Recently I was talking to a fellow graduate student and friend that still goes to school in New York. We were discussing the project and when we were talking about the wood choice, he seemed skeptical of cypress. Being from the north as well, I understood is apprehension, because cypress is not used or readily available there. Whenever we were deciding on a wood finish for a project, our go-to were cedar, maple, or oak. However, as we continue to work with cypress and apply it to the project, I have found a new respect of the material, and thus, defended the use of it. So, he asked to see it used in another project, and luck for him, I have just visited a great example of not only cypress used in architecture, but southern architecture in general; the Middleton Place Inn.
I visited the Inn a few weeks back for my history and theory class, to see an example of architecture that has characteristics of space and landscape. While visiting, we were able to walk all the grounds on the plantation and the inn and really take in the beauty the W.G. Clark created with the inn. He used so many small hints of southern vernacular, including turquoise ceiling in openings and the use of cypress on the exterior and interior. The exterior cypress is painted black, however the interior is what really brings out the cypress.
The beautiful reception room and stairs leading to it really show off the beauty of the wood with a full bodied stain. While in the bedrooms, the more nature, soft color of the cypress comes through, making the rooms calm and quiet.
After showing this project to my fellow yankee, he took back his opinion on southern architecture and our choice of cypress. There is great, more modern architecture in the south, you just need to slow down, in southern style, and appreciate it.