Screened by woods on secluded grounds, the clients requested only that their architect create a work of art with all the major rooms on one floor. New York City architect Roger Ferri (1948–1991), trained in architecture at Pratt Institute, combined his talents in painting, sculpture, and design with an architectural philosophy focused on reharmonizing man and nature. His study of Italian architectural masters and the natural world could be described as “Bernini meets Frank Lloyd Wright.” The U-shaped house, which opens from a low terrace to a fast-flowing trout stream, has fieldstone walls and cedar siding to tie it to the site. Smoothly flared columns support deep eaves that brilliantly contrast with these natural elements. A two-story square tower houses the entrance and stairway to a single second-story guestroom. The architect described the living room ceiling as “vaulted in a compound curve not unlike an ocean wave breaking and rushing up the shore.” The vaulted ceilings in the bedrooms and the furnishings (also designed by Ferri) create a weekend pavilion that can best be described as sensuous for its flowing curves. Ferri's first architectural commission is open to the public in nearby Loretto, Pennsylvania, where he transformed a 1920s gymnasium into the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art (1975; St. Francis University Mall; see CA5).
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