Text by Forward Design | Architecture
The Fournier residence, located in Fairway, Kansas, was originally designed by Ralph Fournier, a well-known St Louis modern architect. Fournier’s work, known now as “suburban modernism” was heavily influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie School style.
The design was for a semi-prefabricated home for the Modular Homes Company based in St Louis. There are examples of these homes in St Louis, Kansas City, and as far as Chicago.
The design model was one where the owner or builder would provide a foundation and pre-built, wired walls would be delivered onsite reducing overall construction time and reducing cost. This example was built by Kansas City Builder Sam Symons who built upwards of forty of these homes in the metropolitan area.
Forward Design | Architecture, a residential architecture firm based in Kansas City, Missouri, was hired by an owner/contractor to assist them to maintain the design integrity of the original house as it was reworked for resale. Unfortunately, the house had little original finish remaining after years of neglect and multiple insensitive additions.
Principal in charge Chris Fein worked to resolve the major design problems, including reworking the floor plan with no less than three additions to be coherent. The team also had to either replace or reinvent all the interior finishes to be in keeping with the original design intent.
The result is a midcentury modern dream – a true California ranch with an open plan, vaulted ceilings, clerestory windows and an abundance of natural light. The original intent of the home is maintained and the years of neglect are now a thing of the past.
Photos by Bob Greenspan