Experiencing The Modern Barn
By Marion Weiss
The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press | 27east.com
6 March 2014
Architecture has been described in diverse ways, but a single word encompasses it concretely: experience. And one recently built home on Hands Creek Road in East Hampton, labeled “The Modern Barn,” evokes such experience.Entering this structure on a snowy, dark Saturday night made visitors forget the difficult weather conditions. Between the flow of the space and the artwork that had been chosen to interact with it, we felt as if we had stepped inside a different world, where we could abandon our preoccupations and absorb our setting.
Art and design are both organic to one’s experience of the Modern Barn, six of which have been built by the husband-and-wife team at Plum Builders Inc. and their architect, Alexander Gorlin, since their first one on Jericho Road in East Hampton in the early 1980s. Three more of the trademark-design buildings are in the works.
“The barn is the most organic structure in the Hamptons, going back to Colonial times,” said Al Giaquinto, the company’s president. The experience of free-flowing space is essential, he said.
“Individuals can interact with each other, whether it be their spouses, offspring or grandchildren, without being tied to one certain room,” agreed Mary Giaquinto, the company’s chairwoman. The Modern Barn is designed so that any single area can be multi-purposeful—used for a retreat, a reunion or recreation, for example.
Art consultant Esperanza Leon of Solar Gallery had additional ideas concerning the creation of experience. A connection to nature is suggested, as when Roy Nicholson’s small abstraction “Toxic Garden” mirrors the tangles of tree branches seen through a bedroom window.