going to have a stiff back or sore shoulders, is it? It has been sold since 1946, as it is sold now, by Herman Miller. This influential design couple met when they were both adult students at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in 1940. By 1942 they had moved to Los Angeles California and went on to design furniture, architecture and create films together. They were both proponents of modern design and major influences on Modern Architecture.
According to the Herman Miller website, in 1999, the Eames Molded Plywood Chair was named by Time Magazine to be The Best Design of the 20th Century. They playfully mention that the locomotive came in second.
It is interesting to note that in the early 1940s, Charles Eames was a set architect for MGM Studios. And he is noted, by the Design Museum, as having worked on Mrs. Miniver.
Edward Cullen’s room, while, I would venture to say, is nothing like a regular teenage boy’s room, it may be our first glimpse of an average vampire posing-as-a-teenager-but-who-in-reality-is-over-a-century-old’s room. Minimalist in decoration, a little messy and filled with icons of design he’s collected over the years.