George Suyama architect

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Duncan
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:05 pm

George Suyama architect

Post by Duncan »

This beauty was recently for sale, and pulled off the market in the California wildfires. Don't know if it was lost or not...it burned once before and was beautifully restored.

https://www.sothebyshomes.com/Sonoma-Re ... n-CA-95442

SDR
Posts: 19685
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: George Suyama architect

Post by SDR »

Nice. I hope it survived. The newer cabinetry, with those extra-wide Tydix pulls that have apparently gone out of fashion, looks great. The roof framing, of paired rafters sandwiching nifty steel ties, is made of well-seasoned lumber---I see no sign of twisted beams. Now if we could just get more realtors (sorry) to provide luscious full-screen photos like these . . . !

S

Matt2
Posts: 259
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:07 pm

Re: George Suyama architect

Post by Matt2 »

I find this architecture cold. Too much concrete. But I also have a gripe against this sort of billionaire-class design-orgy. I think it reflects that our economy is out of whack when high-design is only available to the very rich.

HenryWhiting
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 4:10 pm

Re: George Suyama architect

Post by HenryWhiting »

Mr. Suyama is on the Conservancy's board. His work is exquisite. It is interesting to see how he adapted his style to fit the Northern California rural ethos, particularly in his open roof framing. When we had the first Idaho 'Out and About' a few years ago, we toured 'The River House', a minimalist concrete house in Ketchum. His attention to detail is refined and seamless. The Japanese-style garden, designed by his associate, Bruce Hinckley, is a perfect accompaniment to the architecture. The experience of architecture, landscape and environment as one was something I'll never forget.

SDR
Posts: 19685
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: George Suyama architect

Post by SDR »

The walled garden outside a bedroom is good evidence of that, for me: indoor/outdoor space as one.

https://www.dwell.com/article/tom-kundi ... w-ea327a3f ?

S

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10335
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Re: George Suyama architect

Post by Roderick Grant »

Sonoma County fire, 4 miles east of Calistoga, about 10 miles north of Nelligan Road.
67,484 acres burned; 1,555 structures destroyed; 90% contained as of Oct. 11.

There have been more than 8,400 fires in California burning at once.

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10335
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Re: George Suyama architect

Post by Roderick Grant »

That is a huge house, over 150' in length, beyond the resources of many. But then, that's always been the case, hasn't it? The very rich can afford more than the poor or the merely well-to-do. Avery Coonley could afford more than Seth Petersen. It is not exclusive to our economy, but to reality all the way back to the dawn of humankind. Whatever is done to correct societies ills, this one is constant that will not go away.

Duncan
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: George Suyama architect

Post by Duncan »

A quick google search shows the house was built by and is owned by Jerry Baldwin, an early owner of Starbucks and lead investor in Peet's Coffee, and his wife Jane Baldwin, photographer. There is a commercial vineyard on the property (J. Baldwin Wines, now closed) and he is a director of a non-profit working to alleviate poverty in Latin America and Africa. And they clearly have sophisticated taste.

SDR
Posts: 19685
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: George Suyama architect

Post by SDR »

So, is River House the work of George Suyama or of Tom Kundig ?

S

Matt2
Posts: 259
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:07 pm

Re: George Suyama architect

Post by Matt2 »

I'd like to see any top-notch architect's version of a Seth Peterson sized dwelling. But the average person can't afford an architect and so none of today's top talents are designing for the masses. The great aspect of mid-century design was that it was in the reach of many.

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10335
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Re: George Suyama architect

Post by Roderick Grant »

Matt, it seems your assumptions are that middle-class home buyers want architect-designed houses, and that they are displeased by what they have available to them. I disagree. I suspect the average home buyer doesn't give much thought to architects, pro or con, and that they are very pleased with what developers offer. If they were not pleased, they wouldn't rush to lap up the ticky-tacky the developers build. In SoCal, home-buyers love so-called Mediterranean, no matter how actually un-Mediterranean it is. If it has a lot of marble, blood-red carpeting and crystal chandeliers, they sign on the dotted line enthusiastically. If a poll were taken to determine the most desirable type of home design, FLW would rank low, while Victorian Redux would be near the top of the list.

You also seem to assume that wealthy people have good taste in architecture. A quick trip through Beverly Hills would dissuade you.

HenryWhiting
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 4:10 pm

Re: George Suyama architect

Post by HenryWhiting »

SDR: this is interesting. These are two different houses, one by Suyama and one by Kundig (both from Seattle), and they must have called their houses "River House" because of their close proximity to the Wood River. They sit just a couple hundred yards apart, though the Suyama house is elevated above the river on a steep bluff, so it has no flood issues. Also in the neighborhood, just a bit north of Suyama is Ernest Hemingway's house, where he took his own life in 1961. Kundig apparently has several houses in Ketchum, one of which we toured on the second Idaho 'Out and About'.

SDR
Posts: 19685
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Re: George Suyama architect

Post by SDR »

Thanks, Henry. Do you know where we might find images of Suyama's River House ?

S

Duncan
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: George Suyama architect

Post by Duncan »

Go on the architect's website and you will find River House and many other visual treats.

https://suyamapetersondeguchi.com/residential/

HenryWhiting
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 4:10 pm

Re: George Suyama architect

Post by HenryWhiting »

Also see: https://suyamapetersondeguchi.com/portf ... ver-house/

Grant Hildebrand (The Wright Space) wrote an excellent book about him, 'Suyama: A Complex Serenity' (U of Washington Press, 2011).

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