Stuart Cohen, FAIA, looked at the relationship between classical and modern architecture, which is closer than many might think. He compared a photo of a room by Le Corbusier, for example, to one of a room by Edwin Lutyens, highlighting their uncanny similarities. Cohen also discussed the impact both modern and classical design have had on his own firm's work. He showed the packed room the connections between a floor plan by Robert Adam and a plan of a house Cohen designed in the 1970s. And he told how Frank Lloyd Wright's way of defining spaces with trim served as an iconic example to him and his wife/business partner, Julie Hacker, AIA.
Hacker then showed a group of newer houses the couple has designed. She highlighted some of the common design elements that run through their body of work:
- toplighting with dormers;
- views within views;
- using objects such as fireplaces to divide spaces;
- double-sided glass cabinetry;
- using stone to wrap exterior walls;
- bands of windows;
- using trim to simplify.
Cohen and Hacker's back-and-forth banter provided many light moments for the appreciative audience.