Fortense-Simmons House featured on Architect’s Home Tour


By Maria Cook

A Zionsville home known as the Fortense-Simmons House, 9170 Fanchon Dr., was featured on the Sept. 28-29 Architect’s Home Tour. The self-guided tour which featured five homes.

The Fortense-Simmons House was built in 1955 and designed renowned Indianapolis architect Edward Pierre in mid-century modern style. Indianapolis architecture and design studio atelierRISTING added a glass pavilion to the home in 2018. Th homeowners, Helmut Fortense and Katie Simmons, have several art pieces, including Aalto vases, in the home. It also includes furnishings from form+function, a modern design store in Indianapolis, owned by Fortense. 

Architect’s Home Tour committee member Laura Musall said the home was chosen for the tour because of its unique history and integration of its relatively-new pavilion. 

“It’s a really interesting house for a couple of reasons,” Musall said. “One is that it’s an original mid-century modern and built in 1955. Of course, it was designed by Edward Pierre, who was really a renowned Indiana architect who did many well-known homes around the Indianapolis area, so that made it interesting from that standpoint. Then this glass pavilion was designed as an addition to the house, and it’s just really interesting how it fits on the lot and how it looks like it just flows seamlessly with the house.

“It’s an interesting look at how you can take a house that was designed in 1955 and add an addition to it, yet it still retains that original mid-century modern look.”

The Architect’s Home Tour is sponsored by the American Institute of Architects. For more about the houses featured on the 2019 tour, visit


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