PaperCity Magazine

April 2017 - Dallas

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F or contemporary art collectors Sharon and Michael Young, choosing a new house in 2008 was all about finding the right backdrop to display their fine assemblage of paintings and sculpture. A mid-20th-century-modern house, located on a lush acre and a quarter in Preston Hollow, plucked all the right heartstrings. "We walked in and saw that beautiful backyard, the gracious living room, the original '60s spiral staircase, and that was it," Sharon says. "I had to have it — no matter what." Designed in 1961 by architect Robert Johnson Perry — known for creating site-specific modern houses — the Young residence is defined by the property's rolling topography, which terraces gently through woodland greenery towards a creek below. Yet, as captivating as the house was, they first sought the input of architect Svend Fruit and designer Mil Bodron of Bodron + Fruit before taking the plunge. It was a great fit. The firm has worked with a number of prominent local art patrons, including Naomi Aberly and Larry Lebowitz on their Philip Johnson-designed estate, and is known for sensitively handling renovations of architecturally significant houses. To the Youngs' astonishment, Bodron arrived at their first meeting with a set of Perry's original plans for the house. Not only had Bodron previously renovated a Perry house in Greenway Parks and researched the architect's other works, but he had also lived next door to Perry's widow, now deceased. Bodron remembers her talking about this house in particular. "It was one of the favorites of Perry's career," he says. "So, Mrs. Perry kept all her husband's original drawings and slides for that reason." Why it became such a cherished project of the late architect is not known, but Bodron suspects it was the opportunity to build an atypical floor plan on such an interesting lot. Decorative flourishes, such as the exquisite winding magnolia-wood staircase and unusual serpentine steps that descend from the entry to the main room, were unique for most modern houses of the era. "Clearly it was a very high-end house," Bodron says. "And he was allowed to create without much constraint." The original buff-colored Mexican brick, favored by modernists such as Perry, O'Neil Ford, and Frank Welch, was in pristine condition. "Usually by the time you get hold of these houses, the brick has been painted," says Bodron. "You can't sand- blast it off, because the brick is so soft it disintegrates." The original parquet wood floors also remained intact, and in the entry, Bodron gambled that '60s-era terrazzo tile lay beneath a layer of flooring that had been an addition. He was right. Original magnolia-wood screens dividing the entry and living areas, clearly visible in Perry's original photos, had been removed at some point and replaced by a white sheet- rock wall, which turned out to be a perfect location for the Youngs' massive work by Giuseppe Penone. Inspired, Bodron had a simplified version of the original screen recreated as a striking room divider for the master bedroom. The screen pays homage to Perry's work, but it also acts as a clever headboard, allowing the bed to float in the room, facing a dramatic wall of windows Loyd Taylor in the front courtyard. In the entry, objects from Tibet and India surround a Ming Dynasty wine table. The entry descends into the living room via serpentine steps. On far wall, Robert Mapplethorpe's photograph United Self-Portrait with Cane, 2007. Vintage pair of Jean Royère chairs from Galerie André Hayat, Paris. Sculpture on pedestal, Rebecca Warren's I told you I was depressed, 2003. 63

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