West 8 Exhibits at Follies, Function & Form: Imagining Olana's Summer House
14-08-2016

The Olana Partnership, in collaboration with the New York chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NY) and the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA‐NY), has announced a design exhibition at Olana State Historic Site in Hudson, New York.

Titled Follies, Function & Form: Imagining Olana’s Summer House, the exhibition unites noted architects and landscape architects, including West 8's Adriaan Geuze, and is curated by The Olana Partnership with guest co-curator Jane Smith, AIA, of Spacesmith.

The exhibition addresses one of the great mysteries at Olana – the Summer House – and runs from August 14th through November 13th, 2016 in Olana’s Coachman’s House Gallery. Olana is the 250‐acre creation of American landscape artist Frederic Church. Considered Frederic Church’s great masterpiece, Olana combines art, architecture, design and conservation ideals.

In the 1886 “Plan of Olana,” a detailed blueprint of Church’s vision for his large-scale designed landscape, the plan’s details are largely accurate, yet it contains a structure labelled “Summer House”, which doesn’t exist today. Lacking documentary evidence to demonstrate the design and style of this structure, 21 architects and landscape architects have been invited to participate in public interpretation at Olana.

The exhibition serves as a dialogue of innovative design ideas and as a response to Olana’s historic context and dramatic setting. The diverse group of designers will imagine what this structure could be, and has been tasked with creating concept sketches. Each designer was free to explore historic or fully contemporary design themes.

“Frederic Church acted as the architect and landscape architect at Olana, and we are honoured to present an exhibition which will spark a conversation between architects and landscape architects today,” says Mark Prezorski, Landscape Curator of The Olana Partnership. “This is the first time we’ve invited designers to react to Olana in this way. We expect that the public will be intrigued by the innovative work of this talented and visionary group.”

The exhibition designers include: Richard Alomar (Rutgers University), Diana Balmori (Balmori Associates), Mary Burnham (Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects), Randy Correll (Robert A.M. Stern Architects), Christopher Counts (Counts Studio), Adriaan Geuze (West 8 urban design and landscape architecture), Judith Heintz (sassafras55), Steven Holl (Steven Holl Architects), Joan Krevlin (BKSK Architects), Tom Krizmanic (STUDIOS Architecture), David McAlpin (Fradkin & McAlpin Architects), Laurie Olin (OLIN), Peter Pennoyer (Peter Pennoyer Architects), Margie Ruddick (Margie Ruddick Landscape), Hayes Slade (Slade Architecture), Allan Shope (Allan Shope Architect), Ken Smith (Ken Smith Workshop), Alison Spear (Alison Spear AIA), Dana Tang (Gluckman Tang), Michael Vergason (Michael Vergason Landscape Architects), and Adam Yarinsky (Architecture Research Office).


Follies, Function and Form: Imaging Olana’s Summer House is free and open to the public Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm. To learn more, visit www.olana.org.

  • Frederic Edwin Church, Southwest Façade, Olana, c. 1870, watercolor, ink, and graphite on paper 13 x 21 15/16 in., OL.1980.40.  Collection Olana State Historic Site, NYS OPRHP.Frederic Edwin Church, Southwest Façade, Olana, c. 1870, watercolor, ink, and graphite on paper 13 x 21 15/16 in., OL.1980.40. Collection Olana State Historic Site, NYS OPRHP.
  • © Beth Schneck Photography © Beth Schneck Photography
  • © Beth Schneck Photography © Beth Schneck Photography
  • © Beth Schneck Photography © Beth Schneck Photography
  • Concept sketch by Adriaan Geuze © West 8Concept sketch by Adriaan Geuze © West 8
  • Opening Event © Beth Schneck Photography Opening Event © Beth Schneck Photography