the project

   
   
  • The 3,000 square foot residence sits atop a sloped suburban lot, allowing dramatic views of woods to the rear of the structure in the large glass windows of the living room and from the screened porch in the northwest corner of the plan. Note the double stacking of the family room in front of the living/dining area. [wli]
  • This design development elevation expresses a more modern version of the home than what the Rippes constructed. They expressed desire to fit more completely into the suburban neighborhood chosen as the site for the house. The central chimney faces the street here, flanked by stacking hopper windows. [wli]
  • In the front elevation of the house as constructed, a sloping hipped roof replaces the previous gable; Loewenstein embeds the front chimney into the building mass next to the door. The carport remains in place though the hipped roof ties it more closely to the main mass of the house. [wli]
  • The U-shaped structure features deep eaves and the use of a medium-tone brick. Horizontally oriented windows, along with the eaves, provide a decidedly horizontal emphasis to the structure. [pll]
  • Fixed-plane windows enhance an uninterrupted view from the living room onto a wooded rear lot. [pll]
  • Original furnishings remain in place throughout the house. Wall-to-wall carpet covers the floors in both living and dining areas. [pll]
  • This traditional Sheraton-style dining room suite demonstrates the mid-century comfort at mixing styles within the same household. A modern light fixture hovers above the dining room table. [pll]
  • The screened-porch opens to living room, dining room, and kitchen, providing the opportunity for cross-ventilation and a place to take advantage of outdoor living. [pll]
  • The cross-section to the house, taken from the drawings for the more modern scheme, reveals the simplicity and elegance of the Loewenstein firm’s approach to design. Using everyday materials and low-key construction techniques, the house brings Modernism into a more everyday design vocabulary. [wli]
  • The kitchen retains the original pink appliances and the configuration of counters and cabinets.
  • In the family room, Loewenstein includes the most modern of details in the cabinetwork and in the specified trim. [wli]
  • Built-in cabinets abound in the two small bedrooms in the house plan. As always in his designs, Loewenstein carries the goal of reducing superfluous furniture, particularly in bedrooms. [pll]

Murray + Esther Murray Rippe Residence
Danville, Virginia (1957)

Like a number of Loewenstein clients, Murray and Esther Rippe experimented with two versions of the house during the design development process – a more traditional suburban dwelling and a more modern one, with the same plan. In the Rippes’ case, they selected the traditional exterior and yet retained the more Modern floor plan, for their residence. The house that resulted sits a bit in both worlds, with a bedroom wing to the east side of the scheme, and a family room stacked in front of the living/dining area, an arrangement that appears at the Carter Residence (1950-1951). Also like the Carter commission, the carport occupies the west side of the house plan, behind which the utility, kitchen, and breakfast room follow in line. A central chimney, with the opening facing into the family room, also marks the front door entry of the 3,000 square foot residence. Having seen design work from the firm in print, the Rippes discovered that Loewenstein practiced in Greensboro, an hour south of Danville, Virginia. They reported that he rode to client meetings on a motorcycle.

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modernism in greensboro
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