Title: Houses of William Wurster
Frames for Living
From the Publisher;
This is the first comprehensive presentation of Wurster's life (1895-1973) and influence and is, as well, a detailed analysis of a collection of his houses spanning the extent of his career (1922 to 1967). The majority of the images, photographs, and drawings presented in the book will have never been seen by the public before and are composed of newly digitized archival material in addition to new photography. The vast majority of the historical images were taken by renowned photographers Ezra Stoller, Roger Sturtevant, and Morley Baer. Additionally there are unpublished images by photographer Richard Barnes. This book demonstrates the influence of Wurster's work on the practice of architecture today, and documents how his designs and educational philosophy continue to inspire architects and those who occupy his buildings.
The intent behind this book is to share the genius of his work in order to inspire architects, architectural enthusiasts, and potential architectural clientele, as well as those with a personal association with the influence of Wurster on their own lives through their academic training, personal history with a specific project, or from direct influence of Wurster on their own practice. Wurster's steady insistence on making places that enfold the life of the place rather than impose an alien order was central to the development of the Bay Region variant of modern architecture in the United States. He pointed to a way of building that would be modest, fitted to the site and surroundings, and engaged with the landscape and regional ways of building. The relevance of this message is even clearer now.
Wurster's status as an American 'hidden treasure' is primarily because of his designs simplicity, so subtle that their discernible influence on architecture has been muted. Wurster took a tradition begun by visionary Bay Area predecessors (Bernard Maybeck, most obviously) and adapted it to his time, making it aesthetically modern. He approached the design and building of a structure in a holistic way, melding together a consideration for landscaping, surrounding buildings, environment, and site with the28 novative use of natural materials and local building techniques to achieve his main goal: enhancing contemporary lifestyles.
224 pages, hardcover. Princeton Architectural Press (October 2011)
Author: Caitlin Lempres Brostrom & Richard C. Peters
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press
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