Gem of a little house sits lightly on its landscape

Reminiscent of Philip Johnson's Glass House, this guest house by Desai/Chia Architecture is a lovely gem. Modern principals expressed in totally up-to-the minute terms, including incorporating good energy practices like geothermal, rain water harvesting and photovoltaic.
What reminds me of the Glass House is the 'solid' core, which in P.G's home's case was just the bathroom, but here it houses the (probably considerable) mechanicals as well as the bath, so the surrounding perimeter is free to expose itself to the landscape. With no headers above the glass walls, this ceiling really does appear to float. The wood interior looks to be perfectly crafted – floor to ceiling.

Crisp and streamlined, yet warm, inviting and extremely livable. I'd love to be there the morning after a good snowstorm. via Pursuitist – GF

What's up with Blogger?

My apologies for such an ugly blog . . . I haven't been on Blogger in many months, and I see now that our formerly handsome layout has been corrupted somehow. Well the words are there, the links all work – I'm just sorry it's so awful looking! I will fix it when I find the time.

Thanks for reading our Modern notes!

Modern House Day 2013 is here!

The New Canaan Historical Society is holding another Modern House Day Tour + Symposium, on Saturday, October 5, offering the chance to have an in-depth guided tour of some of the town’s finest examples of modern architecture and to mingle with their owners, designers and architects.

The first MHD in 1949 attracted more than 3,000 people. In 2004, the NCHS revived the tradition and added a symposium that offers the opportunity to hear from experts in the field of Modern architecture and art. Subsequent MHDs in 2007, '09, '11 were all sold-out events. This year’s theme, entitled A Modern Mix: Art + Architecture, celebrates Art in the Modern home.

The MHD opens at 8:30am with check in and a continental breakfast at New Canaan Country School (NCCS), whose campus features buildings by Modern architects: The Arthur K. Watson gymnasium (1974), the Henry Welles Building (1968) and the original Stevens Building (1978), all designed by Gary Lindstrom, as well as the Middle School and Science Buildings (1961) which were designed by Landis Gores. The Symposium is held in the lovely new auditorium (which was the creaky old gym when I was a student there in the '60s). At this time, there will be books on architecture available for purchase, and you will be free to walk the campus.

The Symposium begins at 10am and will be moderated by John Arbuckle, DOCOMOMO New York/Tri-State board president, co-chairman of the AIA New York Chapter Historic Buildings Committee, and President of Arbuckle Architecture Tours, LLC. John formerly served as Director of Business Development at Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects and as an Associate at Beckhard Richlan Szerbaty & Associates, a successor to the office of Marcel Breuer.

The Symposium speakers are:
Michael Biondo,  Photographer – "Translating Architecture"
For 25 years, Michael has traveled the world photographing architecture and fashion for leading publications. His most recent photographs are featured in Allan Greenberg’s upcoming monograph. He is currently working on a book about New Canaan’s mid-century modern houses.

Robert Gregson, Photographer – "Art in Architecture"
Bob Gregson is an artist who uses architecture as an element in his playful installations and projects. His work encourages interaction and participation – and his love of architecture is expressed in his photographs.
Mary Thorp, Founder of The Harry Bertoia Research Project – "Bertoia: An Architect’s Friend"
A Bertoia expert and aficionado, Mary Thorp is cataloguing Harry Bertoia’s work, organizing exhibitions, and lecturing on his work at auction houses, museums, and universities.

Lunch at NCCS follows the Symposium. After lunch, event-goers will be transported to each location on the tour via small private tour vans, escorted by an architect or historian of the Modern Movement (or maybe by me – neither a historian nor an architect, but I know my way around!).

OK... ok... okay.... I will put you out of your misery. HERE ARE THE ARCHITECTS of the HOUSES ON THE TOUR:

Ulrich Franzen, Gates and Ford, Alan Goldberg, Landis Gores, John Johansen, Bimel Kehm, Hugh Smallen and Edward Durell Stone. I am not at liberty to divulge which actual houses are on the tour because the New Canaan Historical Society is scrupulously honorable about protecting the privacy of the homeowners who have generously opened their for the tour, but I can assure you they are winners.

Each house will have an architect present to point out things of particular interest and to answer questions. In one or 2 cases the actual architect of recent renovations of a particular house will be present at the MHD, if not at the house itself. How great is that?

The day will close with really nice evening cocktail reception at the New Canaan Historical Society. This is really a full day, and, I think, well worth the $275 ticket price. Please call the New Canaan Historical Society to reserve your spot at 203 966 1776, or register online here.

WHOOOO – HOOOOO! Another fantastic day of getting a big, heathy dose of Modern architecture, right at the source! Thank you, New Canaan Historical Society for keeping it fresh!

A Fire Island story

Never having set foot on Fire Island, though we don't live very far away, I enjoyed reading about that unique place and the Architect Horace Gifford in this story on the Metropolis Blog. This story was in the New York Times on May 22 as well, and both stories help to introduce Christopher Rawlins' new book, Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction. – GF

Burge Pavilion, Fire Island Pines, N.Y., 1965, ©Horace Gifford
Kauth House, Fair Harbor, N.Y., 1964, ©Michael Weber

Go Mod hunting this Saturday – but hurry to get your ticket!

Only a few more hours left to sign up for the Open House New York and DoCoMoMo US 2nd Annual Modern Architecture & Design Scavenger Hunt! Spend this Saturday, 9 March 2013,  exploring New York City and take photographs of the best examples of modern architecture and design in New York for a chance to win prizes. Scavenger Hunt is March 9, from 11am – 5pm and the closing reception is 5 – 7pm. Tickets are $30. Learn more here.

And the 11th Annual OHNY Weekend is coming up. Read more about this fun coupla days here