The book has lots of nice photos of some of Breuer and Beckhard's houses with plans, which have been really useful to study in relation to the photographs. First a quote, from the afterword by Stanley Abercrombie:
[his work] also shows, when we look at the examples from the late '30s and early '40s, the originality and vigor with which Breuer greeted his newly adopted American and its construction conventions. The austere forms and anonymous smooth surfaces of European modernism were left behind in the old country, replaced here with durable, low-maintenance, natural maerials (most notably, wood frames, wood siding, and fieldstone) disposed in compositions that were becomingly modest and genuinely functional. These were not traditional houses in modern dress; they were genuinely new houses, thoughtfully planned to accomodate new patterns of living. Breuer invented a type of modern American house that was both more modern and more American than any that existed before it.
I am looking forward to looking at the plans with our architects. Meanwhile, here are some details that caught my eye...
I love this stair with the horizontal railing. There is a beautiful relationship of light and heavy.
This picture captures some of the common features of Breuer's houses: using fieldstone to build walls, glazing that goes floor to ceiling, and planes that push out in to space away from the main volume of the house.
Gutnayer built a massive fireplace in the center of our house. He designed significant fireplaces in a lot of his projects, and I wonder if he had seen Breuer's projects, which won awards and were published at the time. Our fireplace does not have as clear a form as Breuer's fireplaces pictured here. We are discussing ways of improving the form of our fireplace, and I like the prominent reveal in the fireplace on the left, and the asymmetrical volume (which maybe houses the flue?) that sits on top of the fireplace on the right. Lyrical and it activates the area above the fireplace.
Here is ours.