5 Vincent StreetAlyssa Jacaruso

Irving Haynes built the International Style 5 Vincent Street in 1972.

Irving Haynes, 5 Vincent Street, 1972
Form & Structure

Irving Hayne's 5 Vincent Street is a Modern structure with vertical wooden siding, painted grey. The entrance is centrally located, which gives the bold structure a welcoming aspect. The cluster of windows in the recessed entrance way further frames the door. There is a deck on the right side of the house with column supports beneath it. It was repaired in the 1980s in keeping with the Modern aesthetic. The vertical windows contrast with the horizontally heavy structure, which is essentially one solid block with another protruding suspended block to the right. The entire building is highly angular. The only circular form on the exterior is the singular lamp post near the front steps. The solid grey exterior stands independent of nature and looks as though it was placed amidst the trees with no apparent concern for an environmental interrelationship.

Irving Haynes was a local Providence architect. He graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 1951, and was Professor of Foundation Studies at his alma mater from 1973 to 2005. Haynes focused on architecture as well as painting, he "studied light, color, surface, texture, shape and line" (RISD). In 1968, he established Haynes and Associates, which later merged into Haynes, deBoer and Associates. The firm services include: adaptive reuse, alteration, architecture, consulting, design, historic preservation and restoration (Architects Directory). His firm has done numerous restorations in Providence including City Hall, First Unitarian Church, Fall River Iron Works Building for Rhode Island School of Design and Joseph Hale House for Brown University. These restoration kept true to the form of the original structure. Their main focus is on colleges and universities, libraries, multi-unit residential, museum, religious facilities, and single family residences (Architects Directory). Irving Hayes died August 27, 2005, but his firm is stilll operating under the leadership of Cornelius deBoer.

Patronage & Function
Kathleen McBride commissioned the house. Ms. McBride was to share the house with her parents because she wanted to take care of them during their senior years. The house was designed accordingly; with two independent living spaces, one on each floor. Each floor had its own kitchen and its own bathroom.


The building is located on the corner of Vincent Street and Huxley Avenue in the suburban neighborhood two blocks away from Providence College.
The house was not planned to be a harmonious addition to its surrounding environment, so its Modern style stands out against the neighboring Bungalow, Colonial and
Le Corbusier, Villa Savoye, c. 1929
Victorian homes, built hundreds of years before the house at 5 Vincent Street.

Irving Haynes designed 5 Vincent Street in 1970; his ideas fit into a line of development beginning with the Villa Savoye in France by Le Corbusier in 1929. This school of design has "certain properties of form; scale ... and treatment of material" as well as a minimalist approach to ornamentation (Drexler 1). The abstract sculptural design is only accented by the horizontal ribbon windows with dark trim. Haynes used this technique but he oriented the windows to go along with the vertical slat siding. The pilotis raise the Villa Savoye from the ground to be more efficient in using the space. Haynes also uses such stilts to raise the side deck and create room for the lower level to have full sliding glass doors.
R.M.Schindler, beach house for Dr. Phillip Lovell, 1922-6

In the United States, buildings such as R.M. Schindler's beach house for Dr. Phillip Lovell may be an influence in Haynes' design. Schindler’s International Style beach house is “an early demonstration of the structural and visual potential of unadorned reinforced concrete” (Roth 393). Although, Haynes’ house is not reinforced concrete, the grey, barely textured surface does resemble a smooth concrete membrane. The Lovell house’s two rectangular volumes include vast open living space with an ocean view, and a cluster of smaller bedrooms above the main floor. The Haynes house also has an open living area that takes up a larger portion of the square footage on the right side (which is adjacent to the block-like deck), while the bedrooms and kitchen are clustered down a narrow hallway, creating a separation between private and communal space. Five identical frames supported the Lovell beach house’s structure without infiltrating the interior, while lifting it above street level to create storage space beneath and safeguard against flooding. The side deck of 5 Vincent Street follows a similar conservation of space with three posts supporting it. This allows for the lower level of the house to have expansive sliding glass doors with a view of the street.
Gwathmey Siegel & Associates, Steel Residence I, 1968

Gwathmey and Siegel, closer in time to Irving Haynes, also show similar elements of design. Their 1968 Steel Residence I in Bridgehampton, New York uses a common form and materials. Both Steel Residence I and 5 Vincent Street use vertical wooden slat siding that keeps with a minimalist approach. These surfaces resembles the cement used by previous Modernist architects. The recessed entrance of 5 Vincent Street also mirrors that of Steel Residence I, but the entrance of the latter is on the second story. Once again, the ribbon windows of Steel Residence differ from the vertical oriented windows in 5 Vincent Street. Gwathmey and Siegel also used circular forms, in the back of the building and the interior that leave the building more open than Irving Haynes' design. If the Steel Residence was a reference for Haynes' house, he simplified the form and brought it down to a smaller scale.

William M. Harris House, c. 1884

While there are numerous references that can be taken into account when looking at 5 Vincent Street, the nearby neighbor is not one of them. The William M. Harris house, whose backyard abuts that of 5 Vincent Street, is of a completely different era. Its Victorian exterior clashes with the stark Modernism behind it. There are vivid colors: green, burgundy, gold, and bright white trim. The Harris house features decorative columns and moldings on the deck and the roof peaks that contrast with the simplified columns and lack of moldings on around windows and the front entrance at 5 Vincent Street. Irving Haynes made a statement by disregarding the surrounding homes and creating an independent structure that was true to its moment, rather than trying to blend its modern elements with those of nineteenth century architecture.


Architects Directory. Retrieved December 2, 2008, from Architecture Week Web site: http://www.architectureweek.com/directory/firms.cgi?15995http:www.danshamptons.com/content/hamptonstyle/2008/july_11/decorators_architects_1.html

Drexler, Arthur, "Preface" in
Five Architects: Eiseman, Graves, Gwathmey, Hejduk, Meier. New York: Oxford University Press, 1975.

Lovell Beach House, 1926. Retrieved December 2, 2008, from flickr Web site: http://flickr.com/photos/48348394@N00/267357915

RISD: About RISD Exhibitions. Retrieved December 2, 2008, from RISD Web site:
http://www.risd.edu/exhibitions.cfm? type=gallery&onview=gallery_onview_21.cfm

Roth, Leland,
American Architecture: A History.// Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2001.

Villa Savoye. Retrieved December 6, 2008, from Wikipedia Web Site: