True to my word (literally), I returned to Hollyhock House with great anticipation. Finally reopened to the public, I had a stacked day (had walked from Emerson College with Huntington Library up next). Hilariously, in my previous post, I said to get driven to the top of the hill and yet still, I walked up. The photo above is my favorite spot in the whole house- a point of intersection- looking at the interior gallery space.
Before we can get to the building itself, I have to start with admiration of the craft of drawing and modeling before the computer age. Pens, blades, wood, paper – these basics are so fundamental to how I think about the art of design. I think its actually a bit tough to understand logic of the house until one sees the floor plan.
Centered around a outdoor courtyard (note theme again), I was immediately drawn to outdoor space. I’ve been reading a lot about intrinsic memory and in hindsight I can tell you that so much information was being drawn- the water of a fountain (where was it?), the height of the ceilings (so condensed), contrasting materials and textures also working so well together (wood and concrete). I wanted so much to grab a chair, take out the book from my backpack (Art of the Impossible at the time) and just exist in that space.
This is probably the most illustrative example I have seen of Wright’s work. His philosophy around the compression to expression of space is so acute- its almost claustrophobic walking in parts of the house. The point is well taken however, when the space is opened up.
I give thanks to the preservation of these houses which require enormous amount of care. Nothing lasts forever and certainly these built structures are no exception- in fact many of them have been at high risk due to lack of funding. This post is really quite lackluster in communicating the exceptionalism of space and scale – please please take a moment to visit and realize what vision, when executed with high craft, can be like.
Address: 4800 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Website: Hollyhock House website