the project

  • Entering just to the right of the center of the house, visitors and residents can move to the open living room ahead or choose the long hallway to the bedroom, recreation room, and crafts room. Light spills in from the glass wall facing the golf course at the rear of the home. [wli]
  • The front elevation of the structure shows two doors, one for the main entrance of the house and, to the left, a second door feeding more directly into the kitchen. Clerestory windows rest above the right side of the house. Hopper windows bring uniformity and make the most of standardized products. [wli]
  • From the street, the predominantly horizontal building settles into the landscape, sitting atop a steeply sloped bank on a relatively flat site. Mature trees left in place help describe the sensitive siting of the structure. [pll]
  • The pitched ceiling of the recreation room takes form on the exterior as a gable-facing element. Framed with brick wall sections, large windows provide visual access back to Lafayette Avenue, contrasting opacity and transparency for this architectural statement. [pll]
  • At the rear of the structure, Loewenstein inserts the master suite deeper into the land, resulting in quite a low profile for the structure. Planting materials further soften the impact of the building meeting the landscape. [pll]
  • The clerestory windows on the northwest (front) façade leave a toothed cut in on the southwest elevation; flat roof meets pitched roof, banded together by a series of horizontal windows. Loewenstein specified running bond brick for all exterior walls. The deep overhang casts a strong shadow on this wall. [pll]
  • The deep eaves, characteristic of Loewenstein’s work, suggest that the interiors remain protected from the glaring sun. Measuring up to 48” on most houses, the Burnett house benefits aesthetically from the design feature, as well as functionally. [pll]
  • To the right of the door, a planting bed offers the palette for plant materials to be introduced under an overhead plane, pierced but not covered with roof materials. The visual horizontal permits rain water to reach the planting bed in the broad eave, an element found on a number of Loewenstein commissions. [pll]
  • The paneled front door yields to a slate-covered entry hall, where Loewenstein purposefully and carefully blurs the line between inside and out. This room sits in relative isolation from the rest of the house; a sliding pocket door fully seals off the entry from the living room. [pll]
  • The long north-south hallway repeats that design feature motif most prevalent in the Edward and Frances Loewenstein Residence: a single relatively narrow and closed hallway yielding to compartmentalized spaces opening to the left and right. A cased opening marks the transition between public and private sectors of the home. [pll]
  • Built-in cabinet details communicate an orderly interior free from excess furnishings. Simple materials, plywood for instance, reduce the overall cost of constructing these sturdy cabinets and storage pieces. [wli]
  • A wall of storage combines with a desk surface in a Burnett Residence bedroom. Loewenstein specified ample storage throughout the structure, reducing the necessity for superfluous furnishings. [pll]

Oscar + Juliet Burnett Residence
Greensboro (1954)

Edward Loewenstein and Oscar Burnett enjoyed a warm professional relationship, Loewenstein providing many designs for Burnett’s company, the Bessemer Improvement Corporation. Logically, Burnett extended the invitation to design a residence for his family and Loewenstein delivered a one-story structure, spreading into the landscape at the edge of its Greensboro County Club lot. While large windows opened onto the rear of the property, the L-shaped front entry remained relatively closed to the street. Hallmark feature included low/wide eaves, warm brick walls, as well as clerestory windows and built-ins throughout. The plan incorporated both a crafts and a recreation room for the two children of the household, these two rooms occupying the northeast end of the house with the public rooms at the center of the scheme. After preliminary design had been completed. Loewenstein asked New York designer Sarah Hunter Kelly to offer comments and criticisms on the layout; Thomas Smith Kelly provided the lighting plan for the structure, marking another instance of both designers affiliating with Loewenstein projects in Greensboro. Current property owners demolished this house in 2007

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modernism in greensboro
patrick lee lucas : school of interiors : university of kentucky : website designed by julie barghout