Harwell Harris Mulvihill House

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Tom
Posts: 3198
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

Nice Website

SDR
Posts: 19469
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Now I"m looking for a little water-side house, by Breuer I'm almost sure, In Connecticut I think, with a ramp to the door and end panels (for privacy) that are diagonally sheathed.

SDR

Matt
Posts: 430
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:24 am

Post by Matt »

Was the Gregory farmhouse by Wurster the first? Designed in '29

https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/gregor ... am-w-55032

Tom
Posts: 3198
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

If '29 is correct it beats Wright's Willey house by six years.
Although blaming the ranch house on Wright is kinda superficial.

Reidy
Posts: 1593
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 3:30 pm
Location: Fremont CA

Post by Reidy »

The Wurster looks like a straightforward rural California house that could have been built any time from 1800 to 1950, with long, covered breezeways, a trellis and plenty of room to work outdoors. Am I missing something?

Matt
Posts: 430
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:24 am

Post by Matt »

I'm looking at it purely from the interest in vertical wood siding. I think Wurster added a V groove which does result in a shadowline, but others in the northwest mounted is flush (Yeon, Belluschi).

Willy is brick. I'm not sure if Wright every used vertical mounted siding and his Usonians never had flush mounted boards, right?

SDR
Posts: 19469
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Right -- I believe. Some Usonian ceilings are flat boards, typically with a V-groove of some sort.

Wurster's early farmhouse predicts his later work: plain and orthodox -- vernacular -- detailing, using common material. Wurster:
"Interiors of Douglas fir plywood are more expensive than sheet rock but look cheaper, so we use Douglas fir plywood" (quoted by Joe Esherick).

SDR

Tom
Posts: 3198
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:53 pm
Location: Black Mountain, NC

Post by Tom »

Oh yeah, I mentioned Willey only in reference to ranch house influence not vertical siding.
Sorry for curve ball
Love that quip from Wurster ... read that before but had forgotten ... summarizes the architects dilemma

SDR
Posts: 19469
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Methinks he doth protest too much; it's like apologizing for the wrong "fault" ? But it acknowledges, in an oblique manner, the architect's preference for "cheap" (i.e., plain) material and detailing choices . . . I guess.

Wurster got high praise from his colleagues. In a slender but large-format publication that appeared in conjunction with an exhibition, three of them describe the work, and the office in San Francisco, from the later '30s on.

SDR

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10208
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

FLW called him "William Worse Than Wurster."

But I think he was just being a bit too smart, like Noel Coward, who of actor Keir Dullea, said "Keir Dullea, gone tomorrow."

SDR
Posts: 19469
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

One would hope. Wurster, of all people, was neither a threat nor a competitor to Wright, merely a competent and quietly innovative practitioner.

Come to think of it, that in itself might be a sort of challenge . . . !

Frankly, I'm surprised FLLW had heard of him.

SDR

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