Architects have clients and clients set the creative parameters for a project. But when an architect is his own client, all rules and artistic limitations disappear and the result is the ultimate self portrait.
Home is where the heart of an architect can fully and completely be expressed. We take a look into the hearts of six of the most renowned modern architects of our time – the homes built and inhabited by Aalto, Eames, Gehry, Neutra, Niemeyer and Lloyd Wright.
Alvar Aalto – The Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto built his home (above and below) in Helsinki in 1936. It is now a museum and open to the public. If you don’t recognize Aalto by his name or his buildings, you might know his furniture or glassware designs.
Charles and Ray Eames – Case Study #8 (above and below) was built in 1949 and is located in Pacific Palisades, California. In 1948, the Eames’ were commissioned to design and build an inexpensive and efficient home as part of the Case Study Housing program. Case Study #8 is considered one of the first “pre-fab” buildings and is open to public tours through the Eames Foundation.
Frank O. Gehry – Do you know the Guggenheim in Bilbao or the Disney Music Hall in Los Angeles? Yes, Gehry is that guy. In 1978, he built his Santa Monica, California home (above and below) in all its barbed wire, corrugated steel and asymmetrical glory. It caused quite a stir with the neighbors who were not accustomed to Gehry’s avant-garde sensibility.
Richard Neutra – In 1963 a fire destroyed Richard Neutra’s Silverlake, California home (image above) that he designed and built in 1932. The Austrian-born architect’s redesign, the VDL Research House II (image below), is a close interpretation of the first, with its bands of vertical glass windows and alternating horizontal planes of steel and white stucco.
Oscar Niemeyer – The Brazilian architect built his Casa Das Canoas (image above and below) in 1953 in Rio de Janeiro. Niemeyer is known for his revolutionary use of reinforced concrete and the curvaceous, sculptural quality of his buildings. His own home is no exception.
Frank Lloyd Wright – The American architect built his first home in Oak Park, Illinois (image above) in 1889, where he and his family lived while he developed his practice and the “Prairie Style” of architecture. But Lloyd Wright’s favorite residence was his masterpiece, Taliesin West (top image and image below), built in 1937 in Scottsdale, Arizona. It seems to sprout from the desert and is typical of the organic style architecture that the architect promoted in his later years.