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Wednesday
May022012

1953.......Simplicity

This is the Walker Guest House built in 1953 and designed by Paul Rudolph. This 650 square foot house is a kit of off the shelf materials and moving parts. It was to be a temporary living solution until the main house was built for the Walker family. Construction costs for this great little structure came in at just over $10,000. This was one of Rudolph’s first commissions as and architect / designer.



Simplicity is the best way to describe this project. The square shaped building has four walls that each contain three equal panels – one being of fixed glassed with the other two being wood that is hinged and counterbalanced to raise. These were used for shading the sun, cross ventilation, and for enclosing the entire house when down. 



The interior is broken into four quadrants – bedroom, living, kitchen, and dining. Raising wooden flaps helped extend some of these spaces to the outdoors, blending the inside with the surrounding landscape. This helped in adding square footage to the houses footprint.


Simplicity of fabrication was key for this project due to is being located on an island. Modular construction and lightweight materials helped with eliminating overall waste. This held true to how many people it took to construct this building as well.

Rudolph described this as one of his Florida favorites and that “it crouches like a spider in the sand.”