Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The Bandini House – Greene & Greene


The brothers Charles & Henry Greene first began work in California, but their first genuine California house came through the 1903 commission from Arturo Bandini, who ordered from them,
“a simple bungalow [as Thomas Heinz describes] that would express the charm of the central courtyard arrangement found in the early adobe structures that represented Bandini’s family roots…
    “The Greenes’ solution was a series of spaces, one-room deep, arranged around three sides of a spacious central court resplendent with trees, flower beds, footpaths and a central pool and fountain lush with sounds of running water.”
Bandini001A house, in short, expressing and taking advantage of the empty spaces and the easy California climate and lifestyle, “blending Hispanic traditions with traditional Japanese building methods.”

Built around a sunny central courtyard surrounded by a verandah into which all rooms opened and from which breezes could easily flow, the private sheltered courtyard invited occupants outdoors, and became the centre of house life. (The plan below shows their similar but slightly more developed Hollister House of 1904.  The plan at bottom shows their original plan for the Bandini House.)

Two huge stone fireplaces helped bring the outside in, giving warmth and focus to the living and dining spaces.
Those aside, “It is all of wood and very simple” as the description of Charles Greene attests. It is, as authors Bruce Smith and Yoshiko Yamamoto say, “a house ideally suited to the freedom of life between the indoors and outdoors that the Californian climate encouraged.”

More about the house and the Greene brothers here.



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