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  7. AD Classics: Milam Residence / Paul Rudolph

AD Classics: Milam Residence / Paul Rudolph

AD Classics: Milam Residence / Paul Rudolph
AD Classics: Milam Residence / Paul Rudolph, © Ouno Design
© Ouno Design

© Ouno Design AD Classics: Milam Residence / Paul Rudolph © Ouno Design AD Classics: Milam Residence / Paul Rudolph +10

71qOne of the fundamental rules of architecture as taught in beginning design courses is the importance of pushing the system. An idea should be so wholly thought out and executed that the design rules and logic are obvious to anyone, even if it is at the most elementary level. Paul Rudolph, 1918-1997, understood without a doubt how to successfully design a building that could be read for what it was conceived to be, as is the case with the Milam Residence of Jacksonville, Florida.

© Ouno Design
© Ouno Design

Using concrete to yield a front facade that is readable even from a distance, Rudolph explores the separation of interior and exterior spaces as the framework exhibited is independent of the structure behind it. Although detached from the program of the house, the rectangles and squares of the orthogonal facade occasionally relate interior rooms at various levels by the formation of sun screens, making the design both visually stimulating and functional.

Paul Rudolph is known for his intensity and his consistent use of complex floor plans which is evident in this residence as much as in his other buildings. The planning of this house beckoned a new design methodology for Rudolph, one about a rigid modular organizational system. 

The spatial variety and satiation of vertical and horizontal spaces are differentiated by frames, walls and floors which are extended to create varying volumes according to program. In this example, spatial organization has overpowered structural organization, and the design is thoughtfully considered first by the uses of space.

The walls and floors are elongated to create elaborate forms which extend south towards a seaside view of the Atlantic Ocean. One of the very few structural purposes served ny these patterns is to block the rays of the blazing Florida sun in high temperatures. These brises-soleil also act as mullians for the glazed windows, turning the exterior wall into a set of deep openings that are filled only with glass.

© Ouno Design
© Ouno Design

On the east and west sides of the residence, the dramatic sculptural extrusions were designed as counterparts to reinforce the sectional design and strategy which so wonderfully defines the characteristics of the Milam Residence. The scheme of this project is relatable to the boxes which were explored and experimented with in the Umbrella and Deering houses.

Although these strong angles stand out against the grassy hillside and flat beaches that meet it, the juxtaposition of surfaces does not come across as unappealing or unconsidered. Standard in almost all of Rudolph's designs, the residence is constructed of fair-faced concrete floor slabs and then finished with terrazzo and undulating acoustic tiles.

The floor plan is designed around a central and long double-height living room space, which is lowered two steps below an overlooking dining area to one side and a study area to the other, creating a sitting well. The stairs also translate into functional seating, which makes movable furniture superfluous.

The shifting of a floor platform and changes of elevation conform to specific spatial characteristics. Rudolph aimed to create a variety of moods with a consideration of the programmatic needs of the occupants, "the reading area with its low ceiling and corresponding wall of books, the high ceiling of the main living area with its recessed seating, or the nestlike inglenook set on a level between the living room and the overlook.

The dining room has a perennial view of the beach and the sea out of a large framed window. Rudolph must have viewed this centralized layout as being successful as many of the subsequent projects he completed had a similar system.

Rudolph was consistently pushing towards "a renewed concern for visual delight. This is indeed the architect's prime responsibility, for other specialists can do everything else that he does and, quite often, much better."

Cite: Igor Fracalossi. "AD Classics: Milam Residence / Paul Rudolph" 02 Nov 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/86126/ad-classics-milam-residence-paul-rudolph/>
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30 Comments

Berenice Salazar · December 09, 2014

It is arguable that
much of Paul Rudolph’s design revolves around many 19th century and
early 20th century modernistic ideas. His extensive thought process for
how interior and exterior spaces work together in order to create spatial
variation that offer an open yet dynamic floor plan. While also maintaining a very dynamic facade through the use of concrete a very popular modern material during this time period. Focusing as well on
making the design as simple as possible for the public to understand from a
distance. Like Le Corbusier who later in his career became more interested in
who would be using his buildings.

Sophie G · November 29, 2012

I find it interesting how Rudolph manages to draw upon other modernists ideas for the design of this house, but still manages to have his own distinct flavor and style of architecture. You can see obvious imitation in the Raumplan design stemming from Loos. He also creates a close relation to the natural surroundings and has conscious use of cantilevers which vaguely resembles Wright designs.

Love this house and I really hope more of Paul Rudolph's work is here to stick around.

Douglas Broward · August 20, 2012

Disregarding frozen yogurt, Jacksonville, FL has no claim to culture. However, it can boast at least one Paul Rudolph: http://t.co/E1WjPwXs

Fears and Kahn · March 20, 2012

Milam Residence:http://t.co/vQ75cE6Z Love this 1960s #Brutalist Framed Concrete #house by Paul Rudolph @archdaily #Architecture #Design

saree ws. ^^ · December 26, 2010

AD Classics: Milam Residence / Paul Rudolph | ArchDaily http://t.co/tP6THyx via @archdaily

SAA · November 06, 2010

AD Classics: Milam Residence / Paul Rudolph | ArchDaily http://t.co/Jo20Xxg via @archdaily

Marcilio Avelino · November 03, 2010

RT @amaralarquiteto: "Clássico é clássico e vice-versa!!!" hehehe http://t.co/9UHHWhQ via @archdaily

André Amaral · November 03, 2010

"Clássico é clássico e vice-versa!!!" hehehe http://t.co/9UHHWhQ via @archdaily

isla · November 03, 2010

feels like chilean architect sebastian irarrazaval get inspired on this house (not a bad thing at all...)

http://www.sebastianirarrazava...

...this is not a negative comment...

Phil Darwen · November 03, 2010

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Milam Residence / Paul Rudolph http://archdai.ly/bkI50O #architecture

ASphere · November 03, 2010

one of the Great
unlike today talkative Starchitect

many architects still pursue his fabulous space endlessly

rodger · November 03, 2010

agreed, love this house. nice to see rudolph getting his due

rodger · November 03, 2010

agreed, iconic.

Katerina Khimulia · November 03, 2010

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Milam Residence / Paul Rudolph http://archdai.ly/bkI50O #architecture

PR · November 03, 2010

Such a beautiful house

Red Wolf · November 03, 2010

Milam Residence by Paul Rudolph http://goo.gl/zokzw #architecture

Nils Mattisson · November 03, 2010

Have a hard time forming an opinion on this architecture. Beautiful yet arbitrary. http://bit.ly/ajuuvA

Pere Serra · November 03, 2010

descobrint els clàssics RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Milam Residence / Paul Rudolph http://archdai.ly/bkI50O #architecture

DesignGraph · November 03, 2010
Mark Gardner · November 03, 2010

AD Classics: Milam Residence / Paul Rudolph | ArchDaily http://t.co/0sVgZde via @archdaily

spectives#design · November 03, 2010

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rainsea · November 03, 2010

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Yusuke Kashiwagi · November 03, 2010

??????????????????????AD Classics: Milam Residence / Paul Rudolph http://bit.ly/a9fULD

Paula · November 03, 2010

Pra olhar. É o o que digo e ponto. RT @ArchDaily AD Classics: Milam Residence / Paul Rudolph http://archdai.ly/bkI50O

Architekt R V Scholz · November 03, 2010

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spectives#design · November 03, 2010

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Architecture+Molding · November 03, 2010

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GR2TF · November 03, 2010

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DEZIGN · November 03, 2010

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Bocetos Digitales · November 03, 2010

AD Classics: Milam Residence / Paul Rudolph: © CasacaraOne of the fundamental rules of architecture as taught in b... http://bit.ly/csU5lk

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