03 April 2012
We have been waiting patiently for Coming Home: The Southern Vernacular House it finally see covers.
The book showcases James Lowell Strickland and Historical Concepts, the Atlanta firm founded in 1982. They have a bit of a speciality in creating community and civic projects, but they do a great deal of residential work. The title is self-explanatory: Strickland loves the Southern vernacular. It seems he has never seen a barn he didn't love...or have an idea for improving.
This book is filled with porches and foyers and sleeping areas tucked away with eloquence. No one is better at taking a series structures and linking them into a cohesive, thoughtful statement, individual and still the same.
This South Carolina compound features eclectic buildings including a residence, guest house, and carriage house sitting comfortably around an oak tree.
Zelda Fitzgerald wrote: "...it’s very difficult to be two simple people at once, one who wants to have a law to itself and the other who wants to keep all the nice old things and be loved and safe and protected."
Strickland has found a way to traverse this difficulty with great style and flair. He manages to keep all the nice old things while providing a modern spin: an almost optical illusion of of a shiny, new, old penny.
When is a porch so much more? Historical Concepts was joined by the Susan Sully who wrote the text for the book. Sully is one of the best architectural writers working today. This is her third or fourth book this year, it's so hard to keep track! She authored one of last years favorites, The Home Within Us, with Bobby McAlpine. There were so many posts on Sully's The Southern Cosmopolitan, that adding another one would have been redundant.
Coming Home was well worth the wait.