the project

  • With a gable end facing the street, the front block of the house contains living room, dining area, and kitchen, as well as a screened porch to the right. The public zone of the building protects the rear block of bedrooms from street view. [ctb]
  • Sited atop a steep hill, the Willis Residence takes advantage of a wooded lot that further obscures the building from public view. [pll]
  • The entrance, hidden behind the fron block of the building, sits at the confluence of public and private areas in the residence. Warm pink brick and cypress siding, divided by a water table of sorts, lends a decidedly horizontal emphasis to the exterior. [pll]
  • Clear division between public and private occurs at the entry, marked by an open hallway. The Willis design represents the clearest division of Loewenstein’s many houses that follow this pattern of spatial organization. [wli]
  • Light sweeps through the north windows and sliding doors into the living and dining spaces. A beamed ceiling echoes the Loewenstein-designed structures of the 1950s. [ctb]
  • A fireplace, embedded in sets of shelves to the left and ride, serves as the central focus for the east wall of the living/dining room. Its light colored brick and position further underscore its symbolic importance. [pll]
  • Outside the breakfast area, a screened porch supplies a transitional zone between exterior and interior and draws occupants from the kitchen to the outdoors. [pll]
  • A long hallway connects all the bedrooms along one circulation path and links public to private in the front hall. The designers rendered this most characteristic feature of Loewenstein predecessor structures in simple materials and trim, consistent with the minimal aesthetic in the houses. [pll]
  • Cabinetry defines three sides of the simple kitchen. A pass through connects the kitchen with the adjoining breakfast room space. [pll]
  • The double-sided cabinets contain ample storage for kitchen equipment as well as diningware and accessories. The maple cabinets and paneling, in honeyed tones, adds warmth to the rooms. [pll]
  • Copper pulls, lovingly restored by the house’s current owners, continue to serve functionally and aesthetically as simple details. [pll]
  • Random pattern slate, underfoot in the front hall, contrasts to the linoleum tile and wall-to-wall carpet in the public spaces and the bedroom wing, respectively. This simpler material represents a shift in level of interior finish, perhaps tied to economic concerns. [pll]

James H. + Anne Willis Residence
Greensboro (1965)

GrSited atop a steep hill, Loewenstein carefully inserted this simple structure into the site to prevent trees from being cut down for its construction. No formal landscape planning took place on the site, with the owners of the site preserving the woods they found there. Loewenstein organizes this 3,100 square foot house, around an L-shape floor plan. The private wing separates from the main wing of the house by one step, making it a split-level design. A linoleum floor, underfoot in the public wing, balances the wall-to-wall carpet in the private wing. Built-in bookshelves surround the living room walls; a fireplace provides visual focus on one living room wall. Wide eaves protect the floor to ceiling windows on the north side of the house and provide an abundance of natural light as well as an uninhibited view of the landscape. Natural elements present throughout the house include slate flooring in the entryway, walnut paneling in the living room, and birch kitchen cabinets and panels.

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