In this 11,000 s.f. house outside Columbus, Mississippi, Tate inventively resolved his client’s wishes for a French provincial style residence and a Neoclassical interior. Rather than create a seamless marriage, the architect chose a collage-like layering of high-style and low-style elements. The resulting house appears to be a primitive Renaissance-era dwelling remodeled in the Neoclassical style. Upon approach, the rough-hewn facade and hip roof resemble a simple, Norman farmhouse. But the heavy oak door opens into an elegant foyer with trompe-l’oeil decoration and a plaster dome. A similar juxtaposition occurs in the living room, where rough-hewn ceiling beams appear to predate refined lime-coated paneling. This layering of the rustic and refined finds full expression on the rear facade, where an elegant turned-stone balustrade surmounts rubblestone stairs.
Read an interview with Ken Tate about the Imes residence.