The couple share a business, Smith & Thompson Architects, in New York and in East Hampton, N.Y. They met in 1967 at Columbia, from which each received a master’s degree in architecture.
Phillip Smith (born 1939) was until January 2008 a distinguished visiting professor at City College School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture in New York. He graduated from Columbia. He is a son of the late Adania Given Smith and the late Charles E. Smith, who lived in Charleston, W.Va. His father owned Smith’s Pharmacy and the Mountain Cigar and Candy Company, a distributor, both in Charleston.
Douglas Thompson (born 1943) graduated from Brooklyn College. He is the son of the late Alethea Hess Thompson and the late Robert N. Thompson. Mr. Thompson’s parents lived in Binghamton, N.Y., where they worked for Link Aviation Devices, a manufacturer of flight simulators. His mother was the supervising nurse and his father was the director of the art department.
Photo Credit: Steve Giovinco
Phillip Smith and Douglas Thompson were married on October 25, 2008, on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts. The couple share a business, Smith & Thompson Architects, in New York and in East Hampton, N.Y. They met in 1967 at Columbia, from which each received a master’s degree in architecture. Since then they have sought out a "softer" alternative to the legacy of "heroic modernism," a quest for spatial quietude guided more by instinct and gradual accretion than enforced concept and ideology.
Qualities of Duration: The Architecture of Phillip Smith & Douglas Thompson by Alastair Gordon
Hardcover: 221 pages
Publisher: Damiani/Gordon De Vries Studio (October 31, 2012)
Amazon: Qualities of Duration: The Architecture of Phillip Smith & Douglas Thompson
The branch of a sycamore grows through the opening of a wall in a Manhattan studio. A pool-house on Long Island becomes a sod-roofed teahouse. An eighteenth-century farmhouse in Pennsylvania expands to echo the path of a meandering stream. Such are the inventive and inspired designs of Phillip Smith and Douglas Thompson, whose work stands out as an oasis of calm in an age of hyperspeed and information smog. Since they met in 1966, Smith and Thompson have sought out a "softer" alternative to the legacy of "heroic modernism," a quest for spatial quietude guided more by instinct and gradual accretion than enforced concept and ideology. Taking Bernard Rudofsky's emphasis on forgotten vernacular buildings and "architecture without architects" as the underlying theme in their work, Smith and Thompson's sources of inspiration have varied widely over the years, from early European modernism to the barns and fishermen's cottages of Nantucket, to the monasteries of Tibet, the hill towns of Italy and the stilted kampongs of Malaysia. Qualities of Duration is the first book to chronicle their firm's complete body of work, detailing its numerous residential, commercial, corporate and institutional projects through 350 illustrations and a text by architectural historian Alastair Gordon.
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