A friend and I were out exploring the local architectural haunts here in the Los Angeles area, which in this case included Pasadena’s Gamble House of 1908 as well as the other Greene & Greene homes studding the neighborhood. One of these sits kitty-corner to Frank Lloyd Wright’s La Miniatura (or Millard House) of 1923, and I noticed a lovely wrought iron gate at the rear of the property, almost coyly unimpressive against dynamic klinker brick wall. I began to think of my own home, and if a similar wrought iron gate would work against its Spanish revival aesthetic, with some details massaged here and there. Not a building per se, but a linguistic study nonetheless. Now if I can just find a blacksmith and a few dollars. . .
This is a piece of a larger puzzle, the basic parti of which is sketched above. The stair is located centrally in the square plan, and is itself a nine-square plan. Tectonically, the stair is supported on a peristyle of Tuscan pilasters, while the stair proper is takes its details from Mies’ Crown Hall at IIT, and tall fireplaces occupy three sides (their form, a take on Schindler’s Kings Road House.
First, an apology for erratic postings lately: my wife and I spent a gorgeous weekend in Yosemite, where I photographed the granite quoins of the elegant bridges as I did the granite faces of El Capitan and the Falls; and I’m neck deep studying for licensure. But neither of those should give cause to think that I have ceased to draw. Indeed, my study copies of the AIA contracts are filled with margins of vernacular, agricultural, and ‘rustic’ architectures. Many of which I hope to make onto frame in the coming weeks.
But for now, more Lutyens. Two details: a Tuscan pilaster as reduction rather than addition, taken from his war memorial at Thiepval, France (adapted with stars per Paul Philippe Cret’s own memorial at Chateau-Thierry); and my own interpretation of a common Lutyens formal operation – changes in plane alternate from side to side, rather than retaining diagonal symmetry (again, look at the Thiepval memorial, especially the lower arches, where the walls step in from the side before stepping in from the front, and then repeating as it goes up…).
Sometimes the drawings I post seem rather schematic, but as part of the great importance of building in architecture, they can never remain that way. Here I present you with a more detailed take of a recent post, with hybrid Tuscan-Doric columns (perhaps Graves doing Doric, maybe?), minimal Mies-ian window jambs and stops, shingled wall with a moulded cap to make the column in antis, all topped with a simplified architrave, rosettes replacing triglyphs. I fancy the wood work might all be painted a glossy black, similar to Earnest Coxhead’s shingled houses in San Francisco (and Bob Stern’s take on them).
Continuing yesterday’s post, here are yet more of my year-plus studies of Mies van der Rohe’s mature works in details, plans, axonometric, etc.
While working in Chicago, I became painfully aware of how little I actually understood the mature work of Mies van der Rohe, especially with regard to his command of modules, structural regularity, and the finesse of his details. So I drew. I drew every one of his corners I could get my hands on – from the early simplicity of the Lake Shore Drive Apartments to the apex of complexity at the Seagram Building only some 10 years later. Over the next few days I’ll be overwhelming you with these drawings. Enjoy.