Residential Design

Vol 1, 2018

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

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tage of Shiro Akaboshi in Fujisawa demonstrates the strong influence of Yoshimura on the development of the Raymonds' fusion of East and West, modern and traditional. Whitaker then posed the question, "What is regionalism anyway?" He spoke about the Raymonds' own Karuizawa Summer Studio in Japan's Nagano Prefecture, which was inspired by the Errázuriz House, an unrealized project Le Corbusier designed for the coastal resort of Zapallar, Chile. Whitaker, first forgiving the Raymonds' "borrowing" of the Errázuriz' butterfly roof and Corbusien internal ramp, then dug deeper, identifying the differences between the buildings. The Errázuriz House was to be bearing-wall masonry; the Karuizawa Summer Studio is timber frame with wood sheath- ing—well-suited to the climate. The Errázuriz House was to be set upon the ground; the studio is elevated on a concrete plinth. The Errázuriz House was to have a tile roof, and had no solar protection systems; the studio uses thatch over the metal roofing to keep it cool and traditional roll-down screens called "sudare," to protect its glass from summer sun. Whita- ker noted that Noémi furnished the studio with rustic chairs derived from saplings of the same local species of trees used for the structural timbers. This is regionalism. Whitaker then spoke of the Raymonds' tour de force, the 1936-45 Golconde, or dormitory, for the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India. It's considered the first modern work of architecture in India, and a young George Nakashima was the project architect. Simple in concept and finely executed in detail, the Golconde features glassless apertures protected from the sun by adjustable concrete louvers. Sri Aurobindo Ashram is the first Brutalist work of architecture to be found anywhere, preceding Le Corbusier's own Béton Brut projects by nearly two decades, and is an exemplary work of "critical regionalism" some 50 years before the term was even coined. For their summer studio, Karuizawa, the Raymonds used local materials and traditions to integrate the house in the landscape and climate—a truly regional approach to building. For their house in Bucks County, Pa., the Raymonds significantly altered the original 19th-century dwelling to engage the landscape. Whitaker then invited us to consider the room in which we sat—the main room of the Raymond Farmhouse. In 1937, with war looming in Japan and Europe, the Raymonds returned to New York. In 1939, on an 18th-century Quaker farm in Bucks County, Pa., they created a summer studio/ home, similar to their studio in Karuizawa. They carefully modified the farmhouse, removing a warren of walls and creating a single unified flex space similar to their 1924 studio home in Reinanzaka. The detailing throughout reflected the Raymonds' modernist-craft fusion, used first in their country houses in Japan but now juxtaposed to the 18th-century colo- nial details the Raymonds chose to retain. The double-hung windows, six-panel doors, stairs and banisters, and fireplaces, remain side-by-side with modern sliding glass doors and win- dows, and shoji screens and fusuma panels. All is visually held together by natural finishes on the newly added materials and by original casework that was stripped to a natural finish. The Raymonds removed the 19th-century, one-story wood-frame kitchen to the south and, cutting a two-and-a-half-story swath through stone wall, created a three-story bank of win- dows and sliding doors to flood the interior with natural light and open the view out to the farm ponds and meadow beyond. To the east, the Raymonds tore down an earlier two-story addition and replaced it with a modern farm kitchen, mud- room, and laundry on the main level and two bedrooms on the second. Noémi designed built-in cabinetry throughout. Whitaker then shifted the focus to the quality of the room itself, and how it embodied the Raymonds' lives and philos- ophy of "honest, natural, simple, economical, direct" and Photo: Courtesy John DeFazio/CRAN Photo: Courtesy John DeFazio/CRAN 62 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM VOL. 1, 2018 AIA CRAN

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