Weekend Getaway: Jens Risom’s Block Island Home

Architecture & Interiors

risom-residence-exterior-side-r-letter-blockWe shouldn’t be surprised by the pure honesty of Jens Risom’s holiday home on Block Island. Vanity and self-importance have never been a trademark of the great Danish designer’s work, even as his Risom Lounge Chairs for Knoll remain amongst the most lusted-after furniture icons of the Mid-Century era. What is surprising, though, is that his lovely shingled seaside house is a prefabricated model, customized by Risom nearly half a century ago in his quest to build a summer house on a modest budget$20,700, to be exact.

Miniscule by today’s standardsa mere 700 sq feetand sitting on an idyllic parcel of land, the house’s storybook A-frame profile, utilitarian kitchen and wood-burnished warmth are reminders of how Risom’s design sensibilities have never strayed from the things that matter, his focus ever tuned to an object’s (or a house’s) sense of purpose. The son of an architect, Risom, now 97, knew the pitfalls of designing buildings. “Architecture, to me, is the most beautiful of the arts. I always knew that I wanted to design, but only if I could create products over which I had total control.” We can only imagine how much the architectural world has missed by not ceding control to him.risom-residence-living-room-horizontalrisom-residence-kitchenrisom-residence-outside-full-view-2risom-residence-outside-full-viewrisom-residence-dining-living-roomrisom-residence-desk-by-windowrisom-residence-facaderisom-residence-firestove-arearisom-residence-exterior-back-side-viewrisom-residence-living-room-verticalrisom-residence-facade-1

Images: Dwell

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