American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Memory, Exhibit Object Focus

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Modernist Architecture

Walker Residence, Sanibel Island, Florida
Paul Rudolph (1918-1997)
Walker Residence, Sanibel Island, Florida
Perspective rendering, 1952
Ink and acetate shading film
on illustration board
Prints and Photographs Division
Bequest of Paul Rudolph, 1997 (139.7)

This perspective rendering for a Florida vacation house completed in 1953 by Paul Rudolph represents a radical and influential change both in how buildings were conceived and in how they were represented. Its forms, reduced to a bare modernist vocabulary of foundation elements, stilt-like supports, window walls, and partitions between openly visible living spaces, define the architecturally adventurous spirit of post-WWII America. Rudolph's Walker Residence, one of the first the architect developed on his own, both opens out to its natural setting and embraces natural elements, including the tree around which it has been built. Houses like this one helped launch Rudolph's career, which included commercial, cultural, civic, and urban structures conceived and built through the 1990s.

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