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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Mangled Moore

In architecture school the only projects by Charles Moore that I learned about were Sea Ranch and Piazza d'Italia; the former is a landmark of California regionalism, while the latter is the same for Postmodernism. So it was not until reading, around the time of its 2001 release, Mechanics and Meaning in Architecture by Lance LaVine that I became aware of Moore's own house in Orinda, California.

Here is a view of the house that adorns the cover of The Place of Houses by Moore, Gerald Allen and Donlyn Lyndon:

[Photo found at Metropolis]

LaVine's thorough analysis of the house focuses on the interior, where Moore created two aedicules – one for a large bathtub – below skylights:

[Drawing found at UTA]

The interior of the house, which receives attention from others addition to LaVine, is also notable for the way the corners slide away to open up the house to the landscape:

[Photo found at Archiscorpio]

I'm writing about Moore's Orinda house now because I recently came across a 2011 post at Bay Region Style indicating that the house was disfigured beyond recognition. Per that post, at some point this century the house ballooned from 1,545 to 3291 square feet through the addition of two wings flanking the original structure, which is barely discernible in the center here:

[Photo via post at Bay Region Style]

From above, the original roof shape and skylight can be ascertained amongst the McRanch:

[Image via Google Maps]

But most unfortunate is that all of the interior qualities of Moore's house were ruined. Per Bay Region Style: "The entire interior has been drywalled over and whitewashed, and glazed walls have been replaced with clusters of vinyl windows and doors."

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