The Modern Farmer

The local food movement is so "in" right now that even the Glass House is trying to capitalize on it. I just saw this, via Twitter:

Dine With Design. An outdoor celebration of farm-to-table cuisine inspired by the Philip Johnson Glass House.

Friday, June 10, 2011, 5:30 - 9:00 pm Dine in Design. The evening begins with a private tour of the Glass House property and art collections, followed by cocktails and an exclusive donor dinner for 10 at Philip Johnson’s table inside the Glass House. A five-course tasting menu, created by internationally renowned Chef Michel Richard of Central Michel Richard in Washington, DC, and Chef Brian Lewis, formerly of the Bedford Post Inn, will be paired with fine wines. Guests will be provided chauffeur service to and from the Glass House. Includes two tickets to Dine with Design on June 11.

* $10,000 per plate, limited to 10 participants.

Of, if $10,000 is too much, you can pay $300 for a less exclusive afternoon event the next day.

Don't take this as criticism, by the way. I wish them well. And for full disclosure, I should mention that the organization I work for has tried to make hay from the local food movement as well. - ta

Add to wishlist:

. . . This fun sofa, designed by the (all-woman) Swedish design studio, Front.

Appearing to be a nice, sturdy, rustic bench, it is called the Soft Wood Sofa perhaps for two reasons: judging by the pattern and grain, it seems to be made from white pine, which is categorized as a 'soft wood'. Or maybe because it's actually soft and cushy – it's an upholstered piece, the fabric printed with totally convincing photorealistic image of the wood. – GF

Sustainable, and Much Less Expensive Than It Used to Be

Prices are still coming down. A sustainable, built-into-a-hillside, sort-of-modern house in New Canaan that went on the market two years ago for $2,395,000, was reduced to $1,795,000 six months later, is now down to $1,199,000.

It's on Huckleberry Hill Road, was designed by Donald Watson and built in 1987.

There's interesting information about the house in this post, which I wrote on 2009. And the broker's listing is here. - ta

A little (very little) retreat

Modern House Notes reader Gregg Bateman pointed us to these cute little nuggets of real estate, noting that they seem to fall in with the Modernist fish bowls and chicken coops that sometimes catch my eye.

This reminded me to check in with Baumraum, the German treehouse designers/builders. Now that's how I'd spend my play money! – GF

via Fast Co. and thanks to Gregg Bateman

Homes for Hip Fish

I've written about homes for Modern chicks – chicken coops, that is – and kitty crash pads, so it makes sense to extend to the next category of Modern home residents: pet fish.

Seen on Swissmiss and elsewhere, here is the perfect (at least aesthetically) home for an Ichthyoid companion. Here's where you can get one. – GF

Elemental Rental in Catalonia

Perhaps it comes from growing up in an area where the muscles of the Earth – stone and rock ledge – are covered by only a thin skin of soil and growing things, and stone walls are a big part of the landscape, but I am just crazy about exposed stone, especially in interior spaces.

Spanish Architect Anna Noguera renovated Alemany 5, in the medieval quarter of the Catalan city Girona, and designed two simply beautiful holiday rental apartments. The original building dates from the Sixteenth Century. The tall stone walls and airy ceiling heights make it seem like these apartments would be cool havens in the Mediterranean summer heat. As always, I admire the restrained palette of elemental materials in this kind of design – stone, steel, wood, and air (yes, air) – in well-balanced proportion.

The apartments can be rented separately or as a whole unit, with 5 bedrooms sleeping 10 – 12 people. Sign me up! – GF

Via Architizer

Underfoot – not the usual straight and narrow

Renovation is nowhere on the horizon for me, and new construction is light years away, if ever, but if I had a project to do that involved flooring, I would definitely consider a Bolefloor.

The high-tech, milling method they employ uses more of the tree than conventional milling, thus being a bit more of an environmentally sound choice for wood flooring. For the time being, oak is the only choice, but other species will be available in a few months. Here's how they do it:

“Bolefloor technology combines wood scanning systems, tailor-made CAD/CAM developments and innovative optimization algorithms for placement software developed by a Finnish engineering automation company and three software companies in cooperation with the Institute of Cybernetics at Tallinn University of Technology.

Bolefloor scanners’ natural-edge visual identification technology evaluates “imperfections” such as knots and sapwood near the edges or ends so that floors are both beautiful and durable.
Our process manages and tracks each board from its raw-lumber stage through final installation. And every board is cut using the finest in Homag woodworking machinery.”

Well, whatever . . . it looks great, and would be a terrific subtle counterpoint to a right-angled Modern house. – GF

via Fast Company's Co.Design

Modern Discount in New Canaan

One of New Canaan's notable modern houses sold for $1,850,000 recently, after being listed two years ago for $3.5 million and then reduced a year later, to $2,199,000. It was designed by Victor Christ-Janer in 1949 for himself and his family. reported the sale today. Here's a link to previous posts about Christ-Janer on our blog.

If only the Alice Ball House were so lucky. -- ta