House With Balls: Louis Kahn Meets Paul Rudolph via Matharoo Associates

image credit Matharoo Architects
Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan of Architizer calls Matharoo Associates House with Balls "a veritable children's treasury of the weirdest, coolest architectural photography we've seen in a while (cattle, camels, fish, lights facing concrete walls, is that someone up there on the roof? Is that a cow up there?)."

I won't get started about the whole weirdness of a second home combined with fish farm; I just wanted to remind readers of a ballsier house that sat a lot more lightly on the landscape.

house with balls photo

Kelsey describes the weekend-home-meets-fish-breeding-location as Louis Kahn-esque for its "concrete, poured in-situ and left intentionally unfinished ("Every aspect of this design is set out to strip expense from the project")"

But I would counter that it is more Rudolphian.

house with balls photo

Paul Rudolph on Chapel Street with Yale University Art & Architecture building in background, ca. 1963.

Rudolph was certainly known (and often reviled) for his use of concrete; but he also built his own house with balls a lot earlier.

image credit Lloyd Alter

Back in 1952, Rudolph used counter-weighted panels to enclose the Walker Guest House on Sanibel Island. The panels have soaked up a little moisture and the 77 pound balls are no longer up to the task of completely opening the building. But it used to work perfectly; Elaine Walker told us last year:

"Rudolph said to my husband, 'Sometimes you want to live in a cave and sometimes you live in a tent." When it rained or was very cold, and you lowered the flaps, it was just as cozy as you could be."

house with balls photo

Rudolph's design was also a second home but a modest 24 feet square, simple and light. I think it is a lot ballsier. See the whole thing: Touring Paul Rudolph's Walker Guest House


More Paul Rudolph:
Why Are So Many Paul Rudolph Buildings Being Torn Down?
Off to the Dump: House by Paul Rudolph
Another Paul Rudolph Bites the Dust: Sarasota's Riverview High ...

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