House in Tuckers Town
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Architect Robert Venturi
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Location Tucker Town, Bermuda
Date 1975   timeline
Building Type vacation house
Climate tropical
Context suburban oceanside
Style Neo-Vernacular
Notes For the Brants (See also Brant House by Venturi).
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Discussion House in Tuckers Town Commentary

"A summer vacation house sited on a cliff dropping to a beach. Its design responds to local guidelines requiring use of traditional styles and materials. The house is divided into three abutting pavilions: one with the master suite, dining room, and other sleeping rooms; and the third, a living room.

"The narrowness of these pavilions allows for good cross ventilation, crucial for comfort in this tropical climate. The gabled tile roofs are used to collect rainwater, a local necessity. The sea view is dramatically exaggerated on entering the house by the view down the main stair to the beach and the bay beyond."

— from Stephen Prokopoff. Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown: A Generation of Architecture. p24.

"This summer residence located in Bermuda on a sea bluff follows strict regulations regarding style and materials. The architects tried to accommodate these regulations and yet to achieve a free grouping of spaces.

"The program fell into three loosely linked parts. Of the two flanking wings, one provides communal rooms, the others contain the kitchen, breakfast room, and servants' quarters. The one in the middle is built around a central staircase and contains several living rooms and bedrooms. From the entrance hall, one view straight out through the porch meets the horizon; another follows the line of the stairs downward and continues out to the shore. The result is a refined spatial relationship to the spectacular landscape."

— Stanislaus von Moos. Venturi, Rauch & Scott Brown: Buildings and Projects. p268.

"The Brant house in Bermuda also exudes the architect's skill and confidence in transposing traditional elements into nonliteral configurations. The elements of context are present; the sense of a white stucco eighteenth century style house seen through thickets of green foliage, the stepped roofs to catch rainwater and the dark painted shutters to screen windows from the penetrating sun. The house is a crescent-shaped cluster of wings to take advantage of ocean views and prevailing winds, each clearly articulated and capped by a clear blue skies. It is a house that looks as though it belongs to the sun-drenched beach but detached and poised above and looking down to it rather than an element of it, hence its crispness. The strength of the Venturi & Rauch example is that it adapts through new means and does not come out of outmoded nostalgia; the historicisms are always transformed and with great imagination, the way the Renaissance used classic architecture as a source filtered through Byzantine and Romanesque, or the nineteenth century revivals used the Classic and Gothic periods as precedent. The important point here, however, is that context and association as it emanates from location and site becomes form and idea determinant...."

— from Paul Heyer. American Architecture: Ideas and Ideologies in the Late Twentieth Century. p113-114.

The Creator's Words

"In the ever oscillating balance between form and symbol in architecture we are tilting at this time toward symbol. The trend toward symbolism is not surprising as it is a reaction to the long period when symbol was banned as a manifestation of ornament of historicism, or went unacknowledged, as was the case with early Modern industrial symbolism, or was substituted for by expressionistic articulation of structure and form, as in the later years of the Modern movement. On the other hand, now that we again acknowledge symbolism on architecture, the problem becomes what to do with it. For me the answers so far have been too simple, too dogmatic—yes, they have lacked complexity and contradiction."

— Robert Venturi. from A. Sanmart’n, ed. Venturi, Rauch & Scott Brown. p8-9.

Resources
Sources on House in Tuckers Town

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. clustering diagram, p201. — Updated edition available at Amazon.com

Paul Heyer. American Architecture: Ideas and Ideologies in the Late Twentieth Century. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1993. ISBN 0-442-01328-0. LC 92-18415. NA2750.H48 1993. discussion, p113-114.

Stephen Prokopoff. Venturi, Rauch and Scott Brown: A Generation of Architecture. Urbana-Champaign: Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, 1984. NA737.V46K724 1984. discussion, p24.

A. Sanmart’n, ed. Venturi, Rauch & Scott Brown. London: Academy Editions, 1986. ISBN 0-85670-8828. NA737.V45V4 1986. discussion p8-9. color photo of exterior, p95.

Stanislaus von Moos. Venturi, Rauch & Scott Brown: Buildings and Projects. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 1987. color photo of bedroom, p269. color photo of west view, p271. discussion, p268.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at Amazon.com

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