ARCH 444: Great Houses of Los Angeles Fall, 2010—Draft 8/4/10
Professor: Victor Regnier FAIA
Class: 6:30-9:50 Th, Harris 101
6 Site Visits--Saturdays (start at 9 or 10AM—end at noon or 1PM—unless otherwise noted):
Gamble--September 18th @ 9:00AM; Barnsdall+Freeman—October 9th @ 9AM; Schindler—October 16th @ 10:45AM; Neutra/VDL—October 30th @ 9AM; Lautner+Eames—November 6th @ 10AM; and Koenig (2 houses)—November 13th @ 10AM.
This course focuses on the work of seven noteworthy architects who practiced in southern California in the early to middle 20th century. The course introduces students to the significance of their work through critical readings that reveal the ideas and intentions behind their work and their impact on the history of architecture in southern California. Case study visits to southern California houses designed by each of these architects allow students to study these settings and thus interpret the meaning of the architect's intentions through direct experience. The focus of the course will be on how the work of these significant architects relate to specific architectural principles. Nine site visits to individual houses will take place in combination with selected readings presented and discussed in lecture format with images.
Students will be expected to write short essays that contrast the architects' intentions with their own understanding and comprehension of visited works. Students will write a short evaluation essay about three of the nine houses/7 architects they study/visit. A 10-page research paper can be substituted for one of the evaluation papers. For this paper, the student must select a research topic approved by the instructor related to materials covered in the course.
Books Available in the USC Book Store for Purchase and SAFA library
Bosley, Edward, The Gamble House, London: Phaidon Press, 1992. ($14.95)
Koenig, Gloria, Eames, Koln: Taschen, 2005 ($9.99)
Lamprecht, Barbara, Neutra, Koln: Taschen, 2004 ($9.99)
Jackson, Neil. Koenig, Koln: Taschen, 2007, ($9.99)
Campbell-Lange, Barbara-Ann, Lautner, Koln: Taschen, 2005, ($9.99)
Course CD: Additional Readings (600+ pages)
Articles Available in the CD Reader as well as the SAFA Library
Alexander, Christopher, S. Ishikawa, M. Silverstein, A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings,
Construction, New York: Oxford University Press, 1977.
Campbell-Lange, Barbara-Ann, John Lautner, New York: Taschen, 1999.
Ching, Francis D.K., Architecture: Form, Space, and Order, Second Edition, New York:
Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1996.
Chusid, J. "Frank Lloyd Wright's Textile Block System" in Concrete in California, Los
Angeles: USC School of Architecture, 1990.
Escher, F., John Lautner, Architect, London: Artemis London Limited, 1994.
Futagawa, Yukio, GA Houses 32, 1993 (Lautner--pages 8-85).
Hess, A. The Architecture of John Lautner, New York: Rizzoli, 1999.
Hines, T., Architecture of the Sun: Los Angeles Modernism 1900-1970, New York: Rizzoli, 2010.
Hines, T., Richard Neutra and the Search for Modern Architecture, Berkeley: University of
California Press 1982.
Koeper, Frederick, The Richard and Dion Neutra VDL Research House I and II,
Pomona, CA: California State University, Pomona, 1985.
McCoy, Esther, Case Study Houses (1945-62), Los Angeles: Hennessey & Ingalls, 1977.
Makinson, Randell, Greene and Greene: Architecture as a Fine Art, Salt Lake City: Peregrine
Moor, Abby, Californian Textile Block, London: PRC Publishers, 2002.
Moore, Charles, Gerald Allen and Donlyn Lyndon, The Place of Houses, New York: Holt,
Rinehart and Winston, 1974.
Rasmussen, Steen Eiler, Experiencing Architecture, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1959.
Smith, Kathryn, Schindler House, New York: Abrams, 2001
Steele, James, Eames House, London: Phaidon Press, 1994
Steele, James, Schindler, Koln: Taschen, 2005.
Steele, James, Barnsdall House, London: Phaidon Press, 1992.
Steele, James and D. Jenkins, Pierre Koenig, London: Phaidon Press, 1998.
Steele, James, Los Angeles Architecture: The Contemporary Condition, London: Phaidon Press, 1993.
Sweeney, Robert, Wright in Hollywood: Visions of a New Architecture, Cambridge: MIT Press,
You will be evaluated on the basis of 3 written assignments, a final exam and class participation/ attendance. The final exam questions will be taken from the readings and class lectures.
1. 3 evaluation papers or two evaluation 60%
+ one research paper (20% each)
2. Final Exam 20%
3. Attendance/Participation (see below) 20%
You are expected to read the assignments prior to class and come prepared to discuss the work and to raise questions from your perspective. If you are not able to attend class, please let me know why you can't attend. Either e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, FAX a note (310) 474-2718 or leave a voice mail message at (310) 474-9560 (24/7).
My office hours are by appointment only. It is easiest to meet with me after class. My office is on the 3rd floor of Watt Hall Watt 348. I have a mailbox in Watt 204 and this is where you should hand in papers at the end of the semester or between class periods. Jeff Vaglio, a USC Architecture Ph.D student is also available to meet with you about the class and your paper assignments. He is available by appointment only and can be reached at 310 425-9830 (cell) or emailed at email@example.com. He is an excellent resource and has taken the class in the past and has been the TA for two subsequent classes. He can be a great help in providing assistance with your papers.
A portion of each class will be set-aside for class discussion. You are expected to come to class prepared to discuss the readings and the field trips. The following are the two specific class participation assignments.
ONE: At 12 noon on the Wednesday before each lecture class you are required to email (firstname.lastname@example.org) a short question or comment about the readings.
TWO: After each site visit by 12 noon on the Wednesday before the next class period you are required to email (email@example.com) a comment, question or observation about the site visit experience.
These email comments will be used to structure class discussion and along with general class participation and attendance will be used to calculate your attendance/participation grade.
Short Paper Assignments:
You are expected to write a short evaluation paper on 3 of the 9 buildings we visit. After experiencing the site visit, listening to the lectures, and reading the assigned materials; you should write a 7 double-spaced page essay (photos. diagrams and sketches are included in the page count), which captures your evaluation/analysis of the setting. The handout “Fourteen Helpful Hints for Writing Better Evaluation Papers” is useful to read and follow as a guide to improve your paper. The focus of the paper should be on reconciling the theories, writings, and description of ideas present in the lectures and readings against your own experience of the place. The experience of each setting should include (although need not be limited to) the following criteria:
I. Spatial Perception
1. Spatial hierarchy and relationships
2. Spatial sequence, procession, and organization
3. Indoor-outdoor spatial relationships
4. Introduction of natural light
II. Materials and Structure
5. Structural system and expression
6. Materials expression, detailing, color, and texture
III. Attention to Users
7. Function and response to intended user
Students can chose among the 9 houses which ones they want to evaluate with the following stipulation. You must evaluate one of the first four houses (Greene & Greene/Wright (2 houses)/ Schindler) we visit.
Each assignment should emphasize your own assessments, insights, and thinking about the most powerful aspects associated with the architecture of each place visited. Keep in mind identifying signature ideas and visual/experiential techniques is essential. Although only 3 evaluation papers are required, students can submit an additional paper on one of the six remaining houses. Assuming the grade for this evaluation is higher than the lowest grade assigned to one of the 3 required essays, it will replace the lowest grade. Otherwise, it will not be counted.
The research paper will detail a topic raised in the readings or through the site visits. For example, you may be intrigued by Frank Lloyd Wright's experiences in Los Angeles and curious about other work he completed in southern California. This could involve a scholarly paper or a comparative analysis of several other houses. You may find the issue of spatial sequence intriguing and want to gain insight about how it can be viewed across other important residential buildings, which have dealt with this phenomena in unusual and effective ways. There are also a number of other early modernists and case study architects in southern California for which considerable material exists in the library. These include Irving Gill, Harwell Hamilton Harris, Rodney Walker, Buff, Straub and Hensman, Craig Elwood, Quincy Jones, and Bernard Maybeck (northern California). Other architects of note that practiced in California during this same period include Wallace Neff, Raphael Soriano, Julia Morgan and Paul Williams.
The topic should be one that has been discussed in class but for which a more in-depth investigation would be rewarding and warranted. Please avoid overly general topics, such as "Architecture in Southern California," or "The Life and Times of Frank Lloyd Wright." The paper should be 10 pages in length (double spaced). I will review and approve the outline you develop. More information about how to approach and improve your term paper is available in the handout “Eleven Helpful Hints for Writing Better Term Papers”.
The RESEARCH PAPER TOPIC AND TREATMENT outline will be due Thursday, October 28th.
The final RESEARCH PAPER is due at Noon, Wednesday, December 8th--the day before the FINAL EXAM which will be on Thursday, December 9th 7-9PM in Watt 1.
August 26th, Thursday: (Week One)
Introduction to Class + Experiencing Architecture
Guest Lecturer: Robert Harris
September 2nd, Thursday: (Week Two)
The Pattern Language + Evaluation Techniques
Required Readings (135 pgs):
Rasmussen (1991), pp. 186-214, (Chapter 8 -- Daylight in Architecture).
Moore, Allen and Lyndon (1974), pp. 71-107, (The Order of Rooms),
Alexander et.al. (1977) Selected Patterns 106, 127-8, 130, 132-3, 135, 138, 159, 161, 163, 166-68, 179-81, 190, 192, 193-4, 196, 199, 202, 222-3, 230, 236, 238, 245, 250,
September 9th, Thursday: (Week Three)
Principles of Architecture and Assessment Criteria
Required Readings (82 pgs):
Ching (1996), pp. 46-7 (Regular and Irregular Forms); 134-151 (Planes); 152-75 (Closure); 179-87 (Spatial Relationships); 229-253 (Circulation); 338-45 (Hierarchy)
September 16th, Thursday: (Week Four)
The Gamble House of Greene & Greene -- The California Bungalow
Guest Lecturer: Ted Bosley
Required Readings (82 pgs):
Bosley (2002), pp. 1-21—REQUIRED BOOK
Makinson (1977), pp. 150-87 (The Ultimate Bungalows).
September 18th, Saturday:
SITE VISIT -- Gamble House (9:00AM – 12:00PM)
Guest Curator: Ted Bosley
4 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena, CA
September 23rd, Thursday: (Week Five)
September 30th, Thursday: (Week Six)
October 7th, Thursday: (Week Seven)
The Barnsdall House + Freeman House of Frank Lloyd Wright -- Southern California
Work and Experience
Required Readings (79 pgs):
Sweeney (1994) pp. 20-42 (Block System), 72-79 (Freeman House)
Chusid (1990) pp. 12-19 (Freeman House)
Steele (1992) pp. 1-21 (Barnsdall House)
Moor (2002) pp. 32-43 (Barnsdall House), 70-81 (Freeman House)
October 9th, Saturday:
Guest Curators: Ken Breisch and Gabriel Cifarelli/Nina Marsh
The Barnsdall House (9:00AM-11:00AM)
4808 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90027-5302
The Freeman House (11:30AM-1:00PM)
1962 Glencoe Way, Los Angeles CA 90068-3113
PAPER #1 DUE (Gamble House)
October 14th, Thursday: (Week Eight)
The Work of Rudolph Schindler -- A new era
The Schindler House--Living between inside and outside.
Required Readings (118 pgs):
Steele (2005) pp. 7-89
Smith (2001), pp. 7-43
October 16th, Saturday:
SITE VISIT –
Guest Discussant: Judith Sheine
The Schindler House (10:45AM to 1:30PM)
835 Kings Road, West Hollywood, CA 90069-5409
October, 21st, Thursday: (Week Nine)
PAPER #2 DUE (Freeman/Barnsdall)— email or hand deliver to my box by 6PM
October 28th, Thursday: (Week Ten)
The VDL House of Richard Neutra -- The Emerging International Movement in Southern California.
Guest Discussant: Barbara Lamprecht
Required Readings (118 pgs):
Lamprecht (2004) pp. 5-85 REQUIRED BOOK
Koeper (1985) pp. 1-31
Hines (1982), pp. 109-116
RESEARCH PAPER OUTLINE DUE
October 30th, Saturday:
SITE VISIT -- VDL House (9:00AM to 12PM)
Guest Discussant: Dion Neutra and Sarah Lorenzen
2300 Silverlake Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90039-3215
November 4th, Thursday: (Week Eleven)
The work of John Lautner and Charles Eames
Required Readings (178 pgs)
Koenig (2005) pp. 7-17, 32-45, 66-67, 84-89 REQUIRED BOOK
Campbell-Lange (2005) pp. 7-89 REQUIRED BOOK
Steele (1994) pp. 4-24
Campbell-Lange (1999) pp.134-141 (Final Major Projects, pp.150-161 (Sheats-
Hess, Alan (1999) pp.240-255 (Sheats-Goldstein)
Escher, Frank (1994) pp. 242-251 (Sheats-Goldstein)
Futagawa, Yukio (1991) pp.74-79 (Sheats-Goldstein)
November 6th, Saturday
SITE VISIT— Lautner Sheats-Goldstein and Eames House
Guest Discussant: Duncan Nicholson and Eames Demetrious (if available)
Sheats-Goldstein House (10:00AM-12:00PM)
10104 Angelo View Drive, LA, 90210-2038,
Eames House (12:30PM-2:00PM)
203 Chautauqua, Los Angeles, CA 90272-4404
PAPER #3 DUE (Schindler House)
November 11th, Thursday: (Week Twelve)
Pierre Koenig and the Case Study House Program-- Steel & Glass Architecture
Required Readings (199 pgs):
Jackson (2007) pp. 5-91 REQUIRED BOOK
Steele and Jenkins (1998) pp. 60-71 (CSH #22), 130-37 (Brentwood Tnhse).
McCoy (1977), pp. 116-41 (CSH #21+#22)
November 13th, Saturday
SITE VISIT -- Case Study House #22/Koenig House
Guest Discussants: Gloria Koenig and Bruce Stahl
Case Study House #22-- (10:00AM-12:00PM)
1635 Woods Dr, West Hollywood, CA 90069-1633
Koenig Townhouse (12:30PM-2:00PM)
12221 Dorothy St, Los Angeles, CA 90049-5220
November 18th, Thursday: (Week Thirteen)
PAPER #4 DUE (VDL House)
November 25th, Thursday: (Week Fourteen)
December 2nd, Thursday: (Week Fifteen)
Modern Masters—The Housing Work of Frank Gehry
Guest Discussant/Lecturer: Michael Lehrer FAIA
Required Reading (21 pgs):
Steele (1993), pp.73-90. 93-97.
PAPER #5 DUE (Lautner/Eames House)
December 9th, Thursday:
FINAL EXAM (7-9PM)
The research paper and/or Paper #6 is DUE: Wednesday, December 8th at 12 noon
It should be placed in my box in Architecture--Watt 204.
GREAT HOUSES SCHEDULE
Week Thursday Saturday
One 8/26--Orientation +
Two 9/2—Pattern Language +
Three 9/9--Principles of Architecture
Four 9/16—Gamble Lecture 9/18--Gamble Site V
Five 9/23---NO CLASS
Six 9/30—NO CLASS
Seven 10/7—Wright Lecture 10/9—Barnsdall/Freeman Site V
#1 paper due (Gamble)
Eight 10/14—Schindler Lecture 10/16--Schindler Site V
Nine 10/21—NO CLASS
#2 paper due (Wright)
Ten 10/28—Neutra Lecture 10/30—VDL Site V RESEARCH TOPIC OUTLINE DUE
Eleven 11/4—Eames/Lautner Lecture 11/6--Eames/Lautner Site V
#3 paper due (Schindler)
Twelve 11/11—CSH/Koenig Lecture 11/13--Koenig/CS #22 House Site V
Thirteen 11/18—NO CLASS
#4 paper due (Neutra)
Fourteen 11/25—Thanksgiving Vacation
Fifteen 12/2—Gehry Lecture
#5 paper due (Eames/Lautner)
Final Exam 12/9--FINAL EXAM--7PM to 9PM
Research Paper and/or #6 (Koenig) Paper Due
Wednesday, December 8th, 12 noon, Watt 204
GREAT HOUSES EMAIL DUE DATES
On or before Wednesday @ noon
Questions/comments from reading
Observation/take-away/question from site visit
Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Two 9/1--Experiencing Architecture
Three 9/8—Principles of Architecture
Four 9/15--Gamble Lecture
Seven 10/6—Wright Lecture
2. Site Visit--Gamble House
Eight 10/13—Schindler Lecture
2. Site Visit--Barnsdall+Freeman
Ten 10/27—Neutra Lecture
2. Site Visit—Schindler Studio and Residence
Eleven 11/3—Eames/Lautner Lecture
Site Visit—VDL House
Twelve 11/10—CSH/Koenig Lecture
Site Visit—Eames/CSH#8+Sheats Goldstein House
Fifteen 12/1—Gehry Lecture
Readings—Gehry and the 21st Century
Site Visit—CSH#22 and Brentwood Townhouse
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Greene and Greene
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Sheine, J. R.M. Schindler--10 Houses, 2G International Architecture Review, #7, 1998.
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Steele, J., How House, London: Academy Editions, 1996.
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Style to California Modern, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1982.
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Culture, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2004.
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Monica: Hennessey and Ingalls, 1984.
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Books in Bold are on 7-day reserve at the Architecture and Fine Arts library and may be particularly useful to you.
Statement for Students with Disabilities
Any student requesting academic accommodations based on a disability is required to register
with Disability Services and Programs (DSP) each semester. A letter of verification for approved
accommodations can be obtained from DSP. Please be sure the letter is delivered to me (or to
TA) as early in the semester as possible. DSP is located in STU 301 and is open 8:30 a.m.–5:00
p.m., Monday through Friday. The phone number for DSP is (213) 740-0776.
Statement on Academic Integrity
It is recommended that you make a statement about academic integrity, such as:
USC seeks to maintain an optimal learning environment. General principles of academic honesty
include the concept of respect for the intellectual property of others, the expectation that
individual work will be submitted unless otherwise allowed by an instructor, and the obligations
both to protect one’s own academic work from misuse by others as well as to avoid using
another’s work as one’s own. All students are expected to understand and abide by these
principles. Scampus, the Student Guidebook, contains the Student Conduct Code in Section
11.00, while the recommended sanctions are located in Appendix A:
Students will be referred to the Office of Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards for
further review, should there be any suspicion of academic dishonesty. The Review process can
be found at: http://www.usc.edu/student-affairs/SJACS/
In this class, attendance is very important. Because much of the learning takes place through the tours we take of important houses, it is imperative that you take class attendance seriously. Having said that, I know many students have complicated schedules and weekends are often the only time available for other important events. Some of the buildings we visit are publically accessible and can be visited outside of the class period. Other assignments are available for “making up” a missed class period but this must be negotiated with the instructor.
Earlier in the document, grading policies were described in detail. Although class attendance is not measured (per say) as part of the final grade, your participation in class discussions and Q+A is 20% of your grade. If you do not attend class—your participation grade will likely suffer. Students will be noticed at mid semester and/or toward the end of the semester if they have missed more than 2 classes.
There will be a sign-in and sign-out sheet for each class period in Watt Hall. If you are more than 30 minutes late for class you have essentially missed the class. Students that arrive more than 10 minutes after class begins are considered tardy. Coming to class a few minutes early (if possible) is always a good idea. Books will be available for you to review and conversations with the instructor and student colleagues are often very productive before class begins.
For site visits you will also be required to sign-in and for multiple visits in a single day you must sign the role sheet for each house that we visit. Leaving the class before the official end of class is also not acceptable. If the class goes over the allotted time you certainly have permission to leave.