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. . . . . . . . Here are the relevant passages and pictures from Drexler's MoMA book.
Copyright Ã‚Â© 1955 by The Museum of Modern Art and by Arthur Drexler
double-pitched roof---the two buildings share a floor raised nearly a full storey above the ground, a post-and-beam structure with mortise-and-tenon joinery
and clad with flat boards abutting each other (horizontally oriented in Japan, vertically in Malibu), down to the exterior stairs formed from solid logs (the Ise
example is found at the nearby Ise Geku shrine, not illustrated here).
The ridge poles at Ise, independently supported by a pair of poles that rest on grade, are a unique solution to a common structural problem.
Lyman's house; Buckner writes (p 29) that "In Lyman's studies, the Ise Shrine particularly captivated him."
Indeed, the observation alerts me to the fact that both ends of Lyman's volume are closed---despite the impression given by a couple of the photos, where reflections give the appearance of a glazed third wall---and in turn add to
an understanding of Lyman's statement about the value of his rigid frame: while the opaque end walls read as fixed planes, in fact the floating boards, contained by a pair of "bookends" wedged in place, top and bottom, couldn't
possibly function as shear walls.
The same, presumably, would be the case at the temple structures, where the boards are laid horizontally and ride in dadoes in the fat columns.
Not only do the glazed walls of Lyman invite in views of a pre-overdeveloped Malibu, but the skylight over the roof ridge and the glazed gables help to dematerialize the entire opus. (One photo seems to show skylights over the two subsidiary structures, bath and carport.) The solid end walls imply that the lot may have been narrow enough so privacy from future neighbors might have been compromised by too much glass.
An interesting note on the plan refers to the house as the "Mr. and Mrs. Frederic P. Lyman Residence," although when the house was published in the 50s, there was no Mrs. It was referred to as a bachelor pad. I can well imagine that once Fred married, family needs quickly outgrew the house.
sleeping loft, containing a tent of blue sailcloth.) "To house the family, the Lymans purchased a more appropriate house in Malibu and turned the
Lyman House [sic] into an office space. The lower floor became a conference room with a reception desk for the office assistant, and the upper
floor was converted into a drafting and model-making room [presumably enclosed ?]." The Lyman house once again became a bachelor pad when the
Lymans separated in 1969. Lyman returned to his house to live and work, installing a bed on the main level. After the Lymans divorced, Lyman moved
his office a few blocks away to a building on Pacific Coast Highway. Lyman kept his house as a residence, converting the drafting room to a painting
Lyman purchased a thousand acres in Minnesota in the early '80s, after which he sold the house.
Oddly, it is not the neighboring lots which the solid walls face, but rather the canyon and the road.