DOCOMOMO NY/TRIOpen House
Franzen House Benefit
May 8, 2010
In 1954, architect Ulrich Franzen spent several months thinking about a house that would complement the lifestyle of his young family. In 1955 he built that house. A year later it was named Architectural Record House of the Year. In 2002, the house was saved from demolition by the current owners who are undertaking a respectful restoration.
Franzen, a 1948 graduate of Harvard’s GSD under Gropius and Breuer, set his house on a podium amid the rock outcroppings of the site. Its structural skeleton—a three-hinged welded arch truss system supported by eight steel columns—was expressed as the defining feature. Load bearing walls were completely absent. The open plan living area was enclosed in glass and bisected by a ribbon of natural light from a narrow skylight extending the length of the roof’s center hinge. Modern art was displayed on lightweight, moveable partitions.
Record editors thought the Franzen House held “the promise of adding enrichment and authenticity to our national architecture.” Others simply noted that the spacious covered terraces under the outermost angles of the “double diamonds” made great entertaining spaces.
Join us at the Franzen House to toast spring with a martini, watch the sunset, celebrate Modern architecture and its restoration, and at the same time, support the ongoing activities of DOCOMOMO New/York Tri-State. Remarks by Christian Bjone, author of First House: The Grid, the Figure and the Void.
May 8, 5:30–8:00pm
Franzen House, Rye, New York
Tickets are $100 and include martinis and more, hearty hors d’oeuvres, van shuttle service from the Rye Metro-North Station and a tax-deductible contribution to DOCOMOMO New York/Tri-State. Space is limited.
Download invite [pdf]
Tickets can be purchased through NYCharities: