Asher House, Sherman Oaks, CA

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Josquin
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Asher House, Sherman Oaks, CA

Postby Josquin » Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:37 pm

Name: Asher Residence
Architect/Year: Rodney Walker 1949
Type: House
Style: Organic
Street: Mulholland Drive
City: Sherman Oaks
State: California
Zip:
Country: United States of America
Status: Restored

This is one of Walker's best houses. Built with a larger budget than usual for Rodney, it has an unusually lush use of materials compared to his spec houses. Rodney Walker, although one of the case study architects, is another one of those underappreciated architects whose work is largely forgotten.
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Entrance
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Looking toward the foyer from behind the kitchen shelves.
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Living Room
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Kitchen from the living room.
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View from living room.
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Master Bed room.
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Front of the house. The master bedroom is on the second floor.
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Rear of the house.
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Balcony off the Living Room

Enjoy!

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Tony
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Postby Tony » Fri Oct 13, 2006 7:39 am

Josquin,

Great shots of a great house!

Thanks!

Tony
Tony Merchell

Architectural Photographer
www.glassandsteel.com

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Postby SDR » Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:42 am

Wow -- I just wandered over here for the first time in quite a while. Thanks so much for that ! Was the house for sale when these were taken ?

Love that unique ceiling lighting detail -- and when was the last time you saw clerestory windows opened ! Looks to me like mahogany ? But it could be cherry or even stained walnut. . . Of course the ceiling and beams would be of some softwood stained to match -- unles the budget was truly unlimited !

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Josquin
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Asher House, Sherman Oaks, CA

Postby Josquin » Sun Nov 05, 2006 9:33 pm

The Asher house was being renovated by the new owner at the time the photos were taken. I'm not sure of the wood, but it is beautiful. The Asher house details remind me of the work of Shindler, who Walker worked with in the 30's. I've seen about a dozen of Walker's houses and each one has surprised and delighted me; it's real a shame he isn't better known.

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Postby SDR » Thu May 10, 2007 4:07 pm

I had no idea that Walker worked with RMS. This house is a treasure.

Josquin, how would you characterize the effect of the lighted translucent ceiling cove(s) in the flesh, as against how they look in your excellent photos -- if any difference ? What does it remind you of if anything. Does it anywhere seem -- even for a moment -- to be daylight ? Would it, if the bulbs were cooler ? Did you happen to see it after dark ?

The exterior seems not to reflect the interior effect. . .

Thanks for bringing this back. More ?

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Asher House

Postby Josquin » Mon May 14, 2007 10:48 am

SDR,
I loved the effect of the cove lighting in the Asher house in the great room. The incandescents really do give off a warm light and on that day the light in the great room was nearly on par with outside. If they had used daylight bulbs, the effect would have been more pronounced. I believe Walker’s intent was to enhance the dissolution of the distinction between the inside and outside. Look at the way the lights cut through visible supports of the cieling beams so that they almost seem to float in space and only lightly touch the supporting walls. I’ve never seen this in a residence before. I’m surprised Walker didn’t use a band of exterior lights to increase the transparency of the windows at night.

I haven't had the chance to see the house at night.

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Postby SDR » Mon May 14, 2007 6:18 pm

There are some really unusual aspects to this house. The exterior cladding that looks like corrugated metal (?) turns from vertical to horizontal (in the third photo from the end) but the point is hidden by a downspout. This detail reminds me of something from Schindler. . .

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Postby rockland » Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:23 pm

a pleasure once again...never tire of looking. they way the couches, so
solid in form, massive really, are lightened by almost floating on thin
reflected crome legs. and the built-ins...
thought the light coverings would be a plastic. glass, nice.
and the open clearstories...

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Postby SDR » Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:44 pm

or clerestories. . .

It's special, isn't it ? Like the difference between a Citroen and a Ford or something. . . Not that there's anythng wrong with a Ford, mind you. (I just like the '39 Deluxe over the '89 Crown Vic, that's all. . .)

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rockland
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Postby rockland » Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:53 pm

...and the '51 ford with the dagmar bumpers? (and correct my spelling...
i happen to adore that)

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Postby SDR » Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:35 pm

Hmm .. how unusual ! Bender has a cattle prod he hasn't used in a while. . .

Now, didn't the '51 have "dagmars" in the grille ? I like the rubber-tipped ones on the '57 Cad. Kinky. . .
"I laugh in the face of danger! Then I hide until it goes away." Bender

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rockland
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Postby rockland » Tue Jun 12, 2007 6:06 pm

dagmars were bumper 'gals'. neighbor though.
i had a '51 chevy,2-door. neighborly competition...1979 in
new orleans. left the chevy behind. moved to nyc. two years later, a call
came to take it. shrubs had taken over... gave it away to the most pleasant voice...hope it still has a good home. nice to have had so many
past lives.
and the '07 comparison? mini cooper/element. thats not fair, how about
just about any ford.

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rockland
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Postby rockland » Tue Jun 12, 2007 6:09 pm

i wonder if the front door lights were originally frosted. i'm personally
not a fan of frosted. just doesn't seem correct...any thoughts?...

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Postby SDR » Tue Jun 12, 2007 7:09 pm

I just saw a very rough '51 Chevy convertible -- such a rare bird. I knew a bird c 1962 who had one -- it seemed old and unusual even then. So was she. . .
"I laugh in the face of danger! Then I hide until it goes away." Bender

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Asher House Lights

Postby Josquin » Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:35 pm

I think the Asher house translucent/frosted glass are original. You could see them in the original photos. With that quantity of lamps throughout the house, I think the softening effect of the frosted glass is appropriate. Otherwise, I think the light would be too harsh.
Here are some more photos
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Roof balcony off of the Master bedroom.
Image
Front Door
Last edited by Josquin on Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby SDR » Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:46 pm

Oh, there is very definitely a place in the scheme of things for translucence.

Just think of the "milk glass" globes of our favorite lighting fixtures; these go back to before electricity. Clear glass and translucent, opalescent and patterned glass all have their specific functions. . .

SDR
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Postby rockland » Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:28 pm

yes, i see. just beautiful. and it looks of a different quality than you see
now. and a nice place to have the privacy, at the entrance. such a well
thought out home...passionately designed. he had fun. and seems to have
had a good relationship with the client. it just feels right. and appreciated.
and the new owners seem to understand that. (i still want clear glass)

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Postby SDR » Wed Jun 13, 2007 6:13 pm

Great photos ! One of those houses with a difference, wherever you look. . .

Yes, you can have clear glass. :roll: Of course, it would look completely different inside, but. . .we love you. And you could always spray Xmas-tree "snow" on it when you realized the magnitude of your

Bender: Oh leave the poor guy alone ! :cheers:
"I laugh in the face of danger! Then I hide until it goes away." Bender

Josquin
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Asher House

Postby Josquin » Thu Jun 14, 2007 8:33 am

Rodney Walker was usually involved in both the designing and building of his houses. Many of his houses were built for spec, but even those show a sensitivity in the design, siting and construction. Here's photo of one of his spec houses in LA.
Image

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Postby SDR » Thu Jun 14, 2007 6:12 pm

Look at the way that the skylight -- or is that a flush ceiling light panel -- is espressed in the cutaway of the roof overhang near the chimney (also a necessary interruption of the roofing). Yummy.

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Postby rockland » Fri Jun 15, 2007 1:28 pm

could i be a teen again and do a thesis project on the home entry?
i have lived a year with a similar entry, though less grand of a home.
but larger side lights. they are clear. i was creeped for a month and wanted to add something temporary, frosted. i was so wrong. i can
now see what was intended. i can glimps NSEandW, from so many spots,
pauses and in chairs around my home. i think the human form behind frosted
glass is spooky. i need to see out! i just find that entry claustrophobic.
and do believe, and even 50/50 chance that the client, not the architect,
requested the frost. we know from our original change orders that ours
was as intended. but many near us, same style, have been changed
to frosted this and that, and some built with frosted.(and colors!) client wishes.
i like frosted as an 'off the house' fence element. breezeway, etc.
he may have even researched and found a cool frosted glass and had fun
with it. but did he ever have to live there.
just my 2 cents. but i now have mail men and fed-x people and neighbor children ringing my
door bell. i haven't had a door bell in 20 years. (bklyn loft before).
and interior wall panels are lovely frosted. (but you know who is behind it).....i just feel that things are changed to suit the client all the time.
FLW did it, and very well. he was not a crass bully. he did respect many
clients wishes. original is 'original w/ client'.
could a great architect only be judged by the home he built for himself?

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Postby SDR » Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:41 pm

Well, I'm with you all the way. I draw many large tables with a combination of wood and glass on top. I mostly see these as having clear glass; the idea is complete transparency -- as if the glass were a pool of water or a magic "invisible surface" -- with as much visual penetration of the interior, the structure, the guts of the thing, as possible.

SDR
"I laugh in the face of danger! Then I hide until it goes away." Bender


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