Jens Risom’s Block Island Retreat by Gary Nadeau

Short film has been a little thin on the ground this week for the subjects we typically like to discuss here, so I’m pretty relieved to come across Gary Nadeau’s latest project on behalf of Dwell, as they caught up with mid-century maestro Jens Risom. The iconic Danish designer took some time out to recall a prefabricated project he designed with a great deal of affection in the late 60’s, which his family used each year as a holiday retreat. The prefab cottage still stands today upon an idyllic spot off block island with it’s timeless design provoking fresh discussion upon wether modern architecture is utilising this efficient and cost effective way of building today.

The house came about when the family were searching the island for somewhere to either rent or buy when they were presented with a bare strip of land along the coastline. Once Jens realised they could have the location, space and privacy they sought after, along with a home of his own design, he set to work on what would become a space they would cherish for decades. Dwell decided to take Jens back to the house to reflect on its story and the lessons he learned from working in this way. I personally think it’s a great example of the possibilities of prefabrication and an advert to those wishing to build their own home.

It was great to see Jen’s return to the space where his children grew up, not only is this project about great architecture it’s about the way in which people interact with a construction, and the memories they build within the walls. It’s quite a humble dwelling really when you consider it’s placed upon a 7 acre plot and the design lends itself to a simple and more considered family life. A great place to contemplate and explore the imagination by the looks of it, watch on below and see what you think of the house and what Jen’s has to say.


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