One of the most exciting books to land on my lap this Fall is Peter Pennoyer Architects' new monograph. If you have ever entertained the thought that Classicism is stodgy or plain played out, this gorgeously illustrated tome will erase all such judgments.
For over twenty-five years Pennoyer has allied himself to the Classical tradition. And while he has made enormous contributions to the understanding and appreciation of historical iterations (he is the co-athor with Anne Walker of several books including The Architecture of Grosvenor Atterbury and serves as chair of the Institute of Classical Architecture's board), his work is very much in the forward-looking, experimental spirit of John Soane and David Adler.
PPA's work confirms without a doubt that Classicism can reflect the modern spirit and accomodate modern life beautifully, all the while remaining impervious to the shifting sands of fashion. After all, while an interior may survive intact for a handful of years, a building stands for generations.
The book focuses on the firm's residential projects and is arranged by "apartments", "townhouses", and "country houses." The photography - one of my obsessions - is excellent. The rooms are lit to perfection, exquisitely illuminating their form and decoration .
The PPA team is incredibly talented and typical of Pennoyer's style, full credit is given to the in-house design team of each project, as well to the associated interior designers and landscape architects, including Jeffrey Bilhuber, Thomas Jayne, and Victoria Hagan. (Sidenote: it's interesting to consider the architecture of each room separate from the decorative overlay given by each designer.)