I visited the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts with Edward Larrabee Barnes’s son, John Barnes, in the summer of 1984. At this time, I was working for the Barnes’ office. Haystack struck me as a remarkable example of a design which was all at once purposeful, vernacular, rigorous, crisply modern, extremely delicate, and highly personal.
The delicacy perhaps struck me first. The way the buildings float above the ground plane, the way the siting allows them to weave amidst the mature trees and step down the hill without forcing the land or the vegetation to yield.
But the highly personal evocation struck me the hardest. I could hear Ed Barnes’s voice in these buildings, exhorting us to find a balance, a way to build and live modestly but intelligently. These buildings, like Ed, carry an indelible tone of sincerity that is both luminous and timeless. They will never be out of style, as they carry no style, no affectation- only a delicate rigor that feels quite at home on the coast of Maine in the making of art.
Mark Cavagnero Associates
1045 Sansome Street Suite 200
San Francisco, CA 9411