Friday, 24 May 2019

material and motif

The always brilliant Nag on the Lake introduces us to the repertoire of architect Bruce Alonzo Goff (*1904 - †1982) through his organic, harmonious commission for artists and educators Nancy and Eugene Bavinger completed in 1955 (making the cover of LIFE magazine due to its immediate status as a tourist attraction) in Norman, Oklahoma, far off the beaten path.
Set in the woods and using a re-purposed oil derrick drill stem as the central spire a single locally-sourced sandstone wall spiralled to the ground like a Möbius strip, the only division separating indoors from outdoors, rooms were suspended platforms at graduated heights with curtains that could be drawn for privacy and the ground floor was the forest itself. This icon of habitation integrated with its environment was sadly ultimately demolished in 2016 overgrown with vegetation and after a decade of vacancy and a tornado that damaged the structure’s anchor as plans for restoration were discussed. Other examples of works by Goff survive and enjoy protected status.