Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Architecture Wednesday: Midcentury Summer House

While this may look like a 21st century take on a midcentury modern home, this is actually a preservation and renovation of a home built in 1962 on Gibson Island in Maryland.

The home was designed by noted midcentury architect, Ulrich Franzen, a disciple of I.M. Pei—who designed homes at the beginning of his career but is also noted for designing the glass pyramid outside the Louvre as well as the Rock’n’roll Hall of Fame in Cincinnati.

The Franzen home boasts a thin roofline and eight columns of weathering steel made from the original owner’s employer, Bethlehem Steel Corporation. This robust frame allows for a lack of load bearing exterior and interior walls so that Franzen could incorporate a continuous band of glass that runs along the entire perimeter.

When searching for a summer retreat, the current owners discovered the home along a wooded inland lot at the island’s highest point above the convergence of the Chesapeake Bay and the Magothy River. Over the years, the home underwent several renovations creating a group of closed spaces that did not take advantage of the views, and the new owners hired Rill Architects, who returned the house to its original walls of glass glory.

The existing steel beams, glass walls and stone designed by Franzen were maintained while further opening the interior to accentuate the wooded property's natural beauty. Aside from the bedrooms and bathrooms, which are shielded by an interior front stone wall, Rill Architects turned the entire floor plan into an open layout, providing a perfect setting for the home's minimalist design.

The first-floor master bedroom was reoriented to take advantage of the view from the windows above a stone wall, while two first-level bathrooms were renovated, and the kitchen was given a complete overhaul, while paying homage to Franzen and his aesthetic.

A new open staircase in the foyer replaced an existing elevator to the lower level and the indoor pool was removed—a new pool was built outside—to create a guest bedroom and bath, and home office with access to a semi-private patio. In addition, the rear of the lower level was opened to the outdoors as well.

It's an update and a redo and a renovation that still pays tribute to the original design and ideas from 1962.


Deedles said...

Looking at this from the outside, I can almost smell the urinal cakes! It looks like a rest stop for travelers. The inside....I don't like either. This is one of those that I can't put my finger on why I don't like it. It's not for lack of red either, smartypants!

Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Love it!
I love mid century architecture, even when it's a little Brutalist. I think they did a great job (and I'm not an expert) opening up the house. Especially in a setting like this.
Love the furniture, too. And even the colors. I'd love to have a house like this.


Moving with Mitchell said...

I love this. Although the interior furnishings fit well, I think, the style and period of the home, I’d probably give it more of my own personality inside. But, do you think it can be shipped to Spain? There’s an old house in town along the beach that takes up a lot of property. It’s a tear-down I think and this would fit perfectly. C.O.D.?

Treaders said...

I sometimes think some of these homes are quite ugly from the outside - but once inside - oh my, they are beautiful! That being said, I woudn't want to be the one to have to clean those windows though! Still, I reckon if you can afford a home like that you don't get to clean your own windows right?

Bob said...

Wow, right for urinal cakes, and not even red ones!!!

I love the open treehouse look; so peaceful.

If I can find a box big enough ... ?

I think of you can afford this it may come with a housekeeper, who does windows!!

the dogs' mother said...

Not bad!
Pretty views as always.
xoxo :-)

Deedles said...

I think I'm going to lay off of the architectural posts. I'm going with the "if you can't say anything nice...." thingy. Y'all may never hear from me again :)

Agnes Goldberg-DeWoofs said...

Oh Deedles!!!! Actually some of our PA and Maryland rest stops almost do look like this, so your not to far off.

Agnes Goldberg-DeWoofs said...

I love it! Especially the stone work. So me. And I love the Bethlehem Steel connection. William's late brother worked for them.

Moving with Mitchell said...

No, Deedles, no! Don’t stop commenting on the architecture posts (nor anything else). I love what you have to say. We need our Duchess Deedles of Divine Decor and Dish. You DO know we have red accent pillows in our living room, don’t you?

brewella deville said...

It's beautiful. The furnishings are modern but not cold. It gives me real Tom Ford/A Single Man vibes.

VRCooper said...

This is excellent...When can I move in...I would just do a pop of color here and there...Love the layout and the views...That ceiling is to die for...Had a dear friend who had one of the original Midcentury in Palm Springs...He had a thin roof and beautiful mountain views...It is told that the homes in Palm Springs were not built for the summers-too hot...Folks-snow birds-would come in the winter...Nowadays it is pretty much a year-round city...We would always sit in the backyard and glance up and see Bob Hope's home...

Bob said...

I love the views.

Don't you dare!! I live for your comments! And I live for the day I post a houseand you scream for it because you love it!!

I love the stone too, and, to be honest, I cannot get rest stop out of my head!

I will literally hunt her down if she stops.

It does look like a smaller version of the house from that film!

I love a good Palm Springs mid-century, and believe I have one to share in the upcoming months.

Travel said...

It will be perfect, when they finish putting upper cabinets in the kitchen, some of us older cooks don't bend over very well