Page C1.1 . 18 March 2009                     
ArchitectureWeek - Culture Department
NEWS   |   DESIGN   |   BUILDING   |   DESIGN TOOLS   |   ENVIRONMENT   |   CULTURE
< Prev Page Next Page >
 
CULTURE
 
  •  
  • The Textile Block Houses
     
  •  
  • Wayfinding
     
  •  
  • Vertical Gardens

     
    AND MORE
      Current Contents
      Blog Center
      Download Center
      New Products
      Products Guide
      Classic Home
      Architecture Forum
      Architects Directory
      Topics Library
      Complete Archive
      Web Directory
      About ArchWeek
      Search
      Subscribe & Contribute
      Free Newsletters
       

     
    QUIZ

    [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    The Textile Block Houses

    by Tim Street-Porter

    As the Hollyhock House neared completion in 1920, Frank Lloyd Wright received a second Los Angeles commission, from antiquarian Alice Millard, who had arrived in Pasadena from Chicago in 1914. With her late husband she had commissioned a classic Prairie-style house from Wright in 1906; now she wanted something new, inspired by the palazzi of Venice.

    The prospect of designing an innovative house on the available lot, which was flat and undramatic, was unappealing to Wright, who persuaded his client to buy the adjoining arroyo and to straddle it with the house that would be known as La Miniatura. A reflecting pool on the downstream side would evoke a Venetian lagoon.

    As built it remains one of Wright's most magical houses. Viewed from the lower arroyo, mirrored by a reflecting pool and framed by giant eucalyptus trees, the south elevation resembles a temple lost in the jungle. A house of pronounced verticality, La Miniatura's cubistic form has a sculptural balance evident from any angle. Cast-cement blocks extend a modular grid over every surface, as if the house was constructed of Legos, and lend order and rationality to the design.

    La Miniatura was the first of four L.A. houses that Wright built between 1923 and 1924, all constructed with cement block. In adopting this most humble of building materials, Wright hoped to create a new model for inexpensive housing.   >>>

    Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...

    This article is excerpted from L.A. Modern by Tim Street-Porter, copyright © 2008, with permission of the publisher, Rizzoli.

     

    Continue...

    ArchWeek Image
    SUBSCRIPTION SAMPLE

    La Miniatura, a Pasadena house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, resembles a temple lost in the jungle, mirrored by a reflecting pool and framed by giant eucalyptus trees.
    Photo: Tim Street-Porter Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    Viewed from the street, the entry courtyard separates the house from the garage.
    Photo: Tim Street-Porter Extra Large Image

     

    Click on thumbnail images
    to view full-size pictures.

     
    < Prev Page Next Page > Send this to a friend       Subscribe       Contribute       Media Kit       Privacy       Comments
    ARCHWEEK  |  GREAT BUILDINGS  |  ARCHIPLANET  |  DISCUSSION  |  BOOKS  |  FREE 3D  |  SEARCH
      ArchitectureWeek.com © 2009 Artifice, Inc. - All Rights Reserved