03_a_lgSometimes I forget architecture is not all 19th century row houses and cedar-shingled beach cottages.

Then I see something like Paul Rudolph’s astounding 1959-61 residence for Arthur Milam (who still lives there), and remember.

The Milam house is the centerpiece of an afternoon tour this Saturday, March 7, co-sponsored by the AIA of Jacksonville and Docomomo/FL. It is sold out, but there’s still space at a free morning symposium on modern architecture in North Florida.

The dramatic concrete extrusions on the facade reflect the architect’s “craving for visual stimulation,” wrote the authors of Paul Rudolph: The Florida Houses (Princeton Architectural Press), “a response to the European severity he was reared on at Harvard,” where he studied under Walter Gropius.

Quite an expressive response!

It’s not all for show, however: the asymmetrical, Mondrian-like exterior shapes relate functionally to the way the space inside is used, delineating a low-ceilinged library, a high-ceilinged living area with recessed seating, cozy nooks (believe it or not), and so on.

Read lots more about the under-appreciated Paul Rudolph (1918-1997) and the Milam House on a blog connected to the Paul Rudolph Foundation’s website; and here’s a 1963 Architectural Record article on the Milam House.