Residential Design

VOL.6 2018

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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DETAILS, Details Residential Architecture Assembled and the Prose & Poetry of Construction BY JOHN DEFAZIO AIA Since the emergence of modern architecture a century ago, architects have faced many new challenges: the integration of new technologies, new materials, new concepts of space and form, and even new relationships between architecture and nature itself. All have led to new ideas and meanings of construction. The modern architectural detail became an expression and celebration of the new—an authentic succes- sor of traditional ornament. Modest in scale, low in cost, and accessible to adventurous clientele, residential architecture was a natural laboratory for exploring new ideas. One cannot imagine modern architecture without Rudolph Schindler's Kings Road House, Le Corbusier's Villa Stein, Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian Houses, or Mies van der Rohe's Farn- sworth House. In 1938, Czech-born American architect Antonin Raymond, along with his wife and partner Noémi Pernessin Raymond, published the book, "Architectural Details." Printed in Tokyo, with its beautifully designed, handmade grass-cloth cover and spiral metal binding, the volume stood out from other publications on contemporary architectural detailing. It consisted of 530 drafted illustrations and more than 250 photographs, all based on the Raymonds' work over 18 years of practice in Japan. Relying nearly entirely on images, the Raymonds created a visual primer of design that crossed cultural boundaries—and language limitations—to serve as a valuable practical tool in showing how modern buildings and their all-important details could be efficiently and elegantly constructed. "Architectural Details" was influential in promoting awareness and knowledge of the Raymonds' work in Japan throughout the United States. Distributed in America in 1939 and reprinted in the new edition in 1947, it gave Antonin an opportunity to travel and lecture to important architectural schools, including MIT, Princeton, Yale, and the Universities of Michigan and Minnesota. The esteemed mid-century San Francisco Bay regionalist architect Joseph Esh- erick said that the Raymonds' book had served as an invaluable source for him and a generation of young designers interested in modern architecture: "It was the first really good book of any kind useful in detailing for what we were trying to do." Now 80 years after the Raymonds' book, an architect's responsibilities have grown tenfold. Environmental concerns have set new ethical and ecological criteria. Green roofs, rainscreens, solar and wind power, geothermal heating, and cooling—and a whole host of next-generation materials and systems—have risen to meet these demanding new standards. Home automation, advancements in lighting, sound, and entertainment systems have transformed the designer's role from master builder to master coordinator. The assembly and detailing of the home's interior have become as complex as the building's structure and envelope. All the while, new digital design and fabrication tools continue to expand the possibil- ities, and perhaps the limits, of architectural expression. All this must be imagined, coordinated, and detailed. This past summer, in celebration of the 80th anniversary of "Architectural Details," the Raymond Farm Center in New Hope, Pennsylvania, in collaboration with AIANY Cultural Facilities Committee and sponsorship from the AIA Custom Residential All photos: Courtesy the Raymond Farm Center The Raymonds' 1938 book, "Architectural Details." 22 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM VOL. 6, 2018 AIA CRAN

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