Wednesday, September 1, 2010

the embellished building

the embellished building.  that is also a subject for its own blog, not just a blog post


I have been thinking about doing a post on moorish glazed ceramic tile                                                                                                      

in doing some research i came across these images of carved stone surfaces from Alhambra and decided to look at that instead of tile.


















these articulated surfaces made me think about Frank Lloyd Wright's use of "textile block" in some of his projects.
this PERFECT little house is the Millard house, built in 1923 in Los Angeles for Alice Millard.  i saw pictures of this house in a back issue of Architectural Disgest from 1979 which i bought at a second hand book store in houston in the early 80's.  i was instantly enchanted and actually have recurring dreams about this house.  I say little because it is little.  it is also known as la Miniatura.

it is a three story building.  the first floor is a dining room and kitchen.  the dining room opens onto a terrace and the magnificent gardens.

the second floor is a living room and guest bedroom.  the living room opens onto a balcony that overlooks the garden.

the third floor is a master bedroom and master bath.

little

Wright's son later designed a 2nd building on the property with additional living space.  recent real estate fliers describel it as a 4 bedroom 4 bath house.  but in its original conception it was little.  and utterly perfect.















































this isn't la Miniatura, but another example of a Wright project using his "textile-block" construction.W architectural writers have made the (lame) case that Wright's use of textile block is NOT decorative.  modernist defensiveness i say.  they say that the block is integrally organically linked to the construction.  i get that, but all that means to me is that it is perfectly integrated ornamentation.

i think its a magical and ingenious.  concrete block is transformed into delicate articulation, much like the carved stone surfaces of alhambra.


































the other thing about this construction is the way the pierced blocks dapple the light in the interior. 


















is this not a perfect union of light and space?
this pierced stone made me think about indian jali work or jali stone; carved, pierced stone work.  stone transformed into delicate filigree.  as much about light as about substance.

























7 comments:

  1. like your vision on the textile blocks, great comparison and beautiful images, thanks for sharing!

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