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Built as a cooperative dormitory (the last remnant of the euthenics movement at Vassar), Ferry House, designed by Marcel Breuer, is an elegant example of International Style modernism on the Vassar College campus. Its location was the subject of some controversy at the time, and its siting behind Main and next to the old stables, reflects the sense that some administrators were unaware of what to do with modern architecture. The building follows a conventional functionalist plan, with activities divided between differently expressed architectural zones: an upper block is for sleeping and studying, a lower block for communal activities (eating and playing). But despite the open plan, the building reflects Breuer's European origins as well as his American experience. For example, the brick is painted white (with suggestions of modernist efficiency) and there are strip windows and corrugated Constructivist-style sun-screens, all signs of European influence. On the other hand, there is also extensive use of natural raw cypress wood, large plate glass windows, a fieldstone floor, and a fire place, all aspects of American materials and design.
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