Brutalism in the wrong hands.

palimpsestApril 8, 2013

This house, a rental, is attributed to "a student of Louis I Kahn". I wonder what his or her grades were like. In defense of the architect , many are comparatively poor when it comes to building a self-designed house--the execution of many experimental architects suffers due to lack of budget.

I am a fan of Kahn and I can see the influences but not really any of the genius.

A direct reference to Yale Library--the see-through floor is nice, but probably too hard or expensive to execute in the round.

More transparency, but a rather dangerous open stair with balusters and no rail:

Brutalist in intent but the adjacencies are not so good:

Beyond the unfortunate drapes, the wall of glass is cobbled from a slider, a sheet of glass and ventilating unit, which has an air conditioner stuck in it. This is a multifactorial budget issue.
(My house has some similar cobbling of sheets of glass for windows)

Bath: (conceptually pretty strong, for the genre)

More precarious steps

Just...hard to use and dangerous:

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    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 2:31PM
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I can live with ugly if it's interesting and ugly. Much of that home just looks dangerous and ugly. Nice floors in the first photo, though.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 3:07PM
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Beautiful floors, but the design should have never left the drawing board.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 3:41PM
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Eeek! It's so uncomfortable to look at the photos. Painful, even!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:10PM
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I think the wood, the tile and the copper sink are all beautiful.I love that it seems so open and sunny. I like that no one has tried to improve it. I can see where it would be like living in a piece of art -- pretty to look at, not so practical to live with it. It would need an owner who appreciates it for what it is - but that would not be me.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:14PM
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I am actually drawn to the bath and both kitchens. They remind me of my first sail boat's amenities. Compact yet very efficient, at least for a boat, and filled with lovely curves of wood.

This post was edited by roarah on Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 16:43

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 4:40PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

The bathroom counter is more evocative of Kahn's finishes in the Esherick house. The stairway is just scary.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 5:15PM
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The vertiginous staircase is practically a Philadelphia midcentury hallmark. (It's a 19th c. hallmark and these houses are either remodeled 19th c. houses or on 19th footprints).

The Esherick has been on the market for years, once offered at auction (I think) through Sotheby's or Christies.

It's National Register, it's one bedroom, its practically a perfect cube. The only way that you would be allowed to add to the property would be by a separate structure tethered to the house, I think, and the lot isn't large enough to allow this. So, there is a particular buyer profile: an affluent single, or childless couple who likes the house essentially exactly how it is and doesn't mind people walking up the driveway to see a masterwork.
--This is a limited market.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 6:28PM
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