The Conger Goodyear House
of Edward Durell Stone.
from Architects on Architecture.
from Edward Durell Stone: The Evolution of an Architect.
from Architectural Record October, 1962.
||A PDF version
of the entire article from Architectural Record October,
walk-through of the Conger Goodyear House
In 1938, Stone designed a house for the then President
of the Museum of Modern Art, A. Conger Goodyear. It showed signs of departure
from the established norm of the International Style. Broad overhanging
eaves sheltered floor-to-ceiling glazing from the summer sun--a practical
necessity that Wright had recognized for over thirty years, Stone points
out. The overhanging roof line, which he refers to as the "hat" or "lid,"
is now one of his aesthetic priorities. Today, Stone thinks of the International
Style as essentially an impoverished approach to architecture, one of
transitory appearance whose synthetic austerity was never really compatible
with the American image of home. "It was too cold, arid and sparse" he
says, "and amenities which might have grace and charm were forsworn."
"IT IS MY EFFORT to seek what I call the inevitable,
which I hope is distinct from the obvious. I believe, with some pride,
that our buildings are well-planned and have an element of inevitability.
I try to find an architecture that is hopefully timeless, free of the
mannerisms of the moment. Architecture should follow a grander and more
ageless pattern, and it can and should be approached simply. I try to
search for the most direct, honest solution to a given problem. If an
architect conscientiously takes into account the circumstances that
are unique to each building, then careful analysis should result in
an original architectural solution. I am afraid that we architects are
too fond of saying that no two problems are the same, and yet we follow
the same design pattern we have previously developed.
"Style has been overemphasized: there are books
devoted to architecture that do not show plans explaining the basic
conception. In the search for novelty, sensational effect and modish
styling, the result seems contrived rather than a natural object of
beauty. There is a temptation for architects to seize upon transitory
styles and deny their own creative heritage. Architecture is not millinery.
Fashions pass by, buildings remain to become grim reminders of transient
"It is encouraging that so many of our significant
thinkers have pointed out the unfortunate environment we have created
for our people, and are proposing corrective programs. When such programs
are inaugurated, architects can begin to fulfill their destiny. We will
not be wasting our effort creating precious prototypes in the midst
of chaos, but adding brilliant buildings in a well-ordered plan for
the country as a whole."
From Paul Heyer, ARCHITECTS ON ARCHITECTURE:
NEW DIRECTIONS IN AMERICA, Penguin, London, 1967