The Rosenbaum House
The 1920’s and the 1930’s were extremely important times in architectural society. During this time, not only was architecture changing, but also society. The automobile was becoming popular among households, cities were booming, and urbanization was in full effect. This was a key time for advancement in the architectural world. At this time, now famous architects, such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier started what is now known as the Modernist Movement. Today this Modernist Movement and these architects have shaped how we look at and define architecture. Of these architects, Frank Lloyd Wright is among some of my favorites. In 1939, Wright designed a house known as the Rosenbaum house, which at the time was completely against what architecture was. But, although different to the norm, this house was revolutionizing what architecture would be.
I liked Wright’s designs and architecture better than the others because of many aspects. Wright deleted the attics and basements out of his homes, the living areas were more spacious and open, and the exterior is really brought into the interior. His ideas are more functional for my particular lifestyle, and the ascetics are much more pleasing than the desires of the other houses. While Le Corbusier was trying to tackle the problems of housing costs and trying to make a design for mass production, he left out the uniqueness and the ascetics of what Wright has accomplished. I did not like the box-like model of Corbusier’s design because it holds no particular style to some other houses he had designed. Another aspect of Corbusier’s design was that his designs were made primarily for mass production and inexpense, but they are not customized to the individual needs and desires of its inhabitants, which I do not believe in. I do not like van der Rohe’s house because the concepts he incorporated were designed for commercial use, such as offices in his high-rise structures. His less is more concept is a very strong architectural idea that is still very prominent today, yet I do not like my homes to show its framework and be completely open to its surroundings. I do not believe van der Rohe incorporates public and private spaces in his designs.
Wright’s ideas were perfect for the society at the time of design. The open spaces, and living room/kitchen in-one design was perfect for the family style living of the late 1930’s. Families were large, and “quality time” was very important to family life. The large living room/kitchen area was perfect for these “family gatherings.” Views of the terrace and flowerbeds from both the living room and the bedrooms gave the whole home an open feeling. The bedrooms were more spacious and clumped all at one end of the house. This gave each individual a large private space, which they did not experience anywhere else in the house. This gave the house a well-rounded experience of public and private space, as well as splitting the house into two main wings. One wing consisted of private bedrooms and bathrooms, and the other wing consisted of the family room, kitchen, terrace and study. These sections gave the home a secure and comfortable feeling, which is valued by every homeowner.
Although the style of the Rosenbaum house was ideal for the society it was designed for, is it still ideal for today’s society? Although many of Wright’s ideas still hold true, I believe that in today’s society some of his ideas may not be as strong. For example, the open living room and dining room spaces may be comfortable for some families, but with the technology of television and computers, these spaces may need to be separated more. Spaces may not need to be as connected in terms of private and public, I know in my family the master bedroom has always been on the other side of the house as the other bedrooms. Other than these few aspects, I believe Wright’s ideas are still very prominent today.
My choice of the Rosenbaum house pertains to my life in that it reflects my personal choices in architectural style. Growing up on the west coast, single story homes are the norm. Wright’s ideas of cutting out the basement and attic I believe are very strong. Some of the aspects Wright believed in, which were incorporated in the Rosenbaum house, were the ideas of bringing the outside in. I love seeing houses where you feel the nature even within the home. I also enjoy the spaciousness of Wright’s houses, in that it creates more of a family space, while it opens up the home to the outside. I very much enjoy the balance of public and private spaces; with all the openness of the home one can still go to the large bedrooms to get away. Compared to most of the other architecture at this time, I believe Wright’s ideas and styles best fit for my lifestyle.
My family, I feel, may not fit as well, as many other families in the Rosenbaum house simply because we all live very separate lives. The closeness of the three bedrooms may not work as well because everyone in my family is on a very different schedule. When one person may be sleeping, another may be coming or going, which would in turn create noise problems within the home. The best floor plan my family has had, is one with the master bedroom apart from the other bedrooms, while only having the kitchen and dining rooms together, but not open to the living room and family room. The ideas of the Rosenbaum house may not work as well for my personal family, but as I discussed above, personally this house would fit best for my lifestyle.
Is this house of good architecture? When I think of good architecture, I think of homes that are ascetically pleasing, both exteriorly and interiorly, while still maintaining functionality and unique style. I also think that the function should incorporate the ideas and lifestyle of the individual inhabitants that live inside. So is the Rosenbaum house good architecture? Yes! I believe this house would provide a comfortable, functional space that is very livable to its inhabitants. The design, though very simple, creates a very unique and creative home.
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