16 November 2023

Pre-listing notice: 1956 MCM home designed by Harris Armstrong

A magnificent mid-century modern home from 1956 will soon be available for sale. It was designed by St. Louis modernist Harris Armstrong, FAIA, for Perry Philips, the owner of a lighting company. The project was published in the August 1956 edition of Arts & Architecture magazine with renderings before its construction.
The main house is on one level with a flat roof, clerestory windows, locally-sourced limestone masonry walls, significant expanses of glass, and outdoor spaces overlooking a private wooded landscape. The property is forested and backs up against the MKT Trail. It’s located at 711 Thilly Avenue in Columbia, Missouri, at the end of a cul-de-sac.
The sellers are only the second property owners and have maintained the design’s integrity. The house sits atop a slope facing south. The focus of the interior spaces are oriented around the views of nature with fully glazed walls, screened-in-porch, and decks raised above the forest below. The landscape leads downward toward a creek running in the valley below.
I recently visited and photographed the house with the owner’s permission. The facade facing the street toward the north is largely stone and offers privacy from vantage point. A band of clerestory windows admits diffused north light along the entire facade. The bedroom wing extends westward over a ravine. It has been constructed like a wood and steel bridge which is open toward the south and private to the north.
The interior is spacious, with natural materials, including limestone, heavy timber, copper, and custom hardwood built-ins. The floor-to-ceiling glazing on the south wall is protected by a cantilevered roof safeguarding the interior from heat gain from the summer sun but admits sunlight during winter months.
The quality of the materials used and attention to detail in its construction make it a one-of-a-kind opportunity.
This remarkable home was designed with open-plan living in mind. It’s spacious enough to allow for various approaches to furnishing. The entire south face of the house is lined with decks and porches, which allow for outdoor living and communing with nature.
The lower level features a self-contained unit to house a guest or support staff.
Anyone interested in the house should contact the realtor, Brent Gardner of Brent Gardner Homes in Columbia. His telephone number is (573) 489-1900. He has been showing the house privately. Contact him to tour the house and property.

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