Residential Design

Vol 1, 2018

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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Page 57 of 71

and one that skillfully illustrated Wright's concept of integrat- ing buildings into the landscape—to be "of the hill" rather than "upon the hill." Crediting the work of University of Washington architec- ture professor Ken Tadashi Oshima, one of his co-curators for the MoMA exhibition, "Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive," Bergdoll spoke of what an incredible undertaking Wright's Tokyo Imperial Hotel really was—in planning, engineering, and ornamental design. It was the Imperial Hotel that brought the Raymonds to Japan in 1919—Antonin as project architect and Noémi to work on the interiors and fine art. After a falling out with Wright in 1922, the Raymonds parted ways with his firm to establish their own practice in Japan. Bergdoll paraphrased a letter from Wright to Antonin: Well, good luck but do not go about leaving anything resembling my own individual work planted in Japan—be yourselves." Bergdoll noted that, although the Raymonds went on to develop their own fusion of modernism and Japanese craft, their work still reflected many of Wright's imperatives—especially architecture's relationship to na- ture—and their interest in materials, especially wood frame and reinforced concrete. Bergdoll turned to the idea of regionalism itself, noting the social critic Lewis Mumford's book, "The South in Archi- tecture," and Mumford's correspondence with Wright at the time. Bergdoll cited Mabel O. Wilson's contribution to the "Unpacking the Archive" show, which featured a little-known Wright project, The Rosenwald School, "a progressive school for negro children" proposed for the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute of Virginia (now called Hampton Uni- versity). Bergdoll pointed out that Wright adapted the court typology of other Rosenwald Schools to the warm southern climate by incorporating a sheltering loggia, and that his "tee- pee-like" central gathering space for the school harkened back to indigenous Native American architecture. Wright's unbuilt, climate-sensitive design for a Rosenwald School. Bergdoll then spoke of MoMA curator Juliet Kinchin's contribution to "Unpacking the Archives"—the "Little Farms Unit: Nature, Ecology and the Community"—which focused on Wright's idea of "a pocket farm as a building block of set- tlement." Wright would later incorporate the Little Farms Unit into his Broadacre City Plans of the 1930s. Bergdoll stated that we should not conflate Wright's Broadacre concept with the suburban sprawl that followed World War II. Wright conceived something much different, a "rural urbanism" of "being within nature and working the land." According to Bergdoll, the Ray- monds and Wright both credited hard work, and farming in particular, with forging individual character. He referenced the Raymonds' New Hope Experiment at the Raymond Farm in New Hope, Pa., and its parallels to Wright's Taliesin Fellowship in Wisconsin, "where apprentices and staff would work the land and learn the practice of architecture and of life." Schindler and Wright Judith Sheine's presentation, "Schindler and Wright: The Sec- ond and First Space Architects," shifted the focus to Wright's revolutionary innovations of the first decade of the 20th cen- tury and how in its third decade, Rudolf Schindler expanded upon them. In his very first projects, the Kings Road House and Lovell Beach House, Schindler advanced an abstract formal spatial language he called "space-architecture." Sheine pointed out that these buildings lacked ornament, reflecting Schindler's understanding of (and agreement with) the theo- ries of Adolf Loos, whom he knew from his studies in Vienna. Sheine then demonstrated that although Schindler rejected Wright's use of ornament, he deeply respected Wright's form- ing of space and use of natural light. In an unbuilt project, "Translucent House," which Schindler designed for Aline Barnsdall (Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House client), Sheine noted that their courtyard organization and battered walls are virtually the same. But, in Schindler's version, Hol- lyhock House's monumental ornamented brow is supplanted by a floating lantern-like form. Schindler would adapt another Loos concept, "the Raumplan"—interlocking, split-level vol- umetric rooms within a compact formal cube—and combine it with Wright's concept of flowing internal and external space in his California hillside projects, the Wolfe House, the Oliver House, and the Manola Court Apartments. Sheine then turned her attention to Schindler as builder. Schindler was often the contractor on his own projects. He was constantly seeking to reduce costs, first by experi- menting with tilt-up concrete construction and later with reusable formwork, but eventually he abandoned concrete all together and shifted to a "light wood-frame system with a thin plaster skin." In the 1936 How House, Schindler Photo: Courtesy John DeFazio/CRAN 58 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM VOL. 1, 2018 AIA CRAN

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