Monday, January 3, 2011

Aaron G. Green's Reif Residence, West Hollywood, 1951

One thing I've learned is that a beautiful modern house is not necessarily a big modern house. Take this intriguing example -- it was only 1,600 square feet. Notice that the floorplan recalls the Goldwater house (see previous post) -- with hexagonal and triangular spaces, albeit one third the scale. It also features one of my very favorite concepts -- an interior courtyard. These pictures are from The House Beautiful Treasury of Contemporary American Homes, 1958 edition. The house was near the famous Schindler house on King's Road, unfortunately destroyed by fire. I myself once lived on King's Road. It's long since been taken over by high density buildings. Given the modest size of the structure, perhaps someone might try building it again. Depending on codes, all one needs is a fairly standard 50' x 150' lot. If I could live through another construction, I'd consider it, though I'm sure it would require many structural changes to suit current California building codes. Mr. Green, an associate of Frank Lloyd Wright, died in 2000, but his company continues. Additional information and pictures are on the company's website.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Palm Springs Modernism Tour

If you ever find yourself Palm Springs on a dreary rainy afternoon, consider driving around and looking at the many notable examples of midcentury architecture. Probably most notable is the Kaufmann house by Richard Neutra, 1946, which has been beautifully restored.

Cielo Drive winds its way up the natural terrain, affording splendid views. I've not found any information on this house, but we loved the roofline.
Above and below, the Edris House by noted Palm Springs architect, E. Stewart Williams, 1954.

Craig Ellwood's Palevsky House, 1968-69. Behind this blank facade are guest houses and courtyards leading to the main house, and finally, a swimming pool with a stunning view.
Elvis and Priscilla spent part of their honeymoon in this house in an Alexander Homes development. A plaque commemorates the occasion.

Below, six of the seven Alexander steel houses, designed by Donald Wexler. They intended to build an entire tract of these.