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Influence Of The Harvard Five

Nov/Dec 2015


Influence Of The Harvard Five
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Mac Patterson’s, crusade to pioneer a new kind of architecture is in keeping with New Canaan’s history of leading building-design trends: It was a center of the Midcentury Modern movement from the late 1940s through the 1960s, during which 80 such homes were built in town. It was the locus of the movement’s experimentation with materials, construction methods, open space, and form.

The era began when a small group of graduate design students–Philip Johnson, Landis Gores, John Johansen, and Eliot Noyes–and their teacher, Marcel Breuer, settled in New Canaan. Dubbed “the Harvard Five,” they began creating homes in a style that bucked traditional thought and practice, using new materials and open floor plans. Perhaps the most famous of these works is Johnson’s “Glass House” on Ponus Ridge. Other architects, among them Frank Lloyd Wright, also contributed significant designs that still elicit strong reactions.

Source: The Harvard Five in New Canaan, by William D. Earls (W. W. Norton, 2006)

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