Natural Instinct
Belle Magazine Australia|February-March 2021
The Modernist aficionados behind leading US creative outfit BassamFellows are in their element with the transformation of the company’s headquarters.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR ENDURING CREATIVE INFLUENCES? Scott Fellows: We have always been influenced by Modernism’s rigour and clarity, combined with quality craftsmanship and the warmth of natural materials. Louis Kahn’s work is the best manifestation of this. His projects are completely and utterly resolved and that is a goal we strive for. The same can be said of Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson’s early work.

WHAT WERE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR YOUR STUDIO AND HOW DID YOU BOTH FIRST ENCOUNTER THE SCHLUMBERGER ADMINISTRATION BUILDING BY PHILIP JOHNSON? All our furniture pieces have been created from a response to an architectural or interior design project brief. In that sense, architecture drives everything we do. We wanted our studio to reflect that – it had to be an architectural space. It was actually Craig’s family visiting from Sydney that discovered the Schlumberger Building. They saw an historical house museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, and became chatty with the docent. They mentioned that their son was an architect and lived in a Philip Johnson house, and the docent, a member of the town council, explained there was a Philip Johnson-designed building in Ridgefield in danger of being torn down. That was the beginning of an eightyear odyssey for us to secure and restore the building. PJB, as it is known (Philip Johnson Building), was part of a complex of buildings on 18.2 hectares. The majority of buildings have been torn down and now PJB is located in a park-like setting

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