American Houses: The Architecture of Fairfax & Sammons

By Mary Miers (2006, Rizzoli)

This volume details twenty four projects by the leading American architectural practice Fairfax & Sammons. Husband and wife Anne Fairfax and Richard Sammons are at the forefront of an architectural movement flourishing today that draws inspiration from the wellspring of Classical tradition. They have developed a body of work that reflects the long-held theories of proportion and order passed down through many generations of scholarship and practice. (Their Manhattan office served as the headquarters for Classical America, the only organization offering an alternative to Modernist aesthetics until the establishment of the Institute of Classical Architecture in 1992.)

Featuring projects ranging from new or remodelled country houses in Connecticut, New York, Virginia and Florida to renovated town houses and apartments in New York City, this book demonstrates the firm’s consistent focus on architectural beauty and proficiency in a range of styles. Richly illustrated by hundreds of colour photographs, Mary Miers’s insightful text explains the projects and shows how Fairfax & Sammons has, appropriately and sensitively, adapted historic styles from Palladian, Tuscan, Mediterranean and Adam Revival to British or Dutch Colonial, and even the East Coast Shingle style, to suit modern tastes and lifestyles of today.


ON-LINE 5-STAR REVIEWS of American Houses

*****American Houses—an appreciation

If anyone wonders at the taste of contemporary architects, the darlings of media critics, this book is a breath of fresh air and a reminder that good taste never dies. Several recent commissions for private homes are reviewed with excellent photographs and narrative. The architects Fairfax & Sammons were unknown to me prior to this book, but I now wish I had the means to employ them. American Houses: The Architecture of Fairfax & Sammons is a book to enjoy again and again.”

Stephen C. Erskine, 29 Sep. 2008

*****Illustrates the Range of the Architects

Fairfax & Sammons have designed a series of modern day homes that build upon Classical American architectural appearance but combine with the need for modern day convenience and construction techniques. Many of the twenty four houses depicted in this book would not have appeared startling to the founders of the country (until, of course, they saw areas like the kitchens). These are not Frank Lloyd Wright-style buildings. They belong out in the country with a lot of land around them. At the same time the architects have been active in downtown city development where often small and unfunctional builds have been remodelled into dwellings meeting the unique requirements of the owner. The exact style of the buildings is hard to define as the different structures borrow from various styles that integrate together to form a unique body of work. This is a great idea book for anyone interested in modern houses with a Classical American look.”

John Matlock, 11 Jan. 2007