14 April 2011

Johansen's Pyramid House

John Johansen, the last of the Harvard Five architects, and his wife, Ati Gropius Johansen, sold their truly idiosyncratic Plastic Tent house in New York's Dutchess County and moved, about a year and a half ago, to Cape Cod.

I learned this this morning when I opened my New York Times and saw, on the bottom of page 1, "A Modernist Find: A search turned up a striking pyramid-shaped weekend retreat. Page D1" (When I started in the newspaper business, the short notice on page 1 that told you about a story on another page was called a "reefer," which always got a laugh from the pot smokers on the staff.) The Times writes:

The Plastic Tent, one of the so-called Symbolic Houses Mr. Johansen designed between the late 1950s and the 1970s, represented a departure from the modernism practiced by his colleagues. Drawing on the work of the psychoanalyst Carl Jung, he incorporated elements symbolizing the various stages of life – cave-like rooms, bridges, towers, trees – into these houses, taking his work in a new direction.

The Johansens, in their dotage, found that they were too isolated in rural Dutchess and sold it to two guys from Manhattan (it was listed at $365,000). The Times story and a slide show are here. – ta

Photos: Randy Harris for The New York Times

1 comment:

Tamara said...

It always makes me happy to read stories about modern homes that are purchased by folks who appreciate them and will care for them.

I was sad to learn though that over a third of Johansen's homes have been demolished. Philistines!