Inspired by par Gaudi and an umbel

Wild carrot. Photo Alvesgaspar (Wikipedia)

The umbel[1] of a wild carrot inspired American architect James H. Johnson. His Pod House, usually called Mushroom House, stands on 14 to 20-foot high pillars (4 to 6 metres).

Do you see a resemblance?

This unusual home took root in Perinton, New York. Built for a lawyer-artist couple in the 70s, it became an emblem of the city in 1989. A basement was added at the beginning of the 2000s.

It appears to have six “mushrooms” forming a star: two central mushrooms placed side by side, each one connected to two other independent mushrooms. They are all surrounded by windows. As you can imagine, it’s highlighted by curves, both inside and out.

One of the units contains the sitting room. The cream ceiling brings to mind the texture of a paunch. Sliding windows equipped with rounded glass on each side blend with the half-circles of the ceiling. The concrete furniture incrusted with stones takes the shape of an inverted U. Cushions make everything cozy and friendly.

Pod House. Photo Daniel Penfield (Wikipedia)

The kitchen is in another unit. A series of low cupboards follows the outside curve of the mushroom, allowing the panorama to dominate. The wood table, the sink and the counter form a single piece of furniture with wavy contours.

Inspired by the works of Antoni Gaudi, a “flowing” corridor zigzags from the original house to the basement. The white plaster “flows” like icing on the cake of walls embedded with multicolored mosaics.

Gaudi is a famous Catalan artist-architect of Spanish nationality. He thrills thousands of tourists from around the world with his originality. Güell Park in Barcelona is one of numerous Gaudi works protected by UNESCO.

Did this description of the Mushroom House make your mouth water? Discover other aspects of this unusual house by visiting the architect’s web link:

Check out the exterior and interior structures and see the beauty of this work for yourself.

In case you’re wondering, this Mushroom House, adjacent to Powder Mills Park, is visible from the road. The house sold for almost $800,000 (U.S.) last February.

[1] An umbel represents the shape of an umbrella in botany. A flat top inflorescence in which the pedicels are of equal length and arise from a common point.

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