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Bucks County, Pennsylvania, United States

Combining international styles and modern influences with Japanese craft traditions, George Nakashima's work was a significant force in the American craft movement of the mid-twentieth century. His Art Building, Cloister, Pool House, and Reception House were built between 1960 and 1975 in New Hope, Pennsylvania, and demonstrate the skill, ingenuity, and artful genius of this master craftsman, designer, and architect.

The Art Building was constructed as an art gallery and museum, and now displays George Nakashima artifacts. The Pool House, with a unique shape and cantilevered platform pool, was constructed of plywood and crowned with copper pipes for solar water heating. The Cloister, connected to the Art Building, has a plywood shed roof covered with asphalt. Its interior features rice paper screens, exposed beam ceilings, and plaster walls. The Reception House is a guesthouse featuring a tea room and Japanese-style sunken bath, and is still used for guests and meetings.

Run by the Nakashima Foundation for Peace, the historic architecture is fortunately still intact, but faces several challenges for preservation and maintenance. The site needs an integrated conservation management plan, which would include the training of craftsmen in the original techniques and the use of materials that maintain the integrity of Nakashima's vision. This modern treasure has the potential to serve as an important educational resource for the community, as well as architects, designers, and craftsmen of all trades, and it is hoped that inclusion on the Watch will promote its preservation.


In April 2014, the George Nakashima Woodworker Complex was designated as a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior. May 2014


Download a 2014 Watch poster of this site (see download instructions).

George Nakashima House, Studio, and Workshop
The Arts Building (1964-67) from the southwest, with the Cloister in the rear, 2008
George Nakashima House, Studio, and Workshop
The dining area in the interior of the Reception House (1975–77), 2012
George Nakashima House, Studio, and Workshop
The Arts Building (1964–67) from the north, showing hyperbolic paraboloid roof, 2008