New Canaan Preservation Alliance's mission is "to establish as a community priority the preservation of New Canaan’s character-defining historic architectural and natural environments". So along with helping to protect viewsheds, stone walls and adorable little antique houses in town, they also do their part to raise awareness, and thus help protect from tear-down, the town's many Moderns. They have organized a Spring Lecture Series, and coming up on May 2 is “Preservation and Progress: A Sensitive Approach to Repurposing Modern Houses”, presented by Craig Bassam and Scott Fellows.
Craig Bassam and Scott Fellows, proprietors of the New York City design firm BassamFellows, own the Hodgson House in New Canaan, which was designed in phases by Philip Johnson with Landis Gores, (acting as associate), from 1950 to 1957. This National Registered property is protected by easements administered by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, guardians of the Glass House across the street. Bassam and Fellows will relate their adventures “gently” renovating their Modern residences, from New Canaan to Palm Springs to Lugano, Switzerland with an illustrated talk, followed by a questions and answer period and refreshments.
Austrian-born Craig Bassam is an architect, an interior designer, a furniture designer and a product designer. In 1988, when he graduated from the University of Sydney, he “was inspired by the classical principles of early Modernism – beauty, proportion, material, craftsmanship, and detail.” In 2003, Bassam partnered with Scott Fellows with the mission – to return true craftsmanship and beauty to contemporary living. A graduate of Carnegie-Mellon, with an MBA from Harvard, Fellows has created strategic visions and led product development for some of the world’s best brands from Avon, Owens Corning, to Ferragamo, Bally, and Edward Fields.
I'm not sure what is meant in the lecture's title by the word "repurposing". I mean, the houses were built as houses, and renovated to honor the original design integrity – but they're still houses, right? I guess I'll have to go to the lecture to find out! – GF
Top: Mills house, bottom: Hodgson house, both owned by Craig Bassam and Scott Fellows
Preservation and Progress: A Sensitive Approach to Repurposing Modern Houses
Sunday May 2, 2010 at 4 PM at the New Canaan Library