AD Classics: Endless House / Friedrick Kiesler

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Friedrick Kiesler was a strong believer in an elastic spatial concept, one that must be capable of providing an optimum response to the varying social concerns and uses of its occupants. The initial shape of the shows a flattened spheroid, which became a basis for his Manifesto of Correalism. One of his main arguments for the derivation of the shape is that it is based on a lighting system; a shape that would allow ample light to reach every corner of the room without being broken up by corners and interior walls of a conventional building.

More on The Endless House by Friedrick Kiesler after the break.

© Friedrick Kiesler

“All ends meet in the “Endless” as they meet in life. Life’s rhythms are cyclical. All ends of living meet during twenty-four hours, during a week, a lifetime. They touch one another with the kiss of time. They shake hands, stay, say goodbye, return through the same or other doors, come and go through multi-links, secretive or obvious, or through the whims of memory.”

© Friedrick Kiesler

A main criticism of Kiesler is the discordance between the ambitious and unique potential of his models and the very static architectural drawings. His sketches work well to maintain the visions he discusses, but as soon as he begins to make “rigid” the un-rigid lines and surfaces he loses sight of what he is after. The models show flowing transitions through spaces, with internal stairs, interiority and exteriority, and continuous surfaces.

© Friedrick Kiesler

Sketches, sample models and descriptions show the projected materiality of the house; reinforced concrete on a wire mesh. The windows would be covered with a semi-transparent molded plastic, forming irregular shaped apertures. Bathing pools would replace conventional bath tubs and would be found scattered throughout the house. Textures of the flooring varied a lot; the range including pebbles, sand, rivulets of water, grass, planks, and heated terra-cotta tiles.

© Friedrick Kiesler

An exhibit on the “Endless House” was featured at The Museum of Modern Art from 1958-1959. This featured models and photographs of the modeling process, as well as the unorthodox architectural drawings that he called “polydimensional,” often compared to Surrealist atomatic drawings. The MOMA commissioned Kiesler to create a full scale prototype of his Endless House for the museum garden, where it would stay for two years. Unfortunately this was never completed, so the study models, drawings and photographs were the only items presented.

© Friedrick Kiesler

Kiesler spent a lot of his time as a theater and art-exhibition designer in Vienna during the 1920s, and around the same time he briefly collaborated with architect Adolf Loos. In 1923 he became a member of the De Stijl group. These relationships may have influenced in his approach to artistic theories and practices, which were often found heretical and bizarre.

© Friedrick Kiesler

During the period of 1937 to 1943, Kiesler was a member of the faculty in the Department of Architecture at Columbia University, where the program was geared towards teaching more pragmatic and commercially oriented architecture. This was very different from the areas of design he grounded his ideas in; theoretical concepts and ideas concerning the relationship among space, people, objects and concepts, known as “correalism” or “continuity.”

Architect: Friedrick Kiesler
Location: Unbuilt
Project Year: 1924-1950
References: Friedrick Kiesler, Matthew Krissel
Photographs: Friedrick KieslerMatthew Krissel

Cite: Sveiven, Megan. "AD Classics: Endless House / Friedrick Kiesler" 11 Apr 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 Oct 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=126651>
  • Alberto Saenz Gomez Tello

    way beyond his time…

  • http://uptodayarch.blogspot.com up_today_arch

    entire concept is so poetical…
    especialy for that times….
    and completely fogotten now…

    • shetu

      even for today.

  • http://textosa.es/ Karen H.

    It would be very interesting if someone built the full scale house now.

  • d.teil

    his name was : FRIEDRICH KIESLER or FREDERICK KIESLER, but not friedrick

  • fasp

    For sure way beyond his time! Also I can see that Ushida-Findlay maybe got inspired from!

  • kaan

    student at the angewandte university, institute of architecture vienna, analysed, study and proposed a possible structural and construction method. a very interesting project.

    • Shamma

      Are the students works available in net?

  • ariana roberts

    i hope to see this built someday