Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Russell Collins House - Bruce Goff


Built in 1959 in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. [Photos from 'Ralph's Photography' site.]



  1. I've enjoyed most of the houses you've put up over time, and would love to live in the majority of them, but this one is ugly. Looks badly built and it must be hellishly dark inside.

    Not a design connoting rejoicing in a life.

    Mark Hubbard

  2. 'Put up' as in posted to your blog here :)


  3. Hi Mark,

    Thanks for your response. I'm always interested to see how other people see art and architecture, even when they're wrong. :-)

    I'm afraid Bruce Goff's many treasures have been badly served by archivists and photographers -- something the Kebyar organisation is slowly trying to put right.

    Frankly, too many of Goff's beautiful houses have been made to look less than beautiful by amateur photographers taking photos without the permission of private owners, making them seem locked up and austere.

    This house for instance.

    I'm not sure how you draw the conclusion it looks badly built [?], but the impression of darkness may come from the fact it's photographed on a dark, wet day, and the owners have bloody net curtains across all the many windows (should be banned).

    Try to imagine it in bright sunlight, with all the doors and windows open (and the net curtains in the bin) and laughing punters out barbecuing on the terrace.

    Would it look different to you then?

  4. Well ... what beer am I drinking while cooking on the BBQ? :)

    The problem is possibly partly the bad photograph (and gray day, dark under all those trees). But the building looks untidy under the sharp piece of balcony in the foreground, although I'm having trouble figuring out what that is exactly? The balcony I can see on the left hand side (looking at screen)seems narrow and claustrophobic, not utilitarian, plus the old style looking picket handrail doesn't work with the rest of the building. And despite being narrow, this balcony is casting dreadful shadows on the windows below. Although, I it gets hot there, so perhaps built deliberately for coolness.

    Personal prejudice: I've never liked those bland, cream coloured, rough edged bricks. Always look cheap. Would prefer straight gray block work.

    It would be interesting to see the house in bigger photos, and from different angles.

  5. Trust me this is a nice house, it's not one of Goff's best designs, but it is still very good. Actually I have much better photos of this house and photos inside too. Living room and fireplace are amazing in this house. It's also being kept up very well by its owner.
    If there is one thing that I've learned from seeing all of Goff's homes in Oklahoma and Missouri it is that YOU MUST SEE BUILDINGS IN PERSON TO TRULY UNDERSTAND THEM


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