Second Writing Assignment

Please Copy/Paste your paper to this class blog page—thanks in advance!

Published by: roberttracyphd

Academic professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. I teach theory courses in Art and Architecture History. In addition, I also curate exhibitions on campus as well as in other venues nationally and internationally.


39 thoughts on “Second Writing Assignment”

  1. Nick Callo
    Professor Robert Tracy
    ART 699
    15 October 2020
    Writing Assignment Two – Norton House
    Architect Frank Gehry has been known to push boundaries in the architecture world. In his 1984 project Norton House, Gehry looks to create a functioning home that is both eclectic and visual of its regional surroundings. With the site being along the well-known Venice boardwalk, there is continuous pedestrian traffic making their way through the area. Privacy was a crucial component when it came to programming. Gehry had an opportunity to reconfigure spaces that would end up being staggered yet cohesive. On the ground floor of the house, you have two bedrooms, a studio, along with a garage. The second floor consists of the living room and kitchen. What takes center place is the distinct studio that is situated up on pillars, facing the pacific ocean. This studio resembles a lifeguard station, taking cues from the site and that of personal linkage to William Norton. William Norton was a lifeguard at one point in his lifetime, making the connection much more symbolic of his youth (Molloy, 1).
    What is constant in the design language present in this project? There is nothing that speaks constant, as the house is a form of “deconstruction” design. The fragments are an aesthetic appearance of the project, but also starts to realize hierarchy in program. With the studio seamlessly floating on pillars, it communicates the light and airy feel of the beach setting just in front of the house. Being supplied with a limited site, Gehry created a piece that has portioned and contrasted indoor and outdoor spaces. In order to reach the third floor terrace, users are forced to take an exterior staircase.
    Materiality was an experimental expression, that the Norton’s gravitated to. The commissioners Lyn & William Norton, had seen Gehry’s private residents and appreciated the contrasting mix use of materials (Molloy, 1). Everyday materials such as stucco were apart of this low cost approach. A range of color selections were used to express the composition of the volumes. The house is different, but overall meets the Los Angeles backdrop. It is a piece of art that is abstract, bold and fluent.
    As an aspiring architect, Norton House is likable but not for everyone. From my point of view, the home does not look to impose its presence, but rather joins the flow. This goes back to the topic of creating a community in main stream Los Angeles. Along the Venice boardwalk these houses have a beach vibe, but individually take on their own approach. Taking a step back, they’re one as a whole.
    I chose the quote “Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves.” (Julia Morgan) Some will disagree with this and see architecture as stagnant or bland. On the other hand, you have individuals whom are guided by the free form and abstract art. In my perspective, this can go both ways depending on the project and what it looks to define. In the case of the Norton House owners, they were looking for something in-between. A home that is welcoming and warm, but not bland. The Norton House is a direct visual of the quote presented by Julia Morgan. When looking at the house, it speaks of site context, connections to its users, and is a piece that is relevant. Usage of volumes, solid and voids explore the links between interior and exterior experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. (This is a combined essay for ART 434 and ART 477)

    Jacqueline Garcia
    Robert Tracy
    ART 434—1001/ART 477—1002
    October 8, 2020
    The Walter L. Dodge House
    I have decided to choose the Walter L. Dodge House designed by Irving Gill. Upon viewing it, I felt that it was a great example of a balance between architecture and art. It was a structure of innovation. It pushed the possibilities of what a house can offer. Being ahead of it its time, it has influenced the future of Southern California homes’ style. As Julia Morgan said, “Never turn down a job because you think it’s too small; you don’t know where it can lead.” I believe that if Gill had never taken the commission to design the Dodge House, homes in Los Angeles would look very different from what they are now. As an artist, I also see the house as an infinite canvas, not limited to just the frame of the house. “To be stopped by a frame’s edge is intolerable” (Clyfford Still). The way Gill constructed the house allowed for so many outside factors to affect how we view the house and the space around it.
    As I stated above, the Dodge House was ahead of its time. The house was filled with new innovations, such as a kitchen sick garbage disposal and a car wash garage; a house meant for the future. Aside from the technological innovations, visually, it was also ahead of its time. Its sleek, geometric design broke away from traditional and historical American architecture. As I look it at the images of the home, I see a blend between modernism and Spanish influence. It is very geometric in its structure. It’s as if Gill was given a large scale wooden block toy set, well in this case concrete blocks, and meticulously placed them together to construct this minimal yet very thought out structure. If I saw a child build this with their toy blocks, I would think that I just came across a child prodigy. We can really see hints of Spanish Mission style throughout the entire home. Even with the cubist stacks, the house has an asymmetrical façade. To soften the structure’s sharp edges, there are arches placed both in the interior and exterior of the house. On the exterior, we see repeating arches on the patio and porch areas. At certain angles one could imagine they are looking at the setting of a Renaissance painting with the abundance of arches placed throughout the house. It’s this balance of modernism and Spanish mission that we now see spread throughout Greater Los Angeles. What started off as just a commission for a millionaire, led to a shift in modern design. The Dodge House was really like the blueprint for future Los Angeles homes.
    Looking at how minimalistic the house was kept, how white blankets the walls, I couldn’t help but think of the house as a canvas. But the way the structure is formed, it feels like an ever-expanding canvas, not limited to edges of the home. Gill skillfully designed this house with California weather in mind. There are many outside factors play with the structure of the house. I can imagine as the sun rises and makes its way across the sky, the light hits the house in different angles. This leaves long extending shadows that are created by the sharp edges and the arches. These shadows go past the “canvas,” but I still see it as a part of the architecture, a part of the art. Then there’s the windows and the skylights. These for me act as miniature canvases. And while their shapes are closed, I still see them as infinite canvases. When looking through them from the interior of the house, the outside world becomes the art. As you walk through the halls, your angle on viewing the window changes. So as you pass by a window you get new viewpoints of the exterior. I feel that what also made it infinite is the fact that the outside can be ever-changing. Weather changes and seasonal changes give the viewer something new every time. The landscape of the property can also change and grow. I think the architecture of the house was a canvas just asking to find its subject matter.
    Overall, the architecture of the house is art in and of itself. Art at times is about innovation, it can be about creating new artistic movements. And that’s what the Dodge house did. It’s part of the reason on why Greater Los Angeles looks the way it does; there is an abundance of Spanish mission, yet modern styled homes in Southern California. In addition, its blank walls, its arches, and windows allowed for the outside world to become a part of the art, asking them to join their canvas. It absorbed California into its walls, windows and arches. The Dodge house really proved to be a perfect blend of architecture and art.


  3. Kodi Churchfiled
    Art 473 Section 1001
    October 4, 2020
    Second Writing Assignment
    Quote used: “Emotion must not be expressed by an excited trembling; it cannot be added, neither can it be imitated. It is the seed, and the work is the flower.” (George Braque)
    Piece used: The Dance by Henri Matisse
    Flowing through the bodies
    Contorting and writhing
    In rhythms unheard
    Completely lost
    In melodies
    In feelings
    Enveloped in the warmth
    Of the dance
    Most faces hidden
    In the thrill
    Of the heartbeat
    In the drumbeat
    Instinct encompassing
    The dancers
    Nude and violent
    In the throws
    Of a blossoming feeling
    Projecting the vibrance
    Of the dance
    Hidden faces
    No blatant emotion
    But much underneath
    In the primitive,
    In the tribal
    Beats and thumps
    Of the dance
    No faces seen
    But heat and passion abound


  4. Danielle Thompson
    Robert Tracy
    ART 434 and 473
    2nd writing assignment
    Kenneth Clark’s quote, “One of the reasons why medieval and renaissance architecture is so much better then that of our own is that the architects were artists.” demonstrates how much artistic influence we use from the past and Julia Morgan’s Fairmont Hotel is not only a beautiful piece of art but one that exemplifies those influences from the artists of the past. I believe this is one of the reasons I am drawn to the Fairmont Hotel is its incorporation of art and architecture details from the Romans, Greeks, and Italian Renaissances blended in a way that feels secure and modern.
    Looking at the façade of the hotel, I see Corinthian Columns from the Late Classical period with the column capitals decorated with leaves and scroll-like details. All the Columns appear to be pilastered, including the flat non-rounded columns in between the windows on the right and left side corner areas that jut out slightly further than the middle. The balcony is centered over the round arches leading to an alcove space with the lobby’s doors. The round arches also have a decorative keystone like Roman architecture and what I believe to be Iconic columns also from Greek influence. The molding and corbels give remints to classical moldings of around 13 BCE with its repetitive patterns and leave like textures. The change in masonry as the building stories climb higher reminds me of the Italian architecture, such as the Palazzo Barberini. Another aspect that caught my attention was the detail over and around the windows. Many of the windows have a basic trim, lintel, and sill with a keystone over it. The ones on the first row of the 3rd sectioning each have their own pediment with a tympanum and small little Iconic columns on each side. The Tympanum does not appear to have any stories or definitive creatures, symbols, or subject. So I am not sure it can truly be called a Tympanum, but it does show Morgan’s adjustment of using ancient architecture with a modern flair.
    Although Morgan’s hotel does appear to use influences from Romans, Greeks, Italian Renaissances, and so one, she blends them all in a way that is individualist and modern. It personally strikes a calming and also imposing presents like its there to last. Even though it is not the biggest or tallest hotel of today’s standards, its pilastered columns and change in masonry style as the building climbs give it a sense of length and height that make it appear higher then it is. From the thick horizontal lines to a smaller flatter version of those horizontal lines and up to a long smooth section gives it a rhythmic asymmetrical structure.
    I personally see Picasso’s work Seated Female Nude 1909 emanates renaissance vibes/influences. The dark and natural coloring, mostly the dark blue, reminds me of many paintings such as Peter de Kempeneer, Bildnis einer Dame (Portrait of a Lady). Although the color palette may have been the first thing that my brain connected between the paintings with, especially considering how often that blue was used in the renaissance. The next is the position in which the woman sits. Her right arm higher up and appears to hold an object, and the left one slightly down like in a relaxed position. The slight gold glow on the right cheek and the side of the forehead. Although I am not sure what influenced Picasso’s painting, all art, even cubism, is constructed from the basic elements of shapes, light, lines, etc. The ancient Greeks and those before used these basic elements even before we had a name for them, like composition. Although many artists, even till this day, never really think about art in the form of these basic elements, but it is and always will be an evolving process that feeds off the former generations. Picasso and Morgan are both artists, different in many ways style, media, and personality, but they both, in their own way, demonstrate what Clark was speaking of in his quote. Picasso’s work has the essence of Renaissance portraits, but it is in a deconstructed format that highlights how important those basics of shape, lines, and light are to creating a piece of art. His work does not clearly state what it is meant to be or gives the viewer a distinct narrative, but it does leave a beautiful piece of art that almost anyone can find a story to. Morgans work more clearly defines what it is that she is creating, and who and what she is using as the influence to create her work. Artists in the renaissance and such were considered professional trade, job, career that was in line with those of sciences and labor jobs. However, it is changing; many artists today struggle with gaining recognition for what they do for us on an everyday level. Nothing is created without an artist behind it, not a car, building, T-shirt, house, or even the coffee mug we drink out of in the morning was created without art. I think what Clark meant when he said “they were created by artists” is that they were created by someone who didn’t have commercialization pressures of creating hanging on them. Today’s artists are clearly artists like Picasso was an artist, and Morgan is an artist, and the local architecture firm has artists. However, in today’s world, there is so much for them to create on an everyday basis that they may forget this, and feel more like a machine producing work, then the creator they are. This can show in their work from bland or uninspiring to reusing the same structure over and over, so the workload is more manageable. Picasso’s and Morgan’s work demonstrates how the individualization of a piece can bring light to art in modern ways.


  5. Quote: “The scope of architecture is man’s total physical surroundings outdoors and indoors.” – (Eero Saarinen)
    Project: Irvin Gill’s Dodge House

    The boundaries of what can be done architecturally are endless, as architecture can be established from what is designed with careful consideration and intention. “The scope of architecture is man’s total physical surroundings outdoors and indoors.” – (Eero Saarinen). Architecture cannot properly exist without the connection between the building, its interior and its landscape. Within UNLV’s School of Architecture, there are three main disciplines that a student can study – General Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Interior design. Though these disciplines appear to be separate entities, it’s important to understand all aspects of each discipline to design something that truly takes into consideration the character of the building, its relationship to the landscape and how the space can be occupied by people and interior decorations.
    When Eero Saarinen speaks of the scope of architecture, it seems that every physical surrounding can be taken into consideration during the design process. No space – whether exterior or interior – is looked over – everything can be designed to curate a specific experience. Looking closely at the details that can be put into design also shows that the scope of architecture is far bigger than what it really appears to be. As designers, we take into consideration not only what the function of the space is but how we can design the space to create an atmosphere that is very specific to its users. We think of material qualities that play into the creation of our atmosphere and how different materials can change the feeling of space, how we present the approach to the physical space and how people circulate within, and also how we work in tandem with the existing environment – climate and landscape – to help tie in the architecture to the existing.
    Upon learning about Irvin Gill’s Dodge House, I was really interested in how much detail had been put into the design. After having learned more about the Dodge House and everything about it, I found it to be a project I definitely wouldn’t forget about. The first thing that I found interesting was Dodge’s approach to the interior; creating smaller labor intensive work due to his fascination in labor saving devices and also playing with the light and shadows to enhance the feeling of the interior. He saw that his mother struggled due to her inconvenient kitchen, so from that he thought of ways that the architecture could lighten the load of chore work in the home. The attention to detail when it came to having those flush surfaces – the floor, wall, ceiling and storage cabinets – just to prevent the build up of dust, dirt, and the presence of insects – was very well done and it’s something so simple that makes a big difference in how a person lives in their house. Gill approaches lighting by using fenestration to create different illumination patterns within the interior spaces. Through the black and white photos of the interior alone, you can see just how powerful the play of light is to create the same concept of flat surface and tight lines he has to connect the lighting design to interior detail work.
    Tackling the exterior, it became apparent that Gill really paid attention to how the landscape and the architecture connect to each other. He simplifies the designed ornamentation of the house by not having much at all – basically none. Instead, Gill used nature as ornamentation against the plain house. This bridged that inherent connection between the natural and the manmand – the outdoors and indoors. I feel like the design had just fit so well within Southern California’s climate – giving those outdoor for people to enjoy the weather. Where one could think that the white cubist, unornamented house would stick out in the landscape, the house itself becomes connected visually and atmospherically because of the ways Gill has incorporated nature into the space.
    I think recognizing that architecture is so much more than the design of a building itself is really important if you want to make Architecture that really has an impact on people. At first glance, the Dodge House could appear to be really simple – maybe even appearing as “not heavily designed” – and in a way that’s true but what really shines in Gill’s design is his attention to detail in the interior as well as incorporating the design into the outdoors. Nothing was out of scope for Gill’s design – how do I think about living in space, out of the space, and how does the space connect to surrounding nature. That goes to show that architecture is far more than just “how do you design a house?” but how do you use the existing space and create new space to really drive the concept of the experience home. There’s no limitation on how you can use the indoor and outdoor to design.


  6. John Vincent Mata
    Professor Robert Tracy
    Art 699-1001
    15, October 2020
    Second Writing Assignment – Barnsdall House (Hollyhock)
    The Barnsdall House or Hollyhock house is a great example that complements the aesthetic and lifestyle of incorporating the indoor and outdoor living spaces. Frank Lloyd Wright said “study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” The thought of this really shows the whole design of the house. The house is full of biophilic ornamentations, you can see this through the hollyhock flowers lined up on the exterior walls and incorporation in the furnishings within the home and surrounding the house with hollyhocks. Nature is the true influence of the design. It created a historical masterpiece that is timeless and visually appealing to people who enter the house.
    Wright was commissioned to design Louis Aline Barnsdall home in 1919, she used her inheritance from her deceased father to build her home. The house was finally finished in 1927, she wanted it to be a park for the people connected to nature. Barnsdall’s fascination with the hollyhock flower influences his final design of the house and its landscaping. The style of the house was influenced by Columbian and Mayan architecture, stone carvings in the heart of the home which is the chimney. Wright designed it to be a seamless living indoor outdoor garden. The house has lines that frame certain outdoor spaces that invite you outdoor. It has skylights that play with lights and create a central focus. The design was also influenced by the Japanese understanding of indoor and outdoor spaces and screen paintings. The influence of nature is not only seen on the design of the house but also in its furniture and decorations.
    “The scope of architecture is man’s total physical surroundings outdoors and indoors.” (Eero Saarinen). This is a great quote that describes the hollyhock house because it implies the importance of nature, there needs to be the connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces. Where these spaces are seamlessly connected that you won’t feel like there is a disconnect. The house itself is a masterpiece and a work of art. The house creates special spaces inside and outside. The design thoughtful and really suited the idea of incorporating nature into the design. As you walked into the entrance, it may seem cramped and small but as you pass the point of entry and you go inside, the magic begins to happen. It creates a lasting impression, where you appreciate the design and takes you into an aura of tranquility and warmth. The hallway opens to spaces secluded for different functions. It becomes greets you with short ceilings then opens to show the space, especially within the heart of the house. The focal point is the chimney, the carvings provide a play of shadows and with the skylights changing it as time passes.
    The house makes you feel warm and feel like you are intertwined with cultures from around the world and a connection with nature. The Japanese screens create a feeling of being one with nature, it invites you to experience the courtyard full of hollyhocks. It makes you feel a sensation that is calming and will transport you into a space that is futuristic and looks to the past at the same time. There is something about nature that makes you feel more tranquil and safer, and the house really does its job in satisfying you with being one with nature.
    The house is monumental, it is a temple-like space, it creates dramatic shadows and light as what a temple and church do. Like a church, it creates this connection to something much higher and greater than you. A connection that is unexplainable but soothing to your emotions your inner thoughts and life. You are melting into this melting pot of epiphany, realizing a sublime revelation. A revelation of being in a commonplace, magical divine experience with nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mike Puga
    Professor Robert Tracy
    ART 699
    Second Writing Assignment: The Bailey House Case Study #21
    Los Angeles, a city known for its year-round scintillating climate and it’s natural drive to
    connect you with the exterior is exactly what Eero Saarinen is describing when saying, “The
    scope of architecture is man’s total physical surroundings outdoors and indoors.” Greater Los
    Angeles became a mecca of architectural exploration with its many case study homes that
    incorporated the feeling that shelter should encompass both the interior and exterior experience
    as one. This can be seen in many homes during this era that began to blend where the home
    ended and where the nature began. Thus, Pierre Koenig’s Bailey case study house #21 on page
    61 is the perfect example of surrounding and connecting yourself between the outdoors and
    Built for Walter Bailey and his wife, this case study house is situated in the Laurel Canyon
    neighborhood of Greater Los Angeles and is elegantly placed to prevent site intrusions. As you
    drive up to the residence you can immediately feel the progressed mid-century modernism that
    was provided via the use of steel and glazing as a way to connect to the exterior. As Koenig
    states, “I was working with nature. The house fits into the environment and relates to it; you are
    living with the environment, the outside” (Koenig, 1.) The glazing and sliding doors offer a
    prominent glimpse into the blended connection between the interior and exterior. Its is evident
    that Koenig successfully marries the physical surroundings of the interior and exterior from the
    open plan to the full height glazing, which is allowed by the intricately detailed steel
    As you reach the entry door you realize the clean lines, light steel structure, and limited partitions
    scream modernism to a tee, with an effort to blend the inhabitant’s perceived notion of your
    physical surroundings and shelter. The daring and limited use of partitions allows this home to
    become a sustainably efficient case study of affordable housing that changed the way we viewed
    privacy and shelter moving forward. As you reach the rear sliding door, you’re once again
    reminded of the blending of your physical surroundings via a courtyard that is intentionally
    divided by operable glazing partitions that connect you with nature at the foot of your steps. A
    nature that becomes invisible as Koenig redefines where the living area ends and the exterior
    canyon landscape begins. In the exterior courtyard you can smell the canyon fresh California
    breeze that scintillates through intentional cross ventilation and hear the churning water that
    cools and is collected in the adjacent pools.
    As you experience the exterior it becomes evident that the house is an efficient exploration in the
    use of materials and structure to balance the convergence of the interior and exterior. You can
    see this in the glazing that reflects the pool frames that hold the water reclamation in action. You
    can see this in the incorporation of skylights that filter in the natural light. You can also see this
    in the terraces along the southern wall that extend the living area and guide you from the exterior
    to the interior. Even the bathroom which had been a more private space is connected to the
    exterior using sliding doors.
    When Eero Saarinen stated, “The scope of architecture is man’s total physical surroundings
    outdoors and indoors,” he was looking at architecture and spatial elements as a way to blend the
    interior and exterior as one. Greater Los Angeles’ pattern of consistent climate and consistent
    expansion horizontally allowed Koenig to design a shelter that encompasses a man’s total
    physical surroundings. At a time when architectural exploration was prominent, the Bailey
    House met the goal of contextualizing itself with its surroundings and allowing its man to live
    with and become a part of the quickly changing Southern California autopia.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Maria Dos Santos
    Professor Robert Tracy
    ART 699
    October 12, 2020

    Writing Assignment #2
    Rudolph Schindler was one of the most influential modernism architects in Los Angeles. His work can still be found and recognized all throughout the city today. One of my favorite projects by Schindler is the Lovell Beach House in Newport Beach, California. It is regarded as one of his most influential buildings, only second to his famous Schindler House. Having grown up by the beach, I find beach houses absolutely splendid. The Lovell Beach House was designed and constructed from 1923 to 1926 for Dr. Phillip Lovell.
    There are many properties of the house that I find appealing. First, the unique “structural skeleton based non five free-standing concrete frames, shaped like square figure-eights.” This was a very ingenious solution to “provide the infrastructure that supports plaster walls, floors and roof” and it creates a distinctive appearance, while also serving a purpose. This system that Schindler used was nothing like what was being done at the time. Secondly, Schindler’s exploration of space and materials in the Lovell Beach House completely “redefines architectural space through form.” This is significant because it emphasizes that good architecture is not just about how a building looks, it’s about how a space is developed and how you feel when you are inside those spaces. The Lovell Beach House is also very aesthetically pleasing. Just looking at the house at first glance, you can tell that it’s in Southern California, because it just has that timeless, modern Los Angeles look. The concrete walls, extruding in and out creating unique volumes and lack of ornamentation and decoration create a simple, but iconic residence.
    Out of all the quotes listed, the one that is the most meaningful to me is “Never turn down a job because you think it’s too small; you don’t know where it can lead.” by Julia Morgan. I think this is really important to keep in mind as an inspiring architect. Certain projects might not seem like the kind of work you envisioned working on, but every job can serve as a learning opportunity. This is something we can see present in Schindler’s career. Originally from Austria, Schindler came to America to work as an architect in Chicago and spent much of his early career working and learning from Frank Lloyd Wright. He took a leap of faith to come to America, even accepting a lower pay than he was receiving in Europe. His initial solo work was mainly characterized by building residences for patrons. Perhaps at the time these projects could have been seen as small or insignificant, but with his style, Schindler was able to start really making his name known around Los Angeles. Today Schindler is known for many of his residential development, including but not limited to, the Wolfe House, the How House and his own residence, the Schindler House.
    In the field of architecture, I don’t believe there is such a thing as too small of a job. Every project has endless possibilities and outcomes, it is all up to the designer to take the liberty and responsibility to venture off to creating something unique and meaningful. It’s true that we never really know what taking on a project will do and where it will lead us. It’s a possibility that Schindler also was not aware that he would receive so much notoriety and fame for his residences. We must be willing to leap into unknown projects that push our creative boundaries, so we can know what we are capable of as artists and architects. When I look at the Lovell Beach House, I am reminded of all of this and I am filled with inspiration and hope.


  9. Jose Leon
    Professor Robert Tracy
    Art 434/699
    12 October 2020

    Second Writing Assignment- Gehry House

    As the legacy of great architects in California is examined, Frank Gehry is another influential figure globally recognized who impacted Los Angeles. Gehry’s ability to transform his artistic sketches into a functioning building has amazed designers over the past decades. The creativity he implements in his large-scale projects is evident in every project including when he becomes his own client. The quote by Eero Saarinen, “The scope of architecture is man’s total physical surroundings outdoors and indoors,” describes his Santa Monica home. In 1978 Frank Gehry and his wife decided to invest in a corner residence inside a common neighborhood with the notion to transform the surroundings. The concept of redesigning a house to connect the past with the present and utilized context-specific materials from the same community produce a bold statement leading the neighbors to detest the project.
    The house Frank bought in Santa Monica was originally constructed during the 1920s in which he partially modified. Gehry had the challenge of altering the home without destroying its inner core symbolizing the origin of the structure. Additionally, he had the architecture freedom to explore new concepts with materials and form. Gehry intentionally wanted to open up the house to the exterior by providing glass structures through multiple points of the house resulting in a large cube made of glass that separates the new and old elements of the house. The cubes are placed at an angle to demonstrate the concept of cubism. The shifting of your field of view to specific points that become visible from multiple angles emphasizes the idea.

    As mentioned, the innovative approach to keeping the house intact by creating a shell that protects the authenticity of the house highlights the importance of keeping the history of the home. Unifying the old and new is not an easily accomplished task even today in the reconstruction or additions of adaptive reused structures. However, Gehry achieves this by using the context of neighborhood materials to maintain the integrity of the area. For instance, the neighborhood is surrounded by chain-link fences in which he incorporates as part of the house modification. The corrugated metal in the combination of the chain-link face and glass symbolizes the embracement of other materials that differentiate from the traditional construction. Also, the home is surrounded by a landscape that speaks about the importance of incorporating nature as part of his home design. The multiple glass cut-outs provide glimpses of the interior spaces that open up as if wanting to expand to the outside.
    The modification of different sections of the home generates the feeling of a project not yet completed but always improving through construction. As an architect student, it is similar to the final phases of an architecture project in which you feel that the design is never done and there is something that can keep improving. The exposure of wood studs and incorporation of wood finishes in the interior creates more comfortable spaces that connect the user to nature. The distortion of light and visibility through the glass cubes generates harmony as the blending of indoor and outdoor spaces ensures the user will not be excluded from the exterior by the protective shell. The interior details are meant to be admired and the peaceful emotion produced by the sunlight entering through the glazing inspires the notion that less is more. Overall, Gehry demonstrates his ability to construct an art piece out of a simple home.


  10. Melanie Ordaz
    Robert Tracy
    ART 434 – 1001
    15 October 2020

    Second Writing Assignment

    According to Julia Morgan, “Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves.” Her words feel laced with endless possibility, fitting for an architect to work with, creating whatever it may be that they envision. For example, when we look at the Ennis House in Los Angeles, we see a larger than life and Mayan Revival, or California Romanza as it is sometimes called, influenced establishment made entirely of individually patterned and texturized blocks. At an initial glance, this house does not look like a house at all, rather it looks like a pyramid or a theater, and it demands the viewers’ attention with its alluring presence. In and of itself, the Ennis House for sure counts as a visual art and I believe it definitely speaks for itself, saying, “…Look at me! Admire me! Study as many of my blocks that you can.”

    Personally, it reminds me of the block stylized adventure game, “Minecraft,” where players create, explore, and survive within randomly generated biomes. When players create, everything that they build is made of individual blocks, achieving a strictly geometric end design. Much like the Ennis House, the structures built within the game insist that a player praise their grandiosity, especially when they are large and complex. The fact that this house is overlooking Los Angeles and seems to loom above its horizon, adds to the nature of its immense presence. Overall, the most obvious thing to say about the Ennis House is that it pokes at the curiosity of all those who see it from the city level, left to wonder what this structure is and how it even got there.

    Enough about what everyone else might think or see, for me this house feels like what I already mentioned above and makes me feel like either something fantastical or horrible will happen if I set foot within this property. And when I say horrible, I mean like I might get lost amongst its walls or run into an eccentric and evil millionaire of sorts that wants to own Los Angeles. It sounds silly, but I guess this leads into my other thought about this house and how it also feels like part of a movie set, but that was left behind for someone to move into. Realistically though, who would want to live in such a house? While I find it attractive and like looking at it, I do not think I would feel comfortable living here. I would feel out of place and as if I am intruding on purpose.

    Instead I want to photograph this house, I want to take several shots from far away and then I want to get up close and personal with it. It would be interesting to distort the way this house looks with the use of cameras, shooting from different angles and distances to confuse the viewer. Abstracting the Ennis House in such a way would add to the mystery of it I think, presenting it with as little information as possible would leave the audience with the feeling of wanting more. While I believe photographing the Ennis House as such would be captivating, I also do not think it is necessary to do so because it is an enigma on its own. This structure does not need anyone to speak for it, and even if anyone spoke for it, I feel that every individual viewer would decide on their own narrative about this house regardless. Which is something to be applauded, because it means the architect was successful in creating their vision and in leaving it up for interpretation. The Ennis House is something to be adored and respected, individualistic yet fitting for a city like Los Angeles.


  11. Austin Sattler
    Professor Robert Tracy
    Art 699
    October 13, 2020

    Second Writing Assignment – Stahl House

    Pierre Koenig is an American architect, well known for his impact in modernism within the city of Los Angeles. However, Koenig’s modernism impact surpassed Southern California and he became a legendary designer and a pioneer to the international style. Koenig’s is most known for his Case study 21 and 22 project that is designed as modern residences targeted for the middle class to be easy to maintain and replace the prewar labor-intensive houses. The Bailey House is case study number 21 and case study number 22 is the Stahl House both built in 1960 on sites that are steep sites in the Hollywood Hills. What makes the Stahl House iconic to Los Angeles is how the modern structure cantilevers over the edge of the Hollywood Hills, opening to the outdoors with remarkable panorama views of the city.

    The purpose of the 36 case studies projects were to incorporate a prototypical model of modern architecture for Southern California. The case studies fall into two different categories of mixed materials, either including wood construction before the war or steel and glass construction afterwards. The mixed material category the Stahl House falls into is the glass and steel construction. The aim for the case study was to introduce modernist design features into residential architecture, resulting in new ways of life aesthetically and a lifestyle that also represents the modern age. The Stahl House was photographed by Julius Shulman who captured breathtaking visuals of the house and was published by the Arts & Architecture magazine. After, the visuals of the house were published in Arts & Architecture magazine, the Stahl House became famous and transformed into the face for modern architecture.

    The quote that strung a chord with me and that I find highly relatable to the Stahl House is Eero Saarinen’s statement that “The scope of architecture is man’s total physical surroundings outdoors and indoors.” When looking at the Stahl House cantilevering over the edge of the Hollywood Hills looking over the city, you feel Saarinen’s statement come to life by total physical surroundings of the outdoors. In addition to Saarinen’s quote the mix materials of the steel and glass construction reinforce his thinking by bringing the outdoor views of the city to the interior of the house. I believe the simplicity of the L-shape form with minimal ornament complements the overlooking site and creates the perfect opportunity to have a dramatic cliff overhang. While the interior of the L-Shape plays as a private courtyard with a pool that overlooks the amazing panoramic view of the city as well. If I were to grab a camera and to observe the Stahl House through the lens my first words be a modernist masterpiece.


  12. Mary Sabo
    Art 434
    The Dodge House, designed by Irving Gill, illustrates Eero Saarinen’s quote about the scope of architecture being “man’s total physical surroundings outdoors and indoors.” Many buildings seem to have no connection to their environment, as if dropped wherever is convenient and then abandoned to adapt or die. Gill designed buildings with their surroundings and their inhabitants in mind, creating spaces that are intuitive and work with the elements instead of against them. The Dodge House displayed these principles and paved the way for a new style of California architecture. With this structure, Gill took into consideration the usefulness of the interior spaces, the integration of indoors and outdoors, and allowed nature to enhance and adorn the exterior.
    Gill was mindful of what makes a house functional and convenient to live in. Frederick Gutheim writes that Gill spoke often of the “house as a place for individual creative expression and activities.” By making some of the household tasks easier Gill created a space in which to exist more freely and really enjoy the home as a place of rest. With flush surfaces that didn’t collect dust, a central vacuum system, an automatic in-garage car wash and other innovations, he prioritized the comfort of the homeowners. Gill showcased in the Dodge House that form and function can coexist and enhance each other in an architectural design.
    Irving Gill took into account the beautiful climate of southern California, and allowed the residents of the Dodge House to take full advantage of it by creating spaces where indoors and outdoors could merge. He incorporated patios, porches and balconies as places where the homeowners could enjoy the best of both worlds. The “U” shape that he incorporated into the design of the house created a welcoming garden space that acted as an extension of the home. Within the home Gill implemented sky light windows, so that the sun could do the work of artificial lighting during the day. He believed that allowing the sun into the home through fenestration was important not only to create shadows and depth but to “warm the wood to life.”
    In designing the Dodge House, Gill used design elements from the Spanish Mission style, but adapted them to fit a minimalist, modern aesthetic. Gill used the mission archways but removed the ornamentation that typically accompanied the traditional style. The structure also borrows the “long, low lines” and “walled gardens” of Mission architecture. These elements, although borrowed from the past, come together in Gill’s design as very modern, due in large to the geometric forms and lines. This style proved to be very influential in California architecture in years to come. The choice to use a white exterior also shows a commitment to keeping things simple and unblemished. Gill’s approach created a clean, minimal canvas on which to curate a selection of trees, vines and shrubbery, since he felt that a house should be “simple, plain, and substantial as a boulder, then leave the ornamentation of it to Nature.”
    Each element of the Dodge House comes together to form a simple yet very holistic home that works symbiotically with its environment and creates an efficient, comfortable interior space. Irving Gill created a house that fuses high functionality with beautiful visuals, without unnecessary frills. He deconstructed the traditional Mission style that is a part of California’s history and influenced the path that the state’s architectural future would follow.


  13. Harrison Davis
    Art 434-1001
    Dr. Robert Tracy
    October 13, 2020
    Barnsdall House (Hollyhock House): One Step Toward Wrights Greatness

    In 1919 Frank Lloyd Wright took on his first of many Los Angeles projects. Aline Barnsdall, a recent Heiress of her late fathers oil money, purchased a large piece of property called Olive Hill and hired Wright to bring to pass her vision. The Main structure on the property is known as the Hollyhock House. The house gets the name from Barnsdall’s love for the Hollyhock flower. The love for the Hollyhock is the point at which Wright began his design process for the project. There are hints to the great style Frank Lloyd Wright would perfect throughout his career in this early Los Angeles project.
    Renowned architect Eero Saarinen said,“The scope of architecture is man’s total physical surroundings outdoors and indoors.” This captures the essence of the Hollyhock House as desired by Barnsdall. She strongly urged Wright to implement a courtyard to capture a living space that utilized outdoor living equally with indoor living. Frank Lloyd Wright was a master of blending the surroundings of a home with the interior space and was the perfect man for this project.
    Wright strived to create organic structures in all senses of his work. His philosophy was nature in which the structure exists should be present within the structure creating a unified habitat. The inhabitants of the structure should also be able to exist seamlessly within the structure as well. For this reason Wright designed the furniture for many of his structures in order to contribute to the unity of the structure, nature, and inhabitant. The Hollyhock house is one of the structures that contains some furniture designed by Wright. The dining room chairs are iconic pieces of the original home that are still surviving in the house. The chair design derives from the original inspiration of the home, the Hollyhock. The little details all tie the house together with the land on which it occupies in Los Angeles. The hills of Los Angeles provide an ideal climate to enjoy outdoor living equally with indoor living.
    The Hollyhock House is an early embodiment of What Frank Lloyd Wright strived to achieve in his architecture. The exterior style of the home rooted in Mayan design styles combined with the courtyard elements and Japanese symbols of the elements all lend to the desired dwelling space Barnsdall wanted. Wright was Simultaneously working on the Japanese Imperial Hotel during the build of the Hollyhock House and drew some inspiration from that process for the house.
    Wright is considered one of the great architects of his time. His Philosophy to create organic architecture that is one with the beauty of nature is what sets him apart for me. He patterned his designs after nature with functionality but also eloquence. Every detail of the space is carefully planned out and considered. The materials used to construct the space need to look natural and blend with the surroundings. The furniture is created specifically for the space and the lighting of the home is carefully considered to utilize natural light in the best way possible.
    Hollyhock House is a great example of the organic style but none is a better example than the Fallingwater house. Every aspect of the entire property is meticulously executed. The Hollyhock House was designed early in Wrights career and his style only improved from there. I consider Frank Lloyd Wright the greatest architect of all time.


  14. Kyle Cherney Robert Tracy ART 434
    10 15 2020
    Art 434 Paper 01
    The quote I have chosen to focus on is “The scope of architecture is man’s total physical
    surroundings outdoors and indoors.” by Eero Saarinen, and the work of architecture I have chosen to incorporate is the Ennis House.
    The desire to build and create is something that has permeated all of human history, from the earliest and most simplistic cave paintings scrawled on walls by primitive humans, to the most sophisticated technologically advanced space stations of the modern era. Humans have always had the drive to build and while it could be said that humanity’s reasons for creating have changed very little throughout time, the scope of their creations has evolved drastically, but perhaps not in the way that many people would consider. When many people think of impressive feats of human architecture they might imagine sprawling cities like New York or Los Angeles or perhaps even ancient structures like the Egyptian pyramids or the Roman colosseum, however in modern day many of the practical architectural creations are smaller is size.
    While humanity’s propensity to create is indeed only limited only by their physical surroundings, it would seem that in recent times this idea has been interpreted under a different light as now modern architecture focuses more of efficiency and saving space. The modern layout of most major cities is not created with spectacle in mind, but rather on maximizing the

    amount of usable space, apartment and office buildings are merely large rectangular structs built to contain any many rooms as possible, a far cry from the ancient greek temples for example with their distinctive columns and elaborate statues. While the new method of modern creation is indeed more efficient in allowing for the maximum amount of usable space, it is undeniable that something is lost when the ascetics and overall appearance of a building are at most secondary in concern. When thinking back to structures which are considered some of the greatest architectural masterpieces in the world such as the previously mentioned pyramids of Giza or Roman colosseum both had extreme cultural significants, the pyramids where the tombs of the ancient pharaohs, and the colosseum was the central hub for ancient Roman entertainment. It is this great cultural significants that likely lead to these structures having designs which are considered so unique today, as opposed to our largest modern buildings which are mostly used for menial office work, certainly nothing that holds great significants in our society when viewed from a grander perspective. This is of course not to say there are no modern icons that incorporate the culture of the time, the Statue of Liberty is a perfect example of North American culture and is a recognizable part of this nation, even the Empire State Building which was built for business purposes still has cultural significants in the eyes of many people. Countless years from now if our current society was to find itself in runes and be discovered by a different and more advanced civilization, the architectural structures we leave behind will be the last evidence of our cultural and values, much like the ancient structures we uncover today.
    The Ennis House is a good example of many things I stated above, despite its practical use as a residence, it incorporates many aspects that set it apart from most other private residence. The house itself is very ornate and unorthodox in its design, most modern day homes

    do not have the luxury of such extravagant customization but the Ennis House is an exception to that and it shows with how much its design both interior and exterior appearance which easily distinguishes it from any other house. The fact that this house goes out of its way to break the mold that many homes have and embrace its own unique design is a testament to how humanity’s building potential is truly limitless.


  15. Parker Coloma
    ART 434&473
    Dr. Robert Tracy
    Oct. 15, 2020
    The constant and rapid growth of consumerism has taught people to find the joy in things that don’t have any more value than paper money. It seems odd to start an art assignment with that sentence, but it really is something that cubism has made me understand.
    Finding joy in materials–it’s a short lived joy, yet humans continue to do it because it forms an emotional pattern–and emotional patterns are everything. “Learning cubism was the greatest freedom,” and it was for me! Cubism breaks down the world into the very limited tools that artists have. The absolute beauty of it is that the Cubist movement said, “Ok we have a straight line, a curved line, a a square, circle, triangle, and uh these colors: red green and blue, what can we do with just these tools?” And you know, then that’s always where all of the creativity just explodes out of.
    Through realizing that we are only surrounded by a very limited amount of shapes and colors, you then begin to become aware of other things like how we utilize these lines and colors to define ourselves. How they structure everything around us and how there are ways of rearranging and combining these elements to make them more beautiful. And there are ways to manipulate them and make people feel a faux sense of what real art can deliver.
    Wassily Kadinsky was an artist that really stood out to me, yes because a lot of his quotes drew me to these conclusions, but I connected with his art. I feel very emotionally pulled toward Kandinsky as a person and as an artist–I think that those are two different things sometimes.
    The painting that stood out to me the most was his piece, Light Picture, 1913, Oil on Canvas. The first words that play through my mind when I look at this painting are “injected with emotion.” The splotches of purposeful color schemes with black scratch-like spots focused in the center of color say “release.” I see very comforting and simple shapes that communicate forms that everybody is familiar with–mountains, water, grass. As I begin to focus on the shapes, more dimension and depth begin to build in the center. The painting then begins to stretch outwards into our space as my eye goes to the top left and I am pulled gently back in as my eye naturally falls to the bottom right.
    This painting tells me, “the anger is ok” all of the energy and frustrations that I am feeling inside can just be let go and I can seek comfort in the sunset behind the mountains and the mysterious figures down in the water. I can lose myself in the world that the curves of colors make. The thick black lines with quick curved markings communicate to me “grunge” and I hear Kurt Cobain singing “In Bloom.” I can find whatever I need to within this painting because all of the shapes, lines and colors are there–I just have to allow my brain to interpret it into something that I can form an emotional connection with.
    Like I mentioned earlier, emotional patterns are everything. “The scope of architecture is man’s total physical surroundings outdoors and indoors.” Humans are a part of nature, and so naturally, patterns from outside are comforting when brought inside. Now, just like an artist, there is a specific way that architects utilize the same tools to make spaces more beautiful.
    Which is why I am inspired by the Barnsdall house built by Frank Lloyd Wright. To create an entire structure inspired by the Hollyhock flower? What could be more simple? Just like in the cubism movement, using simple objects to create complex meaning is a technique/skill. Reduce your tools and ideas down to a very limited set and the creativity and ideas will begin to flow and evolve.
    The Barnsdall house made me realize–much like cubism–let go of form. When you stop associating the shape of a flower with only a flower, then you can start to see flowers within everything. Letting go of thinking “this shape is a flower” and “this shape is a house,” then the flower can actually become the house!
    I think “interconnection” because Wright’s harsh lines and Mayan style architecture are meaningful to me. I like lines–power lines, the lines in Kadinsky’s painting, lines that my own window blinds throw across my wall. I connect with lines, and more strongly with Wright’s because I am Guatemalan and my ancestors are Mayan. I see the rectangles and triangles thrown across the walls in the shadows. The outside structure screams “Mayan” to me, a concrete exterior with stairs leading up, intricate pattern work and flowers everywhere. After reading that his style was influenced by pre-Columbian work, an emotional connection was made.
    Emotions are what allow us to define art and form is something that restricts it. It is important to train your eye and be able to breakdown/understand the forms around you and how they shape you. Kadinsky’s abstract painting, Wright’s Mayan influenced style and both of their understandings of nature speak to me. Their works have taught me that what I am looking for is already within their work. I am the one that needs to develop my eye and work to create those meaningful connections. The materials that people spend money on, to fill themselves with that short-lived joyous feeling–can be replaced with simple shapes and forms that are already in my environment, creating a never ending joy.


  16. Diana Madrid
    10 – 15 – 2020
    ART 434 – 1001
    Professor Robert Tracy

    Writing Assignment #2: The Ennis House

    In 1924, architect Frank Lloyd Wright crafted what could be considered by many one of his architectural masterpieces, the Ennis House. Located in the Los Feliz neighborhood hills, the structure is heavily influenced by Mesoamerican architecture, while using architectural elements of the Prairie School. In addition to these influences, Wright developed his own unique techniques for the construction, even designing and arranging the interior decorations and motifs of the house, giving the residence a distinctive and elegant appearance when compared to other structures at the time of its creation. With his philosophies towards architecture, along with a myriad of unique artistic and cultural influences, Wright’s Ennis House serves as a fine example of the Art Deco decorative style and truly resonates with Julia Morgan’s statement that “Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves.” (Julia Morgan)

    Like other buildings Wright designed in Los Angeles, such as the Hollyhock House, the Ennis House used his block house designs, a system constructed by Wright himself. The core fundamentals of the architecture derive from the Prairie School, such as the wisteria motif mosaic windows, horizontal lines used in its composition, overhanging roof found on portions of the house (eg. the buildings located on the Motor Courtyard), the use of the loggia curve on the north side of the estate, and the careful integration of the house with the environment of the Los Feliz hills.

    When viewed from the exterior, the influences of the California Romanza style are apparent, utilizing the design of ancient Mayan temples with the 27,000 individual blocks crafted from granite and concrete, which are interlocked among each other to construct the very foundation of the two buildings and the courtyard walls. Each individual block contains a Mesoamerican Puuc culture inspired relief pattern on their surface. While not necessarily a Mesoamerican influence, the block motif not only stopped with the concrete blocks, but continued with some of the shrubbery found on the estate lot, being cut neatly into cubic formations.
    Wright’s influences from Mesoamerica did not just stopped with using the block design, his influence from Mayan culture can also be seen with the window frames of the estate; with colossal openings used to pour the light of the sun into the interior, and containing subtle nods to the corbel vault designs, both traits being used in Mayan architecture.

    However, it is not only the exterior that contains these Mayan influences, Wright applied the California Romanza style into the estate’s interior. Wright also used the decorated blocks to construct most of the interior, even constructing massive pillars similar to what one would find within an ancient temple. The furniture in the house clearly takes influences from Mayan culture; the stone throne styled seating, the maize decorations located in the dining quarters, and the Mayan geometric pattern inspired rugs located throughout the house. A prime example of Wright drawing heavily on the colors and styles of early art can be found within the interior of the Ennis House, the large mosaic portrait located in the living room. The mosaic features several references to important features in Mesoamerican culture; the depiction of rain, use of the turquoise color, which was often seen as a symbol of renewal, and lastly, the portion of the ceiba tree present, a prominent world tree motif in the ancient works of the Mayan culture. The objects within the interior of the estate clearly shows Wright’s dedication to understanding the influences of the Mesoamerican culture and arts.

    Wright’s influences of the California Romanza style allowed him to add a distinctive Mayan appearance to the Ennis House estate, as if the house was pulled straight out of Mesoamerica. At the same time, his influences of the Prairie School allowed him to construct a house that looked surprisingly modern despite its ancient influence. Wright’s knowledge of earlier arts and modern architecture is evident, this combination allowed him to create an architectural masterpiece of the Art Deco style at the top of the Los Feliz hills. Taking the aforementioned examples into account, I believe that Wright’s Ennis House best represents Julia Morgan’s statement that “Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves.”

    *“Ennis House.” Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, 9 Feb. 2017, franklloydwright(.)org/site/ennis-house/.
    *Chen, Joyce. “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House Is Officially the Most Expensive Wright-Designed Home Ever Sold.” Architectural Digest, Architectural Digest, 18 Oct. 2019, http://www.architecturaldigest(.)com/story/frank-lloyd-wright-ennis-house-most-expensive-wright-designed-home.
    * “Ennis House.” Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, 9 Feb. 2017, franklloydwright(.)org/site/ennis-house/.
    *Miller, Mary Ellen. “Classic Maya.” The Art of Mesoamerica, vol. 5, Thames & Hudson, 2018.


  17. Andre Johnson
    ART 434
    Robert Tracy
    13 October 2020

    For the Second Writing Assignment, there was much content that we had gone over to choose from such as the automobile boom, the development of Los Angeles’ image, as well as discovering some great architects and builders. For this assignment I’ve chosen to analyze the Ennis House designed by the exceptional architect Frank Lloyd Wright. I chose this because I was captivated by the structural design and the visual relationship between its surroundings (Also, Ennis House was in the movie House on Haunted Hill). The quote that I used as a point of entry for thought was Kenneth Clark’s statement about the differences between medieval/renaissance architecture and contemporary architecture: “One of the reasons why medieval and renaissance architecture is so much better than our own is that the architects were artists.”
    This statement to me seems quite shallow after looking at some of the architecture we’ve recently viewed in our lessons. Specifically, Wright’s work on the Ennis House opposes Clark’s statement on architectural differences. When viewing Ennis House, I couldn’t help but disagree with Kenneth Clark’s statement as the Ennis House can be viewed as a piece of art. Surely, it was indeed built to be a home to live in but since most people will never experience that aspect of the building its visual charm is appreciated. The Ennis House makes itself quite known almost like an announcer at a ball game, there’s no way to not notice it when it comes in view of one’s sight. Even a glimpse of the building you can tell that the building has a presence. It actually reminds me of brutalist architecture known for its monumental design. However, the reason for its great size comes not from brutalist but rather mayan architecture. Without being told anything prior to looking at the Ennis House, you can see the many mayan influences with its vertical style and tile/block-like design. As well, mayan-styled ornamentations on these blocks and columns on both the exterior and interior further support its design roots. The house also seems to be built on some sort of plateau giving it a view over its local Los Angeles area, further contributing to its monumental look. It almost comes off as a temple rather than a house. Not only because of the mayan features stated earlier, but its drab stone look in comparison with the more lively vivid surroundings. It looks like something out of time yet still modern. To me this house doesn’t come off as something to be lived in but almost like a place of pilgrimage. The architecture of Ennis House that Frank Lloyd Wright designed is more than just a building, it is a piece of architectural art.
    With that, it would mean that Frank Lloyd Wright is also an artist, and thinking back at Kenneth Clark’s statement, “One of the reasons why medieval and renaissance architecture is so much better than our own is that the architects were artists.” it would seem his statement would be wrong. It makes me wonder why he would make this statement when architects like Wright were creating appealing architecture that can be easily seen as a piece of art. The Ennis House is architecture that definitely still captivates viewers and captures creative craftsmanship.


  18. Andrea Rangelova
    Dr. Robert Tracy
    ART 434 & ART 477
    15 October, 2020

    Second Writing Assignment
    “Architecture is visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves.” (Julia Morgan)

    I decided to choose the Dodge House in West Hollywood because it seems visually appealing to me. Therefore, it is visually appealing to other individuals. I adore this house because Irving Gill has created a unique building in the heart of Los Angeles. The Dodge House is a house unseen before. Irving Gill believed that we should build our house simple, plain and substantial as a boulder, then leave the ornamentation to nature. There is something very mystical about this house architecture. Simple architecture, but capturing attention. I believe that sometimes less is more. Less is more in architecture, in design, and in art. California has great weather, all year around. The State is blessed with a perfect climate. The climate has an impact on Californian architecture. The houses have connection with the outdoors. Nature is a key factor in the Californian houses. Irving Gill had built the Dodge House in 1916. In the early twentieth century modernism had an impact on architecture. The Dodge House has a gorgeous landscape. Gill had treated landscape and architecture as one, while creating the house. In the Dodge House light has an impact on the indoor environment. When I observe the Dodge House I see that it is very perfectly arranged. Color and movement have impact in the indoor interior. It is fascinating how big the house is. The style is based on repetition and simplicity. All details are perfect, there is nothing too trivial. The walls are pearly gray, there is a reflection of light. Gill had shaped metal. Mosaics of a fountain, reflecting the water. There is a play of forms in the Dodge House. Irving Gill had created an amazing house, which is timeless. The classical simplicity is ageless. Even now, this house looks absolutely beautiful and very modern. Moreover, the three acre garden is fabulous. There are threes, flowers, and many plants in general, which were carefully selected to create a magnificent huge green outdoor environment. Grill as an architect thinks as a landscaper, as well to finish the look of the Dodge House. Irving Gill is an innovator in architecture, he has a modern point of view. The house aesthetic seems like an example for the future modern architecture in California. Probably, the Dodge House is the most famous architectural project for Irving Grill. He had many significant architectural projects in Southern California. He is considered to be a pioneer of modern architecture in California. I think that the best of his architectural work is the Dodge House, because of the combination of location, landscape, and solid building. The house tilt-slab construction, abstract composition, and simplicity is an example of the new beginning of the architectural and interior design. The house was built between 1914 and 1916 for the entrepreneur Walter Dodge. Therefore, the Dodge House is named after the owner of it. The house has cubist forms and white, grey, burgundy red colors. I really like the house because it has simplicity, but it shows good style using hand made materials, plants, and cubic forms for the building, metal frames for the doors, and windows. There is an endless repetition of a variety. The trees throw shadows on the walls of the house and create a romantic atmosphere. The arches is a frame from inside the house to the garden. I like the central hall and recess patio. I think that the Dodge House is more appealing outdoors, than indoors, because it is created to enjoy the great outdoors. Thankfully to the great California climate, the garden is all year round usable. This house has a connection to the garden, because of the lovely landscape, and huge yard. The architectural value of the house makes it that spectacular, thanks to the balance of modernism in the architecture, and big garden. The front door opens in one step from shadow from light. The light plays on the pattern on the mahogany space. Moreover, the indoor space of the Dodge House has fine details with mahogany. Living room with game room, with open space, this house is a perfection of arrangement. The patio leads to the hall. The dining room is located on the East side of the Dodge House. The kitchen, breakfast room, chandelier falling from the ceiling, everything seems like a celebrity mansion. The second floor hall is recessed storage cabinet for linens, four bedrooms with bathroom, and balcony. The simplicity and repetition are the key of the architectural and interior design, and primary colors. Patterns with brick, injected mosaic, water, fountains, reflection of water and light, the movement. I absolutely love the Dodge House, because of the simple design decision and the gorgeous garden.The house is a testament to the plain and substantial architectural and landscape design of the genius architect Irving Gill. I believe that the Dodge House is one of the best modern houses in West Hollywood, California. Furthermore, the location of the house is great, the climate of the State is incredibly good all year round, and the brilliant genius in architecture and landscape talent of Irving Gill. The harmony between nature and architecture is very important for the healthy and happy lifestyle of Mr. Dodge in the house. I think that the talent is a mixture of multi-talented personality and character. It is a mixture between architecture, landscape, design and art.


  19. Writing Assignment 2: Kings Road House
    Chelsea K.B.
    Art 434 
    Between 1921 and 1922, Rudolph Schindler, a notable Austrian-American architect built a home on Kings Road in Los Angeles, California. American architect Julia Morgan once said, “Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves.” A visual masterpiece, the Kings Road House has a lot to say to its audience for a residential home. In this paper, I, Chelsea K.B. will examine the intended function of Kings Road House and reflect on the various stories that the building can tell through the perception of its admirers. 
    Although a residential space, Schindler created this building to serve a more practical and modern functionality rather than a traditional family-style home. Some could say that he was a bit of a feminist, as he wanted to build a work of architecture that was communal and did not put the pressure of household duties on one individual. (45) With the help of architect Clyde Chase and noticeable influence from his former employer Frank Lloyd Wright, Schindler built a residence made for shared living with exterior landscape spaces within the home, partially covered pavilions, Shoji-like panels, use of wood, concrete life-slab walls, and a common room style utility space in the middle of the home for cooking and cleaning. (44-45) Schindler’s outdoor patio divides four main studio places to give an open, natural feel that still gives the resident a sense of their own space and privacy. (43) Much of these concepts are inspired by the “Schinkelschule,” a German architectural style that romanticizes nature (44), as well as an exposure to Wright’s work which was heavily influenced by Japan, Switzerland, Sikkim, and more. Schindler was also influenced by adobe culture that he came across during his trip through New Mexico, Arizona, and California. (Lecture Oct 15th) 
    What is profound about this home is that it appears to mix multicultural influences innately. As a Japanese American, I was easily able to identify it’s influences through the Shoji-panels and indoor-outdoor structure. Having spent a lot of time in traditional Japanese homes throughout my childhood, I have seen that much like the “Schinkelschule” belief, simplicity in design, and access to the outdoors is highly valued. The ability to slide panel doors open to welcome the neighbors and staying ingrained with the community is commonplace to this day in many parts of Japan. Even in more modern cities like Tokyo, shared living spaces, or as we call them “share houses,” are very popular for financial practicality, which is a concept that Schindler had in mind when building Kings Road House.
    Yet even with these identifiable Japanese influences, Kings Road House also tells the story of innovation. Alongside the oriental, the adobe influence appears somehow fluidly within the home through the concrete walls and natural elements used to create its foundation. The contemporary furnishings within it are the opposite of what you would find in a traditional Japanese home, and offer a more European design, with their elevation and bulky size. From the outside, even the influence of Los Angeles is visible. Although the wooden style is prominent, the home visually fits in with the ideals of an affluent community. Its immense proportions are effortlessly American and European, as homes of this diameter are very uncommon in Japan. 
    Furthermore what is interesting about Kings Road House is the way that Schindler, Chase, and others who contributed to the artistry of this home, created such a diverse space during a time that was recovering from World War I. There is a sense of cultural appreciation that can be felt, created during a time that had just seen so much brutality amongst many societies. There are many stories and perspectives that can be told through Kings Road House, and like its intended purpose, this home continues to bring together a diverse group of visitors even to this day, as it is open to the public for viewing in Los Angeles, California.

    Works Cited
    Steele, James. Los Angeles Architecture: The Contemporary Condition. Phaidon, 2004.


  20. Marlyne Lopez
    Robert Tracy
    Art 434
    October 15, 2020
    2nd Writing Assignment

    Eero Saarinen makes a point when he says “The scope of architecture is man’s total physical surroundings outdoors and indoors”. This can be seen in The Greene and Greene style in the Gamble House. When architecture is done, the environment in which the building would be made on is to be considered. Everything has to be thought out if one wanted to make a well made building, and I think that was considered in making Gamble House in Pasadena.

    The house is said to be made with a “bungalow feel”. I can kind of agree with this, as looking at an image of the building overall, it does remind me of a camping cabin—or at least, a very upsale, modernized idea of a camping cabin. With tall cypress framing the entry staircase to the house, to the big bushels that line its surroundings, the house feels embedded with the greenery surrounding it.

    With bricks for foundations, simple box shapes, and wood-like appearances. The shade of brown of the exterior matches well with the outside, of a grass lawn and same brown trees. The wood of the furniture matches with the walls! The windows have metal vines as decoration, to bring emphasis to the idea of nature. One part I found beautiful was the glass art. The entrance door is adorn with images of big trees with expansive branches, not unlike those that could be found outside of the house. When viewed from the inside, as the sun sets, the entrance way is filled with a warm orange glow, feeling very cosy and warm. It sets the scene for informal, close gatherings of people, as the space outdoors calls for the same. The second story terraces are built to be big sections of areas where people can relax in the outdoors, overlooking a fine grass field and the leafy trees that surround it.

    From this, it’s easy to see how the environment in which the house was built was incorporated into the artistry of the house itself. If the house was made in a busy community in downtown Los Angeles, it would not fit at all! Not only would it stick out like a sore thumb, but it would not also have that magic of being in a fancy bungalow. The warm light would not hit the same, and being on the terrace would be the same, as there would not be big expansive trees outside to frame the view but instead the smoke and fog of the city. A big cabin-like house calls for a big spacious outdoor space as well, or else it would feel quite cramped and contained.

    When looking at the Gamble House, it is apparent that Eero’s quote about architecture being the outdoor and indoor space is apparent. In making buildings that are remarkable and memorable, it is important make sure the land and the building work together. This is apparent in how the Gamble House incorporates a lot of whats around it inside it, from big spaces areas to lead outdoors, to the warm wood interiors, to the trees that adorn itself as art on the entrance door.


  21. Amanda Friedman
    Robert Tracy
    ART 434.1001
    15 October 2020
    Second writing Assignment
    “Never turn down a job because you think it’s too small; you don’t know where it can lead.” (Julia Morgan). I found this quote really impactful and inspiring when I first read through the list of quotes. Even afterwards I just skimmed the other options because I knew I wanted to do this quote in particular. I myself have come across jobs and commissions after I started posting my work online. I wasn’t looking for commissions or anything. I was just sharing my art with friends and family on Facebook and then I started getting commissions and paid for selling personalized art pieces and it really validated me that I could do this kind of stuff for a living.
    Julia Morgan is also proof that no matter how little a job can be sometimes it can lead to amazing opportunities. She started out in a small office, which was later destroyed by an earthquake and fire in 1906. But then her second office was located in the “heart of the financial district” for the rest of her career. In 1904, Morgan was commissioned to do a 72’ bell tower at Mills College, El Campanil, which survived the same 1906 earthquake that destroyed Morgan’s first office. Because this bell tower was able to survive an earthquake she ended up getting hired to redesign the Fairmont Hotel in 1907. She was one of the only people to have the rare knowledge of earthquake resistant, reinforced concrete construction. This was only one of her successes as well since after the 1906 earthquake she started getting a lot of commissions for her expertise.
    One of her biggest clients she worked with were the Hearst’s. She would go on to work for them doing many small but important projects for over three decades. Probably the most famous building she built for them was the Los Angeles Examiner Building in 1914. The building was predominantly plain white stucco walls with numerous arched windows surrounding the building. Morgan also included her “signature” bracketed roofs with tiles and scalloped, patterned gable ends as well as brightly colored, patterned domes on top of each spire of the building. Morgan also added Terra cotta tiles that she designed herself in this building. The Examiner Building was designated a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument in August 1977. Although the building ended up being shut down in 1989 and subjected to violent strikes taking place outside where bricks and baseball bats were used to shatter the windows to destroy the interior, Arizona State University is currently restoring it to reuse it after years of closure. They are working to restore the building to its former glory that Morgan had made.
    I find it really inspiring that she went from a being the first woman to ever get a degree in architect, despite being a woman, and building up her career from making a simple bell tower to these giant monumental buildings and her quote saying to never turn down a job because a great opportunity may come from it is really inspiring since she is proof that it can happen.


  22. Gerald De Vera
    Robert Tracy
    Art 434-1001
    October 15, 2020

    Second Writing Assignment

    In this second writing assignment I will be discussing the Gamble House by Charles and Henry Greene. This house is located in the Upper Arroyo Seco in Pasadena, California. According to the Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles, The entire Upper Arroyo Seca should be declared a national monument. The neighborhood features plenty of blocks designed by the Greenes.
    “One of the reasons why medieval and renaissance architecture is so much better that our own is that the architects were artists” (Kenneth Clark). With this quote I have conflictions about it. To me it is both true and false. I think with the way we think in today’s age, more often than not, we like to follow molds set from before because we know they work. A lot of houses built today have very similar structures and layouts mostly due to price range restrictions. It is true, buildings from the renaissance era are vastly different from today as they have grand scales and also they were provided with more land. In today’s age, common people are provided a small lot with very few options of layout design. There are also a lot of rules and regulations that need to be accommodated for today. With the Gamble House, these rules applied but were stretched to its limits. The house is very beautiful and very distinct. I see some different cultural elements within the design. It has some medieval and to me it looks like it has some asian elements as well. The attention of detail and use of mixed materials make this house near perfect.
    A common saying in today’s age, is that “an architect is an engineer’s worst nightmare.” I think this attributes to the quote that I mentioned in the beginning. Today, I think building ideas are so crazy that it is almost impossible for them to actually be built. Because of the renaissance era, creative thinking has been pushed a long way. Ideas that were revolutionary back then would be considered normal in today’s age. Today we have buildings that range miles into the sky and can host many thousands of people. It would be interesting to see how architects from that era would work with the space and materials we have available today. I do not think today’s architects are less capable of designing beautiful buildings, I think the amount of rules and regulations limits the architects abilities. With the Gamble house, the design is beautiful because of its attention to detail. The grand and extravagant natures reside inside the house rather than the exterior. The exterior however is still very beautiful.
    The Gamble house is the most popular design by Charles and Henry Greene. The Gambles trusted the Greenes with their design process and let them do their magic. While it was built in the early 1900s, it still has held value in its beauty. It has even been featured in the popular movie, Back To The Future. The renaissance ushered in a new era of art and culture and is pivotal in how our way of design has evolved. The abundance of freedom they had to build attributes to their beautiful designs, but I think today’s technology and design thinking make our buildings more practical and efficient.


  23. Michelle Chung

    Robert Tracy

    ART 434-1001

    15 October 2020

    Opinion Assignment 2: Barnsdall House

    The Barnsdall House by Frank Lloyd Wright and designed with a style fusion of elements taken from Mayan temples and Futurist influences he coined as “California Romanza” also more commonly known as Mayan Revival architecture. The combination of wood and concrete creates a sharp but cohesive look. Large bands of wood run along the walls of the house and visually divides it up into even sections. Consistently used throughout the property, it is one element that really dates the place to its roots in the 1920’s. The property blends outdoor and indoor settings with elaborate geometric lines, fixtures, and repeated motif. Like architect Eero Saarinen said, “The scope of architecture is man’s total physical surroundings outdoors and indoors.” With Wright’s understanding of space and design, he seamlessly combines what is traditionally separated in a plain and simple manner into one harmoniously blended architectural structure.

    The exterior of the house appears to be a one story, sand-colored temple. The surface of the building looks flat and smooth and is decorated with the hollyhock motif to give it a bit of character. The shape of the building is blocky, the rectangular parts that jut out are more pronounced in contrast with the mostly smooth building. The fireplace is a big focal point of the seventeen-room house. It is a very original piece the mantle is large and has a geometric relief design carved on it. The hulking fireplace is impossible to ignore and has a strong presence in the room.

    The furniture designs by Wright are a bit garish and not very pretty, but hey echo the stylized motif inspired by the hollyhock flower. This blocky motif also decorates the exterior of the building, unifying the space with an homage to the flower. The hollyhock motif is repeated everywhere in the Barnsdall House, from the walls, windows, and down to the carpets. The design of the motif is interesting, but I don’t think it resembles a hollyhock flower at all. To me, it resembles lupine flowers more than hollyhocks. Though maybe it is difficult to capture the delicate shapes of flowers in a geometric form.

    Many windows and skylights bask the rooms in natural light. Chasing the shadows away everyday with the rise of the Sun. The rays of light are filtered through smooth geometric lines that are soothing to look at. The dramatic lines cast by these windows that can be seen on the walls and floors, reflecting their geometric pattern. Personally, I feel that houses with the lack of windows feel uncomfortable and stifling somehow. The abundance of natural light that is allowed in the Barnsdall House gives it a luxurious and comfortable feel.

    Transitioning from these rooms and into a bright and windowed corridor, your path lit by the skylight above your head. On one side of the faux open corridor one can look into the lush green courtyard. This view is framed by the geometric window, through its frame the courtyard looks like a scene from a painting. This is a very nice detail that makes you want to step into the courtyard, it’s there and you can almost reach it. I am no expert in architecture or the history of it but in this area, I think there’s a Japanese architectural influence. The small, adorned, sections that bracket the large rectangular windowpane reminds me of screen doors being pulled back to reveal the courtyard. Open, elevated, corridors with an emphasis on courtyard view is a theme in large, traditional properties in Japan. I see Wright’s design in this area is like an allusion to it. At the back of the house there is sunken pool with a small statue at the center. A small amphitheater-like ring flanks the side of the pool.

    The Barnsdall House was and iconic, sophisticated, and possesses a very masculine style. There are a lot of clean and dynamic lines incorporated into the design of the home which makes a typical space more interesting than it should be. Overall, I don’t like it, but I do find it interesting visually and I appreciate the ideas that went into it. Not that the Barnsdall House is bad, but it just doesn’t appeal to my tastes and I can see why so much work and time was put into restoring the house. Wright’s design really makes the house special and a break from conventional style.

    links to photos:


  24. Siara Cruz-Martinez
    ART 434 – 1001
    October 15, 2020
    Second Writing Assignment
    “Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves.” Julia Morgan
    Barnsdall House/Hollyhock Hose
    When I learned about the Hollyhock House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, I was in awe in the beauty and precision. From the inside of the house and the use of lines space, there is so much to take in at the same time the viewer is not overwhelmed. Julia Morgan’s quote blends in perfectly with style of the Barnsdall House, also known as the Hollyhock House. This house was commissioned by oil heiress Aline Barnsdall and one of the things that she wanted Frank Lloyd Wright to incorporate with the design was the hollyhock house. The hollyhock motif was spread out through the house and I think that it was special that Frank Lloyd Wright was conscious of that.
    When I learned about this house, I found out that he was inspired by Mayan stylistic architecture and that is evident when observing. He did a beautiful job taking elements from Mayan architecture and being able to use the abstraction hollyhock flowers throughout the house. I also learned that he spent some time in Japan and used design components for the interior. What an innovative way to combine two different architectural styles and make them flow gracefully!
    Frank Lloyd Wright is a lover of beauty and clearly shows that in his work. One of the features from the Hollyhock house that I found interesting was how the entrance to the main door is a small, confined corridor and when the person enters the living room, they are met the with an open space that create a dramatic experience. There are other features to admire about the Hollyhock House like the window treatments, bas-relief stone carved designs, and specific design of the carpet patterns. Another feature of the house that I found fascinating is the fireplace. Frank Lloyd Wright was also known for incorporating elements of nature in his designs and when designing the fireplace, he added a small moat going around the fireplace. I think this is a wonderful way to use nature as a way to balance the energies for the interior of the house. ¬
    ¬I am happy to know that this house is a short distance and I would love to experience the Hollyhock House in person. Going back to Morgan’s quote, I know that this house does not need an interpreter to tell us how gorgeous it is. I feel that sometimes people overlook architecture and the beauty that it has to offer and that these buildings are trying to tell a story. I think that the Hollyhock House is trying to tell us that it is a turning page in American architecture and that it is transitioning into a new period of time. I am amazed at how Frank Lloyd Wright had such a modern architecture style for its time and looking at this house 100 years later, I can’t believe how timeless his works are.
    The Hollyhock house is a striking gift for not only Los Angeles, but for American heritage. The beauty, consideration, and dedication glow throughout this house and I am happy that we all have a chance to experience this house at some point and that this work of art was not destroyed like some others works. Frank Lloyd Wright’s legacy was to display beauty and to incorporate nature in his works and I am thankful that he shared that with the world.


  25. Marlyne Lopez
    Robert Tracy
    Art 434 
    October 15, 2020
    2nd Writing Assignment

    Eero Saarinen makes a point when he says “The scope of architecture is man’s total physical surroundings outdoors and indoors”.  This can be seen in The Greene and Greene style in the Gamble House. When architecture is done, the environment in which the building would be made on is to be considered.  Everything has to be thought out if one wanted to make a well made building, and I think that was considered in making Gamble House in Pasadena.  

    The house is said to be made with a “bungalow feel”.  I can kind of agree with this, as looking at an image of the building overall, it does remind me of a camping cabin—or at least, a very upsale, modernized idea of a camping cabin.  With tall cypress framing the entry staircase to the house, to the big bushels that line its surroundings, the house feels embedded with the greenery surrounding it. 
    With bricks for foundations, simple box shapes, and wood-like appearances.  The shade of brown of the exterior matches well with the outside, of a grass lawn and same brown trees.   The wood of the furniture matches with the walls! The windows have metal vines as decoration, to bring emphasis to the idea of nature.  One part I found beautiful was the glass art. The entrance door is adorn with images of big trees with expansive branches, not unlike those that could be found outside of the house.  When viewed from the inside, as the sun sets, the entrance way is filled with a warm orange glow, feeling very cosy and warm. It sets the scene for informal, close gatherings of people, as the space outdoors calls for the same.  The second story terraces are built to be big sections of areas where people can relax in the outdoors, overlooking a fine grass field and the leafy trees that surround it.  

    From this, it’s easy to see how the environment in which the house was built was incorporated into the artistry of the house itself.  If the house was made in a busy community in downtown Los Angeles, it would not fit at all! Not only would it stick out like a sore thumb, but it would not also have that magic of being in a fancy bungalow.  The warm light would not hit the same, and being on the terrace would be the same, as there would not be big expansive trees outside to frame the view but instead the smoke and fog of the city. A big cabin-like house calls for a big spacious outdoor space as well, or else it would feel quite cramped and contained.  

    When looking at the Gamble House, it is apparent that Eero’s quote about architecture being the outdoor and indoor space is apparent. In making buildings that are remarkable and memorable, it is important make sure the land and the building work together.  This is apparent in how the Gamble House incorporates a lot of whats around it inside it, from big spaces areas to lead outdoors, to the warm wood interiors, to the trees that adorn itself as art on the entrance door.


  26. “Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves” – Julia Morgan

    One of the first things you are taught when learning about the visual arts are some of the fundamental principles of design, such as line, shape, texture, form, space, color, and value. These basic elements make up everything that you can see in some combination or another and are crucial in constructing a piece of work if your intention is to create something visually appealing or interesting. Frank D Israel put these elements into full use in his Goldberg Bean Residence. With his attention to color, shape, and material, he created a work of architecture that is not only functional as a home, but is also a work of visual art in its own right.
    The exterior of the residence is made up of warm earthy tones that fit perfectly in place in its Los Angeles surroundings. The building’s facade is sectioned out into three main colors: a burnt sienna like brown, a dusty yellow and a cool gray derived from bare cinder block. The orange-ish brown sienna color contrasts against the blue sky so sharply that it is difficult not to think this was intentional. Against each other the brown and the yellow are reminiscent of the California landscape and the gray cinder block acts like a nod to Los Angeles’ infrastructure. The coolness of the gray offsets the warmth of the rest of the building and balances it out and as you move around the building, darker gray sections create definition. The palette is limited but there is enough variety provided to keep the eye wandering. If you were to remove your knowledge of it as a residence from your mind, it could be mistaken for a well-balanced abstract painting.
    Another key component of the Goldberg Bean Residence is Israel’s use of shape. The front of the building consists of repeating squares and rectangles of different sizes that sit amongst each other like building blocks. The building then curves round as the house follows the shape of the lot, and at the very end it is capped off by a semi-circular wall. There is a tall protruding cylinder chimney that juxtaposes the cuboidal compartments of rooms surrounding it. If the building was converted into 2D form it could be a painting by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, like Z VIII or AII. Moholy-Nagy described his work as “employing ‘neutral’ geometric forms” to create “the substance of relations” (Doherty, 130) and I think this description could just as easily be applied to Israel’s Goldberg Bean Residence.
    In addition to shape and color, Israel’s choice of materials contribute to the artistry of the building by creating texture and definition. The yellow parts of the house are smooth and matte with a very subtle sandy texture. The grain of the wood that forms the bulk of the upper floors is visible and pools across the sides until interrupted by wooden grid lines crossing over. The cinder block is completely bare offering up its natural grainy texture, and the darker rounded areas are made of a smooth and slightly reflective sheet metal. The grooves created by the edges of the cinder blocks and the sheet metal appear like the edges of paper or cardstock cut and glued onto a surface. Each piece is pasted together one by one to form a whole picture. The entire building could be likened to a carefully composed paper collage.
    The Goldberg Bean Residence by Franklin D Israel obviously functions as a house as is implied in its name, but through Israel’s careful composition of shape, color, and texture, the building becomes a work of art worth admiring for its own sake. This building speaks for itself; it clearly belongs in California, and it does not pretend to be anything but the materials it is made from. Like a painting or a collage would be, this architecture is designed to be looked at and is composed in a way that is visually appealing and interesting.

    Work Cited

    Doherty, Brigid. Bauhaus Workshops for Modernity 1919-1933. New York: Museum of Modern Art.


  27. Briana Mentel
    Writing Assignment 2
    ART 434
    The Gamble House
    The Greene Brothers skillfully achieved what would become the finest example of early 20th-century Craftsman architecture. This residence acts as a masterpiece bridging the gap between what’s considered fine art and design. The fusion brings about a structure that pays adequate attention to detail and is a prime example of artistic expression that is also functional. The Gamble House also reflects the inevitable attraction people have to handcrafted work as opposed to factory manufacture. This mastered craftsmanship induces an insurmountable warmth and can tug at anyone’s heart strings for its undeniable high quality.
    Upon first glance, The Gamble House, enveloped in wood, shows its beams that run through the residence. The warm wood gleams from the sun and it appears as though it is floating off the lush green ground. This wooden structure contains plenty of characteristics and form that is evident of hand-made quality, consequently creating a certain charm that oozes from The Gamble House and mesmerizes you apart from it’s scale. In analyzing this piece, a lot of what appears outside is repeated indoors. The Greene Brother’s exclusive use of natural materials extends throughout the entire design of the home. The warmth that is captured from the wood, stone, and greenery on the exterior continues on in the interior, creating a smooth transition from being outside and walking indoors. Another element that is repeated from the exterior are the lanterns that are repeatedly seen throughout the interior creating a sense of intimacy where they are present. Finally, the brothers were heavily influenced by Japanese architecture which is indicative right at the entrance.
    The entrance is my favorite part about this piece. It appears to be a meditative experience and takes on Japanese influence by way of it’s stained glass windows and intricate design of a tree. Furthermore, the framing of the door itself represents smooth wooden lines that are reminiscent of Japanese design. Lanterns are synonymous with Japanese design as well and can be seen all throughout the house. I appreciate the incorporation of these elements as Japanese architecture is my favorite for how calming their designs are and how there’s always some kind of harmony with nature present.
    Inside the house, the woodwork is executed in unimaginable ways reflecting the Greene Brother’s quality of craftsmanship to its finest extent; it’s also a very dear personal touch. “Architecture is a visual art and the buildings speak for themselves” (Julia morgan), as seen here at The Gamble House. This residence represents how nothing can beat hand-made quality when it comes to architecture and design and it further exemplifies architecture as an artform.


  28. Daria Dixon
    ART 434-1001
    Writing Assignment 2
    Due: 10/15/2020
    Julia Morgan, Los Angeles Examiner Building

    Dear Julia Morgan,

    May I start this letter by saying that you are so inspiring to me. Not to say that there are not a lot of wonderfully talented women who stood out in history (because they are a lot if you just look for them), but history and those who write it can at times ignore some of the great things that women have done. I’m sure you know all the struggles of being a talented woman overlooked by the men in charge. It took them 57 years AFTER you died to gain a nomination for the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal; that’s absolutely RIDICULOUS. Being required to learn about you up on you was a breath of fresh air, an absolute delight; a reminder that there were wonderfully talented women throughout history.

    This letter does have purpose beyond being mad at “the system”, I promise. I’d actually like to discuss the Los Angeles Examiner Building. You once said that, “Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves.” I must say that the Los Angeles Examiner Building is a work of art; he “speaks” loudly for himself.
    He sits proudly on the street knowing that he is a work of art. A beautiful mix between the styles of Mission Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival. Large, smooth, plain white stucco walls. The walls are full of a great many arched-openings. These openings help emphasize the beauty of the stucco walls.

    Let us take a look at the roof, shall we? A red tiled roof sits nicely on top of it all. The tiles are low pitched. The roof is also bracketed. I was told that this is a signature of yours; it is lovely. There are these beautiful domes with a very interesting pattern. A yellow and blue zig zag covers the majority of the dome. However there are sun (or well they look like suns) also a part of the pattern. It is just very interesting to look at. The roof is adorned with scalloped parapet-ed gable ends. Everything about his exterior says loudly “I am handsome, soak it in.” To be fair, he is handsome. However, it’s not just what is on the outside that matters.

    Just pictures of the lobby of the Los Angeles Examiner Building took my breath away. I wish I could visit him in person; I am sure I’d be overwhelmed by all his beauty. I am almost at a loss of words to describe it. However the building does an amazing job speaking for himself. He is elegant and classy. He is to be respected. He is almost heavenly. It’s not only clear that you loved what you did, but that you were amazing at it also.
    The tiled floor is stunning. The pattern of bursting stars, or perhaps even blooming flowers. There are these large windows. I can only imagine how beautiful the room is when the sunlight just unashamedly shines through it. It assumes it would make the room actually heaven; highlighting these almost golden arches and chandeliers. Oh the arches. There are angels standing on what I believe are the spandles. There is so much detail on them. I could spend a lifetime just going over everything. At the same time, I am overwhelmed by the amount of detail. My eyes are having trouble focusing on one single thing. While his exterior proudly, yet quietly said “I am handsome, soak it in,” his interior is yelling.

    The Examiner Building is a work of art that will let you know his worth. He was created by amazing talent and I think the love for what you do. Every little detail was thought through. This letter is getting rather long; I apologize for my scattered ramblings. I guess I should stop here. Thank you so much for your time.



    1. Marco Noble
      Robert Tracy
      Art 434 1001
      15 October 2020
      Second Writing Assignment

      In Pasadena, there is an area solely architecturally designed by Charles Greene and Henry Greene. David and Mary Gamble wanted an everlasting home, purchased a lot, and commissioned the Greenes. They collaborated together for a house on the lot and things such as family crests or custom furniture. My point of entry is the Gamble House of Pasadena which was created in 1908. “No architects ever equaled the high art Craftsmen dwellings of the brothers…” (David Gebhard, Robert Winter).
      The Greene brothers had a unique style which is known mainly as the American Craftsman style. Craftsman style houses generally have low roofs, porches, and display the work of hand and attention to detail. The Greenes’ showcased all aspects of the style with the inside and outside of the Gamble House. That is why I decided to connect this house to the quote “The scope of architecture is a man’s total physical surroundings outdoors and indoors.” (Eero Saarinen). After David and Mary’s passing, the home was deeded to Pasadena with the University of Southern California School of Architecture. It is a significant display of the style the Greene brothers had with their architecture.
      The Gamble House is cube-like on the outside. The roofs are very low and there are porches popping out of the house. Looking closer at the house, you can see how natural it is based on the materials. The house is surrounded with many trees and rocks, and looks as if it is connected with the land because of the way it is built off the ground. The house is mainly made of wood including oak, redwood, cedar, and other types. The entrance has tiles and glass windows with glass on the door.
      The outside is already beautiful, however, going to the inside makes the house even better. As you walk into the house, you can see various custom made furniture by the Greenes. You cannot find these pieces anywhere else. There is also art glass with some on some of the walls of the house. There are added details on the beams and other places of the house. The stairs aren’t regular railings, but go upwards in a zigzag form. A large portion of the interior is wood from the tables, to the beams, and the lamp covers. There is some brick for the fireplaces and chimneys. Then comes the porches. There are large porches around the house which add a finishing touch to it.
      The outside is physically natural and appealing. As you go inside the house, the variety of wood grabs your attention and the use of glass on the windows, doors, and lamp covers make you want to feel them. It also places mental thoughts in your head. One may understand that the architects paid attention to detail and their use of materials. Although they are handed a large amount of money, they used the most out of it. Personally this is how I feel about the Gamble house. It may not be something I would live in; however, I can admire the work put in to create it. Now the house has its own website which provides photographs, tours, and additional information. The Gamble house really is the scope of architecture.


  29. The Kings Road House and Community

    In the early 20th century, Modernist architects sought to rethink our relationships with the places we live. What would it look like if we integrated the inside and outside of a house? Or if we embraced an ideal of communal living? Eero Saarinen described the scope of architecture as “man’s total physical surroundings, outdoors and indoors.” The Schindler/Chase house exemplifies this philosophy and takes it one step further; the house is designed around a consideration of not just the resident’s physical surroundings but their social surroundings as well. It is a vision of utopian communal living.

    The house on Kings Road was built in 1922 by Rudolf Schindler to act as a shared residence for himself and his wife Sophie, along with builder Clyde Chase and his wife Marian. The economical floorplan consisted of three wings which spread from a single spoke, curling around two sunken gardens and two walled patios, filling a small 200 square-foot lot. The house also featured “a private studio for each adult inhabitant, an entrance hall, …a bathroom for each couple, two open terraces on the roof for sleeping, a single communal kitchen, and a guest apartment.”1 The goal of this unusual layout was to allow the two couples to live together in a communal style, while also allowing enough space for privacy.

    A utility room featuring a kitchen and laundry equipment makes up the center of the house. The kitchen is designed to be shared between the two families, but Schindler also intended for much of the cooking to be done tableside, “making it more a social ‘campfire’ affair, [rather] than the disagreeable burden to one member of the family.”2 This arrangement encouraged cooking and household chores to occur as a group activity, a stunningly egalitarian and even feminist concept for 1922.

    There are other utopian touches. A vegetable garden is deemed important enough to be included in the blueprint. The designation of each adult occupants’ individual room as a “studio” emphasizes the importance of creativity and self-expression to Schindler’s conception of a communal home. The fact that these studios are afforded to both the men and the women is equality in action, giving equal consideration to the architect and his wife’s endeavors. It’s no wonder the parties filled with Los Angeles intellectuals organized by Sophie Schindler made the house “a mecca for left-wing political activity in Los Angeles.”3

    Inside, the floor is mostly bare concrete with occasional Japanese-inspired mat rugs. The walls of the studios are almost entirely windowed; the rooms are bright and green with the gardens outside. I would love to sit at a desk in one of these studios, basking in the light and working on a project. The furniture follows the Japanese-inspired theme: low to the ground and covered in large flat cushions built for lounging and sitting in a healthy squat. In combination with the sunken gardens outside, the feeling is of a home at peace with the Earth, hugging close to it. It’s difficult to live communally without sharing a connection with the people around you. The Kings Road House provides that: the home plants you in the Earth.

    During these times of COVID isolation and social distancing, the appeal of living communally is especially strong. I’m thankful for my roommates. At this point they’re close to family for me and their companionship and emotional support gets be through each day. The egalitarian spirit of Schindler’s work is inspiring; how else can we re-image our surrounding to bring us closer together? Can we design our world to allow for the individual “studio space” while still finding the connection of the communal dining table? It’s hard enough to live in community with others; we need structures (physical and otherwise) that help rather than hinder our communities.

    1. Luke Fiederer, “AD Classics: Kings Road House / Rudolf Schindler,” ArchDaily, accessed October 15, 2020,
    2. James Steele, Los Angeles Architecture: The Contemporary Condition (London: Phaidon Press, 1993), 44
    3. Robert Sweeny, “Schindler House,” MAK Center, accessed October 15, 2020,


  30. Brett Bradley
    Art. 434
    Writing Assignment # 2

    The Mission Revival type of architecture, used extensively throughout Southern California was a style which sought to revive the mythos of California’s Spanish mission past. It sought to bring an element of exoticness that hoped to draw settlers to California in the latter part of the 19th and early 20th centuries. As such when one comes to visit California nowadays, they can still see examples of this style in many of the designated historic sites of California. One such structure of this style and the subject of this writing is the “Examiner” Building designed by Julia Morgan in 1913. The Art historian Kenneth Clark once said “One of the reasons why medieval and renaissance architecture is so much better that our own is that the architects were artists.” But I tend to disagree with this somewhat base accusation and through the course of this writing intend to show why this claim is more false than true through examining Julia Morgan’s design.
    Clark asserts in his quote what makes medieval or Renaissance architecture better is that it was created by artists. This however is somewhat misleading as it gives the reader (or at least gave me) the impression that architecture developed by artist during these periods were wholly unique when they weren’t necessarily and actually followed precedents already established. A good example of this can be found in the architecture produced during the Renaissance. Artisans relied heavily on building elements from ancient Rome such as Corinthian pillars, archways and domed ceilings while also utilizing practical elements found in any prominent town of medieval Europe. These included fortification walls for defense window slits for archers, parapets, towers etc., all these elements can be found to varying degree in medieval building plans as-well. In essence the renaissance artist relied on the aesthetically pleasing while also accounting for the practical. Of course, this isn’t to say that they didn’t push the boundaries of building technology at the time, but only that the had to rely on things that were already established as being able to work. One other aspect that Clarks quote fails to acknowledge is the buildings of the common people during these times which although architecturally sound was anything but spectacular in their appearance.
    Julia Morgan’s design for the “Examiner” building largely takes elements of the Mission/ Revival style which itself borrowed elements of Spanish monastic architecture and ancient roman design and incorporated it in such a way that although one could argue as unique still none the less borrows aspects from earlier styles. With its numerous archways that accentuate the flat surfaces of its façade , the domes that pepper the corners along with the two in-front of the entrance way and the traditional use of white-stucco on it exterior found on many other buildings in the Mission/Revival style , the artist makes no attempt to disguise what style she is taking from while utilizing it for her designs. This doesn’t make the building itself become just another replication of a common style however, because Morgan has been able to create something unique using her own intuition. As an artist she was able to create something visually striking when compared to other examples while using the same style.
    At the beginning of this writing I eluded to that fact that I do not wholly agree with Kenneth Clarks quote, but there is one aspect which I believe w can both agree on . That is of the notion that the artist is what makes a building so great for even if they utilize styles from different periods it is up to the artist to organize them in such a way that makes them visually pleasing. Many buildings are merely built for practical purposes and as such the designers aren’t as concerned about how pleasing they look such as a warehouses or large housing complexes, but when a building is designed with the intention of drawing the viewer in the architect has to have the artists eye. I am of the opinion that Morgan was successful in being able to create a great piece of architecture while still relying on building elements popular in California during the early 20th century even if Kenneth Clark may disagree


  31. Daisy Sanchez
    Robert Tracy
    ART 434
    15 October 2020
    Second Writing Assignment

    Minimalist work is so complex. I used to not understand ir and wouldn’t have considered it art. Until I read more about the movement with some research on Donald Judd and Carl Andre. Especially Carl Andre who used non traditional materials for fine art. His work came to mind when reading about the Dodge House by Irving Gill. This whole building is a sculpture and the little details through the house is an individual piece of sculpture. Gill’s attention to the detail from shape, color, material, and shadows is so intensely beautiful. As Julia Morgan specifies, “Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves.”
    Exterior of the Dodge House choice of using geometric shapes and angles makes it stand out very much for the surroundings of vegetation. With that being said, the organic and man-made object makes a strong contrast. Even a stronger presentation from the pure white of the house and the green, bright colors surrounding. All the perspective of the building gives a different visual outcome. A whole new sculpture is presented to the viewer. That is one characteristic with minimalist sculpture, viewing differently then intended gives a whole new meaning. That is the advantage of having a piece so neutral.
    The most memorable part of the Dodge house is the cast shadows Gill carefully displayed. This is a complex feature. It reminds me how James Turell works with light in his sculptures. The difference between them is one light source is usually man made while Irvin Grill light source is the sun! This particularly special for Los Angeles predictable weather. As well as both having a warm, and inspiring encounter with light as young children that grew into specific acknowledgment towards light. Irvin Grill carefully payed attention to to the interior of the rooms on how the light would hit and create a shadow. The way it connects every part of the room and compliments the space, is so thoughtful, crisp, and aesthetically pleasing. The stairwell is my favorite part of the house. It gives a out a theatrical scene. It reminds me of early 1900 horror films like, The Cabin of Caligari or The Phantom of the Opera with the strong black and white contrasts. The slightest light coming from two directions allow glamorous and dark shadows. Just like Esther McCoy from Five California Architects remarked how the light gave a “warmed” look to the wood and how the handrails are highlighted with the sticking sun light. Even thought the photograph is not in color, the strong colors could be noticed from the sharpness of the the black and white.
    The fact that there was so many details put into The Dodge House to make a certain parts, as the window having 24 parts, causes the viewer want to gaze at it even more. Perfection was definitely part of Irvin Grill agenda. I relate to this as sculpture, I learned that every view point ot direction of the piece is important, even the “back”. The craftsmanship is the most basic yet important part to get a point across and a certain appreciation.
    Back to Julia Morgan quote, The Dodge House is the most accurate proposition to the quote. The significant detail, the lure of doing something that was never done before that came with energy to bring the best is absolutely fine work of art. The romanticism of the colors, light, shadow and convenience of each room echos with one another that also makes the person in a important position of the house. It is so unfortunate that it no longer exists because it is inspiring to many architectes that came after to him and many artist of different mediums. The charm of the Doge House visually speaks for itself.


  32. Amanda Kettler
    Robert Tracy
    October 15th, 2020
    Art 434

    Humans have been decorating the surfaces of their living spaces pretty much since the beginning of our history! We left our handprints and paintings of the animals we encountered on the walls at Lascaux, and here we are thousands of years later still decorating our homes’ interior and exterior. It seems like one of our basic needs is to create and beautify what’s in front of us. We have a need to not only discover, but to express our individual tastes of what we feel is beautiful and important in the world. Everyone sees our world differently, and we all value different things. Various art movements are not only demonstrated in paintings, drawings, and sculpture, but in our buildings as well!

    I chose the quote by Julia Morgan, “Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves.” Julia Morgan was one of the first female architects. She studied at Berkeley in the early 1900’s, and then at the Ecole Des Beaux-Arts in Paris, which is often seen as the height of art and culture around the world. She also traveled through Europe and encountered many artistic styles that she later used in her own architectural designs. Her Los Angeles Examiner Building is a perfect example of her quote. The interior of the building has every surface from walls, ceilings, staircases, doors and arches covered in art! There are friezes everywhere which to me reflect the Greco-Roman art she most likely saw during her time in Europe. Every detail is so perfect and intricate. Before I learned about Julia I was wondering why there aren’t more female architects? Then I saw her buildings and was very happy! In my opinion The Los Angeles Examiner building and her Hearst Castle have definite feminine touches in the details, and some aspects of it look downright ‘frilly’! Which I love.

    Not to be judgmental, but male architectural designs are often very ‘strong’ and minimal, often modern-looking and give me a cold emotional feeling- almost sterile. They are attractive and surely functional, but not what I would consider ‘beautiful’ or ‘gorgeous’. For example, the Lovell Health House. It’s nice to look at, but I don’t feel I could relax there. I am not saying male structures are ugly, because I appreciate them for their own style and expression of the architect/artist’s preferences. For example, Irving Gill’s Horatio West Court. He took what he liked about the original Mission style of architecture such as the stucco and arches, but left out what he considered unnecessary ornate details and applied his own preferred modern minimalist style. This combination of styles is really interesting and cool! I really do like this building, but it wouldn’t be my ideal home because it’s a little stiff, blocky, and masculine-looking.

    I think the homes by Frank Lloyd Wright are a good balance of masculine and feminine. He uses very masculine strong lines and shapes like at the Irving Gill house. To balance out this masculine aspect, Wright uses rich woods and warm comforting colors to soften the interior ambiance and feel. It seems like the balance of natural aspects such as the elements of wind, earth, fire and water was very important to Wright, as evidenced by his strategic placement of them on the fireplace heart at the Hollyhock/Barnsdall House. So this also leads me to believe Wright valued the balance of masculine and feminine also found in nature.
    Another aspect of Wright’s architecture that makes me think this, is his use of the Mayan-influenced design used in his series of ‘textile block’ houses. I think these are the concrete cinderblock things he used on the exterior of the Hollyhock Barnsdall House, the Freeman House, the Miller House, the Storer House, and the Ennis House. Yes these cinderblocks have strong geometry, but the repeating pattern on them softens the look, and sort of looks like geometric abstract flowers. Especially in the Millard House. When I read that Wright designed these blocks especially to “Take that despised outcast of the building industry… the concrete block… out from underfoot or from the gutter… find hitherto unsuspected soul in it… make it live as a thing of beauty… textured like the trees. Yes the building would be made of blocks as a kind of tree itself standing at home among the other trees in its native land.” I think the design of these ‘cruciform blocks’ definitely give the blocks a more natural feel, and really do help it flow and blend in with the surrounding trees. To me this shows how Wright blends masculine and feminine. The strong designs blend with nature, they don’t overpower and dominate it. Sometimes structures designed by men are very strong, and clash with the surrounding nature, making it stick out like a sore thumb. Harmony is key in life and art.

    I couldn’t just write about one piece of architecture! There are too many cool ones. I really like how each architect, Julia Morgan, Irving Gill, and Frank Lloyd Wright each use the artistic styles they love, and personally feel are the most beautiful. Such a range of cultural artistic influences! Julia has the European Classical style, Irving borrowed the Spanish Mission style and added his clean modern minimal look, and Wright used lots of indigenous Mayan artistic style!


  33. Frank Lloyd Wright was a great Californian architect who was known for creating buildings that equally gave nature an equal part into his structures. An infamous building in Southern California known as the ‘Barnsdall’ House was Wrights most favorite that he created. Julia Morgan once said, “never turn down a job because you think it’s too small; you don’t even know where it can lead,” with that being said, Wright took on the challenge of pleasing the Barnsdall’s needs. At first glance, you can see that he easily met the theme of nature within. He included Barnsdall’s favorite flower, a hollyhock, several times on the inside and surrounded the outside landscape with them as well. The house itself has lots of windows that are elongated horizontally and vertically allowing for a lot of natural light from all times of the day. The house begins feeling a little small and compact on the outer rooms from the house, but as you enter from the drawing room into the living room, it is a “sense of relief” to feel it ‘breathe’. The house is set up to naturally flow like how it would feel if you were in an open park, or walking through the woods, you have a slight sense of direction of which way you’re supposed to go because it feels natural. Wright embodied the meaning of natural. The elements originally used for the house did succumb to nature, but the house itself has consistently been touched up to keep the house maintaining the natural flow of things. If a house were able to give someone ASMR, this house gives it visually. Everything the mind wants is clarity, flow, and natural ease, and Wright gave us that in this fantastic build. However, he gave a point of focus to the fireplace area in the center of the house. The ‘heart’ of the home that brings in the warmth and light, hollowed out slightly into the foundation of the home becoming a place to come down with others and relax. Although the inside of the home is eye-candy, the outside appears as a giant cement shape figure on a hill, with a fantastic view of LA. Although you may overlook it, the inside will make you feel outside as well and one with nature, which the family and architect wanted to be portrayed so easily with their “community” home.


  34. “Never turn down a job because you think it’s too small; you don’t know where it can lead.” -Julia Morgan

    Architect Julia Morgan is not only outstanding as the first licensed female architect in California, but also for her highly influential architectural style in Los Angeles, and other locations in California. In her career, she designed over 700 buildings. Morgan saw buildings as opportunities for both detailed and functional design. Born in 1872, in San Francisco, California, Julia Morgan grew up in a traditional family. Her parents were very well off for the time and had lineages from the eastern United States originally. During their time, many were moving to California because the newly developing state offered more opportunity. Her parents, although traditional, encouraged Morgan to pursue her goals. Julia Morgan attended the University of California, Berkeley and studied civil engineering. At the time, UC Berkeley did not have an architectural program, so she studied seismic engineering and reinforced concrete. This was very rare for women at the time. Morgan studied under the renowned architect, Bernard Maybeck. Maybeck helped Morgan to travel to Paris, France to further her education. In Paris, Julia Morgan became the first woman to earn a certificate in architecture from the École des Beaux-Arts. However, this was after multiple test attempts that were stifled by the school’s former rule of only admitting men. Julia Morgan’s opportunity to travel and study in Paris would lead her to cross paths with Phoebe Apper­son Hearst. Hearst’s son, William Randolph Hearst, would then go on to commission Morgan for La Cues­ta Encantada, also known as Hearst Castle. Hearst Castle would be Morgan’s largest and most extravagant work.

    In 1865, George Hearst, husband of Phoebe Apper­son Hearst purchased 40,000 acres of land in San Simeon, California. This land and more would later be inherited by their son, William Randolph Hearst, and construction of Hearst Castle would begin in 1919. William Randolph Hearst would approach Julia Morgan, who had worked to design for his family for three generations. Hearst commissioned Morgan to design La Cuesta Encantada, which translates to “Enchanted Hill.” The estate would be grand. It would take on manu styles from gothic to greek to roman, and even the popular mission revival style. The castle would total 165 rooms, have over a hundred acres of gardens, terraces, multiple pools, and gorgeous walkways. The main purpose of the estate was to showcase the Hearst family’s extensive art collection, but the building itself became a work of art.

    Hearst Castle sits high atop the green San Simeon Hills, and it certainly does look enchanted when viewed from afar. The facade features two towers that flank a spanish style pointed roof. The exterior of the castle is mostly in gothic style and has many arches and domes. The entire building is made of reinforced concrete. The utilization of Morgan’s skill would not only help to preserve the building from California’s seismic activity, but also allow for mimicking of marble and travertine temples in Greece and Rome. Many of the interior rooms carry this ornate style as well. They have arched doorways and each room has a uniquely coffered ceiling. It is very impressive to think that Julia Morgan, one designer, could blend so many styles in one location. Both the interior rooms and exterior terraces and pools alternate with French, Greek, and Roman architecture. Morgan would be familiar with all of these from her studies in Paris. The styles also compliment Hearst’s collections of art. One of his libraries is in more of a Grecian style and serves as a display to many ancient greek vases.

    Perhaps, the most impressive sights are the outdoor Neptune Pool and indoor Roman Pool. The Neptune Pool is transportive. In the center is a sparkling blue pool with tiled geometric patterns and greek meanders. The pool is accessed by large grand staircases from two sides and is surrounded by white stone architecture. There are two curves of columns that border the left and right perimeters of the pool, and lead to what seems like a classical greek temple, complete with an enormous entablature with carved pediment resting on columns . The Roman Pool is an indoor pool where every surface is completely covered with decorative blue tile. These are only emphasized by the lighting, both natural and stylized artificial lights. Lastly, to decorate the space, Hearst’s collection of white marble figurative sculptures surround the pool.

    It is astounding to think that by one chance meeting in France, and beginning to work for one member of a family would lead Julia Morgan to so many opportunities. In her quote, I think it is more than evident that her philosophy to never turn down a job paid off. Because of her commitment to success, Julia Morgan was able to create hundreds of famous locations and leave her mark on architectural history of California. If Morgan were alive today, I am positive that she would still continue to create more marvels that break the bounds of style, functionality, and longevity.

    -Martha Hall


  35. Tavon Scott
    Professor Tracy
    ART 434
    2nd Writing Assignment

    The words from Julia Morgan, “Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves”, are some that are incredibly relevant in today’s society and all throughout history both past and future. Without even knowing the history behind a work of art just being able to observe it could tell you countless things even if you don’t know exactly what it is that you’re seeing. When looking at the Ennis House, before even reading it in the PowerPoint, it was obvious to me that it was inspired by the Mayan style of architecture. Again, before delving into any written answers, just being able to identify that one fact sparks many different types of questions in the mind. Why or what was it that inspired the creator to design in the Mayan style is one that comes to mind. The next thing is how Wright managed to change the style and incorporate it with more modern elements we typically tend to see to create something new and different altogether. At a first glance the exterior gave me the impression of high quality textured legos or building blocks. Upon closer inspection it is, of course more intricate than that. When reading about the history of the house it’s interesting to learn about just how Wright designed for the integrity of the house considering the damage the natural elements did to the structure. The vertical volumes, as noted in the text, do tend to give it a temple like appearance which goes well with the atmosphere and aesthetic of California for the time and even to today. The inside of the house looks like a completely different era in time with the building blocks and patterns on the vertical columns keeping to the Mayan inspired design. The cathedral dining room shifts away slightly from this style but gives more emphasis to the temple like feeling that the building gives off from the exterior. However, sticking with the Mayan inspired design there are enormous windows installed throughout the house to give an amazing view of the greater Los Angeles area and scenery. There are portions of the house that diverge away from the Mayan inspired design quite heavily and rely more on a vintage style of architecture such as the bathroom and the kitchen. There are more recent additions such as the billiards room that give the house a feeling that a composition or collage tends to give me with it’s many different styles all existing and working in tandem to create one solid piece. There’s so much more that could be said about this piece and so much that has already been said about it that truly gives weight to Julia Morgan’s quote about Architecture being visual art and letting it speak for itself. All art has something to say, no matter what medium it’s told through.


  36. Alex Kostanian
    Robert Tracy
    ART 434.1001
    17 September 2020
    Second Writing Assignment

    Julia Morgan, who was a contemporary of Irving Gill and who worked on the Los Angeles Examiner Building, once said, “Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves.” I interpret this quote to mean that architecture is something that can be better understood when buildings are seen rather than explained. This makes sense as architecture is something that is meant to be seen, not explained; many people who see buildings may not think of the history or origins behind them or why they exist, but many of them also view them as visually appealing and can see how they fit into their environment. One example of this is Franklin Israel’s Art Pavilion.
    Franklin Israel was a teacher at UCLA who was interested in history and believed that architecture was connected to the various communities throughout the region, much like the architects affiliated with the Southern California Institute of Architecture (Sci-Arc). He also attended the University of Pennsylvania, as he was originally from the east coast of the United States, as well as Yale and Columbia University. In addition, he was very knowledgeable on Renaissance and Baroque history as he also attended the American Academy in Rome, and that experience allowed him to give his work a broader base.
    Israel took an individual approach to the problem of defining territory between building and site, and this shows in his Art Pavilion in Beverly Hills. Said pavilion includes galleries of art and two floors of studio and related spaces and the entire building had to conform to both a steep slope and the large home next door to it, the latter of which inspired Israel to give clues for his own direction. The way the Art Pavilion was built, with how specific elements such as staircases, terraces, and loggias were used to join house and site, and how big corner windows were placed to frame views of the trees and sky, preserves Israel’s description of the tradition of the mitred glass corner and the exploded box, which started in Los Angeles by Frank Lloyd Wright and Rudolph Schindler.
    I believe that Julia Morgan’s quote is indirectly descriptive of Frank Israel’s Art Pavilion as the building speaks for itself in some ways, especially in the context of its design and location. As stated earlier, the tradition of the mitred glass corner and the exploded box started in Los Angeles by Wright and Schindler, and it carries on in Israel’s work. The architectural focus of the Art Pavilion is the open stair linking the main gallery above with the spaces below. Specifically, the top floor of the pavilion is a gallery with a ceiling framed with timber trusses. It is connected by a weightless stair to another gallery downstairs. An underground passage connects the ‘Ark’, containing Abstract Expressionist art, to the house next door. It was built with grand stairways, an outdoor loggia, and large corner windows to fit in with the site that it was built in.
    I believe that Julia Morgan’s quote about how “architecture is a visual art” is especially important to Frank Israel’s Art Pavilion as the pavilion can speak for itself with its visual attributes. It is, as the name implies, a pavilion that was designed to contain a gallery for art and contains two floors of studio space. The pavilion is also an example of Israel’s individual approach to the problem of defining territory between building and site and this shows; its design was influenced by its environment, specifically to a steep slope and to the home next door to it, which is what inspired Israel to include the stairways, loggia, and corner windows of the building. It even has an ‘Ark’ that connects to the house next door. I believe that the Art Pavilion is a good example of how buildings “speak for themselves” as it is a gallery with art collections. The design also speaks for itself since it was inspired by the home next door to it and was made to conform to its environment. I believe that Frank Israel’s Art Pavilion is a great example of Julia Morgan’s quote, as it speaks for itself in many ways such as those discussed.


  37. Avery Christiansen
    Professor Robert Tracy
    ART 434 – 1001
    October 15, 2020
    Writing Assignment Two – Stahl House

    Case Study House # 22, also known as the Stahl House, is part of a series of thirty-six homes. Not all the homes in the series were built. The Stahl House was built in 1960 on a plot of land bought for $13,500 in 1954 by Bruce “Buck” and Carlotta Stahl. The couple spent the following years collecting leftover concrete from projects around the city on the weekends. After two years and two other architects, the couple finally found someone willing to bring the small model version of their home to life. Pierre Koenig is an American architect and is most well known for his work on the Case Study House #21 and Case Study House #22. The ground breaking for the home was in early 1959. Thirteen months and $37,500 later, the Stahl family now has a two bedroom, two bathroom, 2,200 s.q. ft home with a pool and a view to boot. The floor to ceiling windows aide in the enjoyment of the unobstructed, panoramic view of the city.
    Ever since I was young, my mother would always tell me that her dream house was a house on top of a hill or mountain, with big floor to ceiling windows. If my mother saw the Stahl House, she would say, “That’s my dream house!” I love seeing the windows in the Stahl House because it makes me think of my mother. My dad grew up in the 50s and 60s. He’s always had a love for vintage thrift store finds like antique mason jars, old clocks, and other things like that. Because of my dad’s style and interest, I’ve always found myself attracted towards mid-century modern stylings. I look at pictures of my dad as a kid and see all the beautiful furniture my grandmother picked for their home. Anything mid-century modern is my jam! The Stahl House has interested me by not only the architecture of the house itself, but with the furniture inside. I’ll admit, I enjoy architecture but what I truly love is interior design. Seeing the furniture used in the Stahl House is truly what caught my attention. What turned me off to the Stahl House at first was what it looked like from the street. It looked as if someone plopped down a shipping container and built a carport next to it. The streetview is unassuming but must be a total eyesore in comparison to other houses on the street.
    “Never turn down a job because you think it’s too small; you don’t know where it can lead.” – Julia Morgan. Two separate architects turned down the Stahl family. Luckily, Pierre Koenig decided to bring the Stahl’s dream to life. He created one of the most remarkable examples of mid-century modern architecture. He created a home so highly recognizable home and a home so iconic to the city of Los Angeles. Had he decided to be the third architect to turn down the Stahl family, he would have missed out on making one of the most recognizable homes in the world.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s