wallace neff, best known for california spanish revival architecture, experimented with affordable housing in the 1940s and early 1950s.

he created “bubble” houses which were formed without nails or lumber, using balloon molds and sprayed on concrete, reinforced with steel mesh.

there were thousands built worldwide – the last in the u.s. is the pasadena home of sari and steve roden shown below. i really like the period furnishings and his collection of ceramics, lamps and paintings

p739232486-4
the fire pit – photo by leslie williamson

16-Roden6932-1sm
above the central fireplace is a monotype by harry bertoia. photo by leslie williamson. new york times magazine here

27roden-williamson-slide-8CUO-jumbo
roden’s collection of 1940s ceramics by the potter eugene deutch (former student of the brancusi) photo by leslie williamson
new york times magazine here

p213860164-5
photo by leslie williamson

p517340524-5
photo by leslie williamson

p979920175-5
photo by leslie williamson

p78758548-5
alvar aalto circular side table with eugene deutch pottery – photo by leslie williamson

p248709057-4
george nelson bubble lamps – photo by leslie williamson

ANDREW-NEFF-HOUSE-03
from planet

leslie-williamson-steve-roden-01
steve roden’s wallace neff designed bubble house – the last in the u.s. photo by leslie williamson
new york times magazine here

neff_1
los angeles times – home & garden here

02_no-nails-lgn
from the book no nails, no lumber

tumblr_m416rd0mSy1qzqju7o1_1280
los angeles times – home & garden here

more on bubble houses:
new york times – style magazine here
los angeles times – home & garden here
los angeles times – home & garden here

i am not sure if this method of building is still cost effective, but if it is, it would be so useful in disaster areas like haiti or new orleans, or even in african refugee camps.

also check this book: no nails, no lumber: the bubble houses of wallace neff by jeffrey head
la-hm-bubble-houses-photos-001

Advertisements