21 January 2008

Landis Gores's House for All Seasons Was Torn Down and Replaced by This

Greedy developers and homeowners who show off their wealth and bad taste by buying ostentatious and garrish homes are an easy mark in New Canaan. But just because they're easy doesn't mean we shouldn't aim at them. I used tol ike to walk along Laurel Road in New Canaan because its east side is a rocky ridge atop which sits five white moderns, at least two of which are gems. Nearby is a cul de sac called Soundview Road and the last time I was there, maybe a year ago, I did a double take because I thought I remembered a modern house there, at the top of the hill.

Then a couple of months ago I received an email from Pamela S. Gores, the widow of Landis Gores, one of New Canaan's Harvard Five architects. (She still lives in New Canaan, in the house he designed for them.) She was responding to something I had written about modern houses, sustainability and energy-efficiency:

The House For All Seasons designed by my husband, Landis Gores, included numerous energy conservation features, was demolished last year so that a larger house could be built upon the site.

Of course! That was the house I remembered, The House for All Seasons -- a house designed and built in the 1970s specifically to be energy-efficient. You can see pictures and diagrams at LandisGores.com, here.

What could be more perfect for the early years of the twenty-first century, when we need as much energy efficiency as we can get? And what could better epitomize attitudes in New Canaan, where they almost seem to be proud of destroying modern houses, than that a well-designed, energy-efficient house be razed in favor of this:

House for No Seasons


Tamara said...

Unbelievable. The sad part is how ahead of its time the original house was.

'Green' design is getting more and more popular, but this house was built on those principles. I wonder if the same can be said for the wholly unoriginal, architecturally uninteresting, and uninspiring house which now sits on that land.

As much as it aggravates me, I appreciate your posts on this issue.

Dave said...

Fake heritage styles of architecture are so very tacky.