Entelechy I & II: The Magnificent Houses Of Architect John Portman

Recognized throughout the world for his innovative architectural design, John Portman rarely followed traditional paths. Driven to explore new design, construction, and interactive concepts, Portman charged forward in his career as a maverick who was nearly run out of the American Institute of Architects.

As a result, early in his career, he pioneered the role of “architect as developer” to allow more freedom in implementation of his design concepts — rather than “selling” his ideas to doubters or watering them down to suit the risk-averse nature of more plebeian developers. His shrewd business skills and entrepreneurial spirit empowered him to develop many profitable, boundary-defying projects: Peachtree Center in Atlanta, Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, Renaissance Center in Detroit, Marina Square in Singapore, Tomorrow Square in Shanghai, Yintai Centre in Beijing… to name merely a few.

To me, though, I appreciate and admire his most artistic and personal work expressed in the design of his two homes: Entelechy I in Buckhead-Atlanta and Entelechy II in Sea Island, Georgia.

Entelechy I & II represent an artistic conception of pure modernism. While remaining true to a mathematical and logical purity of design expressed through mid-century modernism, Portman has deftly asserted a creative and artistic flair matched by only a few of his peers. While I have not been inside his Atlanta home, I have had the rare privilege of visiting his Sea Island home, Entelechy II. So impressed by this masterpiece, I thought to myself as I left, “Some I have known strive to reach the ultimate house in their minds — the White House — but once at Entelechy II, no other house (or power) would suffice.” Truly, one could spend eternity in this Xanadu of Portman’s.

Click on Photos For Larger View

Entelechy I (1964)

Safari 4

Safari 6

 

Entelechy II (1986)


9 responses to “Entelechy I & II: The Magnificent Houses Of Architect John Portman

  • NIKKO

    TO LIVE IN A HOUSE LIKE JOHN PORTMAN’S MOST PEOPLE CAN’T APPRECIATE THE LOVE THIS HOUSE CAN BRING TO A PERSON AND THE FEELINGS IT CREATES. I HAVE HAD THE PLEASURE TO SEE THE
    HOUSE AND IT IS A INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE. PEOPLE ARE SO USED TO LIVING IN A CAVE THAT THEY CAN’T COMPREHEND WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO LIVE WITH NATURE AND ART AND LOVE COMBINED. IT’S AN EXPERIENCE THAT MOST PEOPLE WILL NEVER RECEIVE IN A LIFETIME, AND IT SEEMS THE MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION ARE ALWAYS GOING TO LIVE IN A CAVE BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE AFRAID OF CHANGE.

  • The Living Legacy of John Portman | Mark Nichols Modern Interiors

    […] I came across the striking waterfront home of architect John Portman.  The structure is named Entelechy and the images are from an article accessed here. Entelechy image via […]

  • High art with a human touch :: Newspri

    […] furniture — is equally well known for his two self-designed residences, Entelechy in Atlanta, and Entelechy II in Sea Island, Georgia. The second, with columned interiors and sky-lighted walkways, blurs the […]

  • High art with a human touch :: iShoutLoud

    […] furniture — is equally well known for his two self-designed residences, Entelechy in Atlanta, and Entelechy II in Sea Island, Georgia. The second, with columned interiors and sky-lighted walkways, blurs the […]

  • Aris

    My grandparents worked for Portman and lived at Entelechy II in the mid 80’s. I got to visit and stay there. I think my love of modern architecture may have had a root in this

  • Clare Walker Teague

    Thank you for this information and input. My son, William age 17 is interested in architecture. I grew up in Atlanta and carpooled with John Portman’s daughter when we were children. I remember waiting in Mr. Portman’s home, Entelechy in Atlanta while his daughter got ready for camp. Their home had “streams of moving water” under a transparent floor. I just remember how amazed and enthralled I was with the Inside Nature! I have always loved nature and this home really left such a lasting impression. I lived at 4745 Jett Road, at Gold Ridge Atlanta, not far from the Portman family. My maiden name was Clare Walker, daughter of Jim and Charlotte Walker of Atlanta. My dad LOVED GA. TECH and Architecture.

  • Clare Walker Teague

    My dad also Loved John Portman’s dedication to Atlanta and its Beauty.

  • Yes/No, Southern Gothic and the Architecture of Doom | Metropolis/2520

    […] for blank miles around the island, and, during one beach ramble, catching sight of the fabulous Entelechy II, home of the architect John Portman. The trip also encompassed a trip to the city of Savannah on a […]

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