Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Walker Residence

One of the greatest surprises during my California adventure was coming across a little known Frank Lloyd Wright house in Carmel directly across Monterey Bay from Pebble Beach.
While I agree with many other architects that Frank Lloyd Wright is overly regarded in general, one can't help but admit he was a tremdendously talented architect.The Walker Residence was designed in 1948 and completed in 1951 for Della Walker. It's a small house nestled into the beach rocks on the water side of Scenic Drive in Carmel. I loved the gates into the driveway / carport which almost feel like the backdoor as it has such a prominent face on the other side.As you can tell from these pictures, it's so perfectly sited that it blends into its surroundings. If you didn't know it was there, you might not notice it!It's small sizes gives it the nickname 'the cabin on the rocks' (Carmel is full of cottages or 'cabins') but it's definitely not small on design. Above you see a typical FLW element, the carport.Built originally for $125,000, FLW later added a master bedroom in 1956. He is known to have considered this amongst his favorite houses.
I would compare the siting of the house and its relationship to the water with Fallingwater. FLW took a beautiful piece of property and only improved it with his design.The one side of the house has stairs which go down onto a small secluded beach area, seen above.The design is based on a ship with a terrace off the liviing room becoming the prow, thrusting into Monterey Bay.
Such an elegant house and I love the stonework.The plantings on this side of the house look native to the area and really feel a part of the house itself. The house was featured in the 1959 movie "A Summer Place". Has anyone ever seen this? I'll have to add it to my netflix queue.
If you're ever in Carmel, make sure to pay special attention to the cabin on the rocks!

Monday, July 26, 2010

More treasures

While I further indulge myself in a much needed little blogger break (please excuse me!) let me share with you some more treasures from the musee des arts decoratifs at the Louvre in Paris.
I loved these items best for the contrast they provided to the stark black background. Very modern, don't you think? The sumptuous bed, the ornate clock and the beautiful painting all in a dark, dramatically lit room on the 18th century floor.
Like so many places, it's all about the lighting.