Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Rachofsky House

Last Thursday my History of Architecture II class took a field trip to the Rachofsky House off Preston Road in Dallas. The 10,000 sq. ft. house was designed by architect Richard Meier (hmm wonder if we're related!) and completed in 1996. It was built as a private residence for the Roachofskys, they still use it as a vacation home, but it now also serves as a gallery space for their extensive art collection and is open for the public to tour.
Our tour guide told us to think of the house as part of a 3-dimensional grid, the grid is visible on the exterior of the house. As you enter the house you see rooms that appear to be floating arbitrarily in space, but they are actually all part of the 3-D grid that the house is organized on. Each space within the 3 story house is custom designed for its purpose; the large open gallery space at the entrance sits in opposition to the intimate living areas with lower ceilings. The house was designed to optimize the picturesque landscaping of the property. In addition to the architecture we looked at the art collection in the house, many of the pieces had humorous elements to them, there was sculpture, photography, paintings and some artistic video pieces. As a whole the trip was very enjoyable, it didn't hurt that it was a beautiful day-80 degrees in March!

This art piece is a baby crib made completely of glass. Silence by Mona Hatoum. This piece like a lot of the others has a kind of dark or morbid feeling. I think the artist may be making a statement about the fragility of life, infants in particular. And the name "Silence" only ellaborates on that idea.
As you can see some areas are open to all 3 floors.

This is a painting by Anselm Kiefer, I love the classical architecture of this painting in such a modern house, and the texture is great!
Here you can see some of my classmates in the dining room.

This little guy is great, he bangs his head against the bell every 10 minutes, it's super loud! This is Attempt to Raise Hell, 1969 by Dennis Oppenheim.

Believe it or not behind that white wall is Preston Road! You would never know that this jewel of art and architecture was here.

This is the back of the Rachofsky House.

Me at the Rachofsky House.