Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Playing with Architecture

Where do you stand on playing with architecture; Akin to playing with fire? I don't mean quite the level of playfulness of Disney, but more like this little townhouse I came across in San Francisco.
A plain white stucco house but with some amazingly FUN grillwork; I love the use of color and playful shapes here. You know whoever lives here is definitely a character (in a good way!). Even these little dormers above the door, which I doubt are functional as they're so small, bring a lot of personality to the house. Playing with architecture has a fruitful history. Across the street from this very house is an example: Egyptian Revival, probably from the early 1920s. Don't tell me they weren't being playful! If you can't be playful with your own house, where can you?

20 comments:

Mel said...

In the immortal words of Chrissie Hynde, it's a thin line between love and hate.

David Toms said...

Sometimes it is all about the deatils and these are great!

Terry said...

Some folks think cute kills. Fun is probably harder than serious, like movies. Let's have some fun inside and out.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Terry, yes, I think fun is much more harder than serious -you have to know when to stop. It's all in the little details like in this case, the scale of the dormers and the grillworkk. They easily could have gone overboard.

Mark D. Ruffner said...

I love these images, and the doors in the top photo remind me of all the wonderful carved doors in the Polish neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

The Down East Dilettante said...

Wonderful pictures and details. I'm all for playing with architecture. One needs whimsey and artistic license as a counterpoint to overdoses of 'good taste'

ArchitectDesign™ said...

like dorothy parker said, a little bit of bad taste is like a dash of paprika!

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Mark, it is similar to lawrenceville and polish hill! Love the pittsburgh references :-)

Freddy Victoria said...

Fabulous metal work on those doors and windows! I wish people would use skilled crafts like this to give character to their homes more frequently. It makes all the difference.

Acanthus and Acorn said...

I love it! The person and the house have to interesting, stylish and fun to pull it off don't you think? Otherwise, imagine what would happen in suburbia in the wrong hands...HA!

Nostalgically Yours said...

Can I just say that I used to live about a block from that townhouse? You sure got me longing for San Francisco again... I've always loved eccentric details in architecture.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Nostalgic, SF is a marvelous city! Do you know anything about this eccentric townhouse??

Elsbeth said...

What fun; it is really like a stage set, no?
have been reading on your site for a while now, and really love how you take us with you on your tours and travels. Have never been to San Francisco, surely everyone must leave with a smile after walking around and seeing so much colour and playful architecture.

Edith Hope said...

Dear AD, Eclecticism is the dominant architectural style in Budapest so I am used to seeing all manner of architectural details from all manner of influences superimposed upon the one building. At times, it works, is fun and the whole is more than the sum of the parts. At times, however, 'fun' becomes 'kitsch' and one yearns for a more classical uniformity.

I think that the two examples you show here are fun for somebody else....but not me, I am afraid.

Woody said...

Oh yes, playing with architecture is fun. Necessary, even. I saw this a couple days ago in a rush, so I didn't comment right away, but it's the inspiration behind my latest post. I just wish the door around the show-stopping grill were larger to accommodate the grill's large personality.

My Notting Hill said...

Great post! You reminded me I have some photos of a grey building in Georgetown (close to the river) that has horse heads on the side. I'm guessing it was once a stable or livery (is that the right word?) Now if I could only find it on my hard drive...

Karena said...

Stefan, I love to see wonderfully unique details, doors and windows on historical buildings.

Karena
Art by Karena

Jan said...

I'm seeing more and more grillwork as a decorative exterior enhancement in residential homes. When kept to a minimum, it's quite pretty. When it's overdone, it looks fortress-like and uninviting.

Michael Mattison said...

Stefan, how have I missed your last few posts? OK, I was in Florence, but still -- shameful of me to have missed Carmel and Diana Vreeland! Both excellent subjects, and your photos of Carmel capture the mellow seaside vibe of the place so perfectly. California at its best!
Hope this message finds you well and in good weekend spirits. :-)
XO
Michael

littlebadwolf said...

my mama used to tell me, 'don't play with your food!', which led to a whole life of cooking and design stunts......