By Jeffrey Jurasky, A.S.I.D.
Well things have settled down somewhat after the holidays, and a birthday cruise for my wife, a bout with the flu, and Modernism Week, and so on. So I apologize for being absent and not posting as regularly as I should.
And speaking of Modernism Week . . . what a really great event to celebrate design, creativity and the comradery of those that share their love of architecture and design. I am not so much a modernist, my work has similarities with that design narrative . . . clean, architectural, honest and creative, but I don’t particularly share a love of the decorative aspects of modernism. Most of the furnishings of the period are very uncomfortable and under scaled. It tends to be non-textural and the color palettes are meant to dominate the space and not to enhance the architecture in my view.
I was honored to present a lecture during the week’s schedule at the Palm Springs Art Museum about my work . . . it was a joy talking questions from the audience and “showing off” the work that I am so proud of, finishing of course, with the powder rooms that are the “WOW” factor in my projects. In a future blog post I will talk about those very unique spaces.
But as a carryover from the Modernism Week festivities, my blog mate Christopher and I were invited to a personal tour of the Annenberg Estate “Sunnylands” . . . talk about “WOW!” If you are mildly a fan of landscape architecture you simply have to stop by the visitor’s Center to experience the gardens, the water features and the views.
The real treat, of course, was the residence . . . architecture by A. Quincy Jones. His seamless planning of interior spaces fading into the exterior vistas, beautiful landscapes, sculptures and expansive golf course views are breathtaking. He employed a concrete open cavity ceiling grid system to handle the structural issues and thus allowed the expansive glass walls and minimal structural supports.
Because of my infatuation with texture and materials I was taken by the pair of Lava Rock walls that anchor the Entry Atrium that is the center of activities as the auxiliary rooms step away from it in a very casual and informal way. The house itself does not feel its size, it is open and transitional, welcoming and warm.
The ceiling heights are scaled to the inhabitants and not for statement, characteristic of a midcentury aesthetic. The sizes of all the rooms are very intimate . . . not bad for a 1 bedroom estate.
Deserving of special recognition is their family room/den/study. Littered throughout the space are hundreds of photos of their family, guests, travels, loves, and memories. You can really get a feel of who they were by spending time in this space with the comfortable furnishings, scale of space and the collection. The Annenbergs had a special relationship with the Royal Family and there is a collection of Christmas cards from the Queen and family that is truly special. It’s a remarkable history lesson of the 20th century . . . it should not be missed . . . and take your time!