Horace Gifford, the subject of Christopher Rawlins’s newly released book, Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction, is an elusive, complex figure. Mr. Rawlins will discuss his book and the extraordinary beach-house designs of the charismatic architect at a book talk at 6:30 p.m. on June 26 at the DORMA Americas Design Center in Manhattan.
Rawlins’s research reveals Gifford as a charismatic charmer who set his own course in life and in business. The architect’s beach-house designs transformed the terrain and culture of New York’s Fire Island from a sleepy bohemian backwater to a wildly permissive place.
Blending cultural and architectural history, Fire Island Modernistponders a fascinating era through the story of an architect and his work. Gifford, a charismatic charmer who suffered from depression and attended business meetings in a Speedo, perfected a hedonistic modernism in cedar and glass, as attuned to natural landscapes as it was to our animal natures. Gifford died of AIDS in 1992.
The two-hour talk begins at 6:30 p.m. in the center, 1040 Avenue of the Americas, 22nd Floor. A reception will follow; books will be available for sale and signing by the author. This event is organized by the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter. Admission is free to AIA members, $10 to non-members; those wishing to attend must register in advance at https://s01.123signup.com/servlet/SignUp?P=15334411911426541500&PG=1533441182300.
About Christopher Rawlins
An architect and the founder of Rawlins Design, Rawlins has established a New York-based practice whose projects include new beach houses, mid-century modernist beach house restorations, and retail environments across North America, Europe, and Asia. He majored in architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology, studied for a year in Paris, and obtained his master's degree from Princeton University. He has taught at Lehigh University; his work has been published in the New York Times, Wallpaper, Interior Design, Metropolis, Modernism, and Monocle. Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction is his first book.