February 9, 2010

Playing the Game of Architecture

Figure 1. Samuel Goslinsky House by Bernard Maybeck 
"Maybeck bowed to the simple and restrained only in the doorway pediment.  He translated Gothic tracery into wood for one window; capped the plain windows with little eyebrow hoods, tilted and speparated as if he were making a joke on the classical broken pediment; and crowned the peak of the lower roof with a dollhouse-like structure [...]. The result is a delightfully original, playful composition." 
As for Maybeck's influences...
"Maybeck's humourous architectural details may derive not only from his whimsical spirit but also from English sources.  The playfulness in the Red House stairwell that Webb designed for Morris, with its castle-turreted newel posts, may have inspired Maybeck's delightful, sometimes childlike, architectural details.  As Richard Guy Wilson expressed it: 'Red house was fulled with sly jokes ... that have been lost with time. ... Canterbury Pilgrim's porch, murals of Morris and Jane dressed in medieval costume ... the little stage upstars and more.' British architects M. H. Baillie Scott and Edwin Lutyens also enjoyed playing the 'game' of architecture."
Figure 2. view from driveway via Roman Eye on Flickr

(via Freudenheim Leslie M. Building with Nature: Inspiration for the Arts & Crafts Home. Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith, 2005.)


AM said...

Maybeck was such a great architect... I would loved to find out more on 1927 Civic Center, Family Service Agency(formerly, Associated Charities) building
Any help would be apreciated

sara said...

wow, look at that, very creative and inspiring, I wish I could design something like that

Jenn said...

Ha! He was a Post-modernist, WAYYY before his time.

I would talk about his stuff in my college days, and nobody knew who I was talking about.