You might not expect Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, and Patrick Ahearn to have much in common. The former architects’ roots in the Bauhaus would seem to be at odds with Ahearn’s blend of neoclassicism and modernism. However, like his predecessors, Ahearn is deeply concerned with context, and with buildings that don’t neglect the human element.
Each has other things in common as well, including a sharp eye for design, and the fact that they are Fellows of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA). Those strands came together recently when Ahearn held a signing of his new book Timeless: Classic American Architecture for Contemporary Living at Porsche Nashua.
A book on architecture may seem an odd fit for a Porsche dealership, but Ahearn’s roots run deep with the Porsche brand, and with Porsche Nashua. In a talk ahead of the signing, Ahearn drew a direct line between his love of Porsche cars, his love of architecture, and how each fits into his life and work. Indeed, his characterization of his own work and the aims of his architecture — “timeless in its appeal, but yet lives in a way that people want to live today” — could apply equally to Ahearn’s Porsche 911 or to his painstaking restoration work on Boston’s iconic Faneuil Hall.
That could be another reason the Porsche brand resonates with Ahearn. Each of his projects, after all, tell a story. But those stories aren’t entirely self-contained; instead, they’re like a chapter in an anthology, a sort of call-and-response with the rest of the built and natural environment in which they reside.
That turns out to be a natural fit with new Porsche cars, each of which ties into a decades-long history, each car a new chapter in a story started by Ferdinand Porsche 70 years ago. It’s German design that, like Patrick Ahearn’s architecture, is both timeless and forward-looking. You can find it right here at 170 Main Dunstable Road, home of Porsche Nashua.