bruce price @ tuxedo park

BRUCE-PRICE_01

Today I’ll start a short series on four summer cottages located in Tuxedo Park, NY, by Bruce Price, who also designed numerous other buildings in the masterplanned community.  This cottage of 1886 takes the aesthetics of the Shingle Style, but meets them with a rigid modularity and symmetry.  More to come.

richardson, over and over

RICHARDSON_03

I can be terribly repetitive.  My sketchbooks will tell you that, where dozens of imperceptibly different iterations of a single project follow one another, page after page.  Similarly, when I start down a trail of inquiry I’m soon immersed.  And when I start drawing, I go on and on.  So is my fascination with Henry Hobson Richardson – and I’ll share three different pieces from my studies:  Top, von Herkomer Residence, 1886; Below, Ames Memorial Library, 1877; Bottom, Trinity Church Rectory, 1880.

RICHARDSON_02

RICHARDSON_01

schinkel sings

SCHINKEL_04

Or rather, his Singakademie sings. . . or something like that.

A standard basilica form sits completely within a Greek-gabled stone volume, but with a wonderful circular stepped dias for the vocalists (er, singers).  This circular form is duplicated in the barrel vaulting at the ceiling.  A Doric peristyle surrounds.  I’ve overlaid plans, sections, and elevations on one another to show the full effect.  A similar theme pervades the church design shown below.

SCHINKEL_03

graves does a townhouse

GRAVES_01

A golden oldie from Michael Graves’ heyday – this small townhouse or ‘carriage house’ is a perfect example of Graves’ mastery of the floor plan.  Say what you want about his elevations, but his plans are money, and the enfilade depicted here is extraordinary.  The foyer is an autonomous tempietto-like volume, with a walk-through library preceding the full-width living room to one side, and the kitchen-dining room volume to the other, with a long pilastered hall beyond flanked with a study and guest bedroom, while the master bedroom opens onto a patio.

an aviary

AVIARY_01

A large tome on garden architecture and furniture led me to this delightful little folly, a chinoiserie Rococo aviary of curious provenance.  My fascination is with the four small Ionic pavilions that make up the aviary proper, which are arranged to make up the eight sides of a single central octagon.  Good stuff.

something stern did

RAMS_04

Stepping back to a previous topic, I’ll share an unbuilt Robert A. M. Stern project I stumbled upon a few months past titled simply ‘House in Cold Spring Harbor’ from 1985.  The house in interesting for a few reasons: the formal entrance is off of a motor court on the secondary axis, and is below grade (the bottom sketch in the drawing above); a large square stair makes up the majority of the central volume, and is capped with an enormous north-facing monitor; there is a wonderful play between the formal portico-ed facade and the rear garden facade, which takes on a u-shape; a large chimney-piece makes up the east facade, though the flue is not centered on the entire building, rather a window.  My own circular take on the central staircase follows.

RAMS_05

STAIR_02

from mies to wright

FLW_02

Keeping the Chicago theme, but moving a bit back in time, today I’ll feature some early Frank Lloyd Wright, particularly the Cheney House in nearby Oak Park.  The plan is fascinating because it is an effectively square structure under a large hip roof, divided into two halves: the front is made up of three public rooms (nine square), while the back is broken into four bedrooms (four square), with servant spaces filling out the middle.  The hearth is at the very center of the house, typical Wright.  This basic parti (formal planimetric diagram) still fascinates me to this day – a simple form with a complex, yet brutally clear interior logic.  The variations it inspired will follow over the coming days.

FLW_03