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  • Hodgson House was designed by Mr Philip Johnson, the architect behind works including the Glass House, also in Connecticut. It was designed for Mr Richard Hodgson, then the president of a Paramount Pictures division researching colour television technology, and his wife, Geraldine.

  • The house won first prize in residential design at the 1954 International Exhibition of Architecture in Brazil, and the 1956 First Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects. It is currently listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is protected by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

  • Floor-to-ceiling glass surfaces comprise fixed-plates and sliding doors set in H-shaped columns. When asked by a New York Times reporter in 1951 to describe any unique aspects of the house, builder Mr John Smith replied, "The whole danged thing is unique."

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Photography by Mr Bjorn Iooss | Words Mr Aaron Peasley

BassamFellows, the artisanally inspired furniture range founded by Messrs Craig Bassam and Scott Fellows, first made a splash at Milan's Salone Internazionale del Mobile a decade ago with the introduction of the now-iconic tractor stool. Mr Fellows, a fashion world veteran and former creative director of Bally, and Mr Bassam, an architect whose aesthetic is guided by early modernism, describe their pieces as "craftsman modern", an uncompromising and recognisable aesthetic that blends exceptional craftsmanship with a timeless sensibility.

There's nothing about this house that feels typically 1950s. In the same spirit, we don't want our furniture to feel as if it was necessarily designed today

You might say the same thing about the pair's home, the Mr Philip Johnson-designed Hodgson House, located in the picturesque Connecticut settlement of New Canaan, an hour outside Manhattan. Designed in 1951, the heritage-protected property, with its interlinked glassed pavilion and nifty Mad Men-era details, such as the hidden wet bar, is the consummate backdrop for the growing BassamFellows collection, which features exceptionally crafted armchairs, luxurious day beds and elegant leather-topped desks. Here, Messrs Bassam and Fellows give us a tour of what may just be one of the coolest homes in America.

The house is an iconic piece of architecture. What is the best part of living in a home designed by Mr Philip Johnson?
Mr Bassam: I would say the proportions. When you're in this house it feels calming and makes you feel centred. When we moved in everything just kind of felt right; as much as this is an important building and a piece of history, it's a great place to live. You don't want to live in a time warp, and it's as timeless as you'll get.
What particular parts of the house do you like?
Mr Fellows: I think it's all about the internal courtyard, which is really the centrepiece of the entire house. If you're sitting in the living room, you're not only seeing nature, but you can also appreciate the architecture itself. That complex layering is what really makes it interesting and it captures your attention every time.
Tell us a little about your work with Herman Miller, where you act as consulting creative directors?
Mr Bassam:We've been helping them put a renewed focus on their classic heritage products. The whole idea is to take individual iconic pieces and build collections around that. We're curating and looking at the archives, working directly with the Eames family or the George Nelson Foundation, and recontextualising pieces for today.
Who are your design heroes?
Mr Fellows: Architecturally, Louis Kahn's whole philosophy of space and light is incredibly inspiring and relevant for today. He was the original craftsman modern. We also have business heroes who've had a vision and really stuck with it to create a brand; companies such as B&B Italia and designers such as Tom Ford and Armani, maintaining that vision over a long period of time is phenomenal. I'm also a huge fan of Jil Sander, who is able to create newness based on classic principles. I'm thrilled she's back.
Speaking of designers, what is your approach to style?
Mr Fellows: For us it's all about taking comfort in your uniform, whether we're in New York, LA or Europe. I stick with simple pieces such as the perfect Chelsea boots, slim jeans, a great white shirt and a good tailored jacket. When I'm in that uniform, I feel I can go everywhere and never feel out of place. I also think the bag that you carry is hugely important; we carry a leather soft-sided briefcase.

bassamfellows.com

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