“A house should never be finished but should suggest possibilities for growth,” says Tim Prentice, who designed this East Hampton residence in 1967. The house has been changed since then, parts of which Prentice doesn’t appreciate – “Who painted the ceiling joists white?” – but he likes how it doesn’t look totally new or totally old. “Some of my favorite houses are richer for having been added to over time by different owners,” he says.
“The house was originally a simple two-story box,” says Prentice, who agrees that there’s something barnlike in its aesthetic. “I like barns and industrial buildings because they don’t put on airs. They deal in facts, not fiction.” Not surprisingly, Prentice’s own studio is in an old icehouse on a 1790 dairy farm. “Whether it feels new or old, there should be hints of other cultures and other times in order to make the visitor nostalgic for places he or she has never been.”
Ten years into his architecture career, Prentice left the firm he founded with Lo-Yi Chan to pursue his passion for kinetic sculpture. Since 1975, he’s been inventing beautiful ways to celebrate the wind and has completed installations in Australia, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Switzerland and the U.S. “I make machines to attract the attention of the wind, which then becomes the choreographer who makes the art.”
Through September 17, Prentice’s work is on exhibition at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. The Art of Movement brings together the work of Alexander Calder (1898-1976), George Rickey (1907-2002) and Tim Prentice (b. 1930).