Bass Residence [1972]

Paul Rudolph

Imagery: Tony Monk

Rudolph’s residences, much like the many of his larger complexes (such as the Burroughs Wellcome Headquarters) demonstrate a stark interplay between form and structure – as limits are pushed through original building methods to deliver a specific architectural diagram. It is, in a sense, a culmination of his desire to reveal ‘spatial complexities developed from structure and the three dimensional elaboration of the program’ as evoked by a multitude of stacked horizontal volumes that overlap and overextend each other – allowing slabs to cantilever and present as awnings – and floors to be simultaneously read as ceilings. Whilst appearing to sprawl well beyond the limits of an assumed envelope – the Bass Residence sits on a rigid grid from which the series of rotary elevations are made, with a raised entry and main living spaces that take advantage of the cantilevered structure and full-height window glazing to offer striking views of the landscaped surrounds as designed by Robert Zion and Russell Page.

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