What can we imagine under the topic Wood Style architecture? When did we ask this question ourselves, we were thinking about many examples from the past as well as presence. But for this time we have chosen one really interesting and hidden house in the American forests.
Herb Greene (1929), pupil of the organic maestro Bruce Goff (1904 - 1988), has continued to develop the specific Goff`s sculptural aesthetic between 1960s and 1980s, which represents one of the most original chapter in history of the modern American architecture. The another architect who was influenced by Goff was Bart Prince (1947). His projects are not so much different from Greene and both together they established something, which we can call today as a "style Goff, Greene, Prince" or organic American.
Greene was born in Oneonta, New York and between 1948 - 1952 he studied at University of Oklahoma with Bruce Goff. After that he shortly worked for John Lautner and Bruce Goff as well in his ateliers in Norman and Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Greene was so inspired by the organic movement of Lautner and Goff, that all of his following work he dedicated to this style of the fascinating shapes and almost bizarre spaces. His debut project called Prairie house from 1961 speaks for all. The wooden structure resembling fairy-tale house or witch hut, was built in Norman, Oklahoma and immediately after the realization evoked the sensation. Really original design was a symbiosis of a period light modernist forms with the almost surrealistic visions with the connotations of the primordial creatures, shelters or protective hides with the barbarian and indian cultures influences.
But today we do not want to speak about his most famous project, which was in its time featured in many architectural and lifestyle magazines. As a true Wood Style house, we present here original Greene`s project for the Cook residence, which was built in Louisville, Kentucky in 1977. Greene created in collaboration with architects Grossman, Martin and Chapman geometrical sculptural form hidden in the surrounding leafy forest. As you can see on the original Greene`s drawing, the design is very light and extremely natural to its surrounding. Despite its monumental proportions, the house stands in the forest with the almost archetypal natural qualities. It shows how susceptible to the nature was Greene in his architecture. Big residence with two main levels and four intermediate levels exactly fits into the hillside contours and descends to a south view of a wooded stream. The result represents with its wooden-clad interiors and rich space solutions clear vision of the artificial nature for living in the wood.
Picture courtesy of Herb Greene