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News February 2017

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Future of Philip Johnson’s Schlumberger Building more assured

February 20, 2017

Some cause for optimism: Philip Johnson’s Schlumberger Administration Building in Ridgefield, CT, might soon be getting a new lease on life. When we last reported in early 2015, the town, which owns the 30-acre parcel that the building sits on, was weighing new uses for the site. Two of three former Schlumberger buildings are now under consideration to be leased by the town for an initial $1 annual rent to a theater group and a design firm, the latter to occupy the Johnson building. The terms of the lease will require the tenants to finance restoration of the buildings, which have been vacant since 2006 and are in disrepair. BassamFellows is a New Canaan-based contemporary design and furniture firm headed by Craig Bassam and Scott Fellows, both of who have an impressive Modern design resume having restored several significant period homes. The lease requires voter approval. A town hall was held February 8 for questions and comments on the project. The vote is scheduled for February 22 at 7:30pm.

Completed in 1952, the building—Johnson’s first non-residential project—provided executive offices for the oil exploration company’s research center, which was already operating at the site. Designed to join an existing group of small-scale structures, this one-story office building exemplified Miesian clarity and order.

Leases for two Schlumberger buildings head for public hearings, town meeting,” The Ridgefield Press, January 13, 2017.

Schlumberger leases get hearing Wednesday,” The Ridgefield Press, February 7, 2017.

Schlumberger Administration Building, Ridgefield, CT, Philip Johnson, 1952. Photo: John Morris Dixon, 2014
Schlumberger Administration Building, corridor between glass-enclosed library/conference core and perimeter offices. Photo: John Morris Dixon, 2014.
Schlumberger Administration Building, entrance. Photo: J. Arbuckle, 2014.
Schlumberger Administration Building, view of library and conference rooms from reception area. Photo: John Arbuckle, 2014.