Volsky Residence by Charles Haertling   6 comments

Volsky Residence , Boulder, CO - 1965

“Early in Haertling’s career he was commissioned by University of Colorado psychology professor Theodore Volsky to design a house for his family of four on a steep hillside lot extending from a mountain stream in west Boulder. The lot featured views in all directions, half of them slightly upwards to the mountains. The Volskys were interested in taking advantage of these views in a dramatic living room situation. The prominent upward views suggested the upwards curving catenary roof form open to the high view areas while still maintaining interior scale. One gets a 360′ view from the curtain-less living room of the mountains to the west and south, and the plains and cityscape to the east and north. The steepness of the site was accommodated by lowering the house into the earth as much as possible to the rear and allowing light in by way of large lightwells. For basic economy a circular floor plan was conceived, which allowed for increased circulation in the smaller area of the circle and for larger rooms with minimum access distance. 
The living room sits atop the circular form blossoming at the highest point from the ground that capitalizes on the excitement of the terrain. The lower level contains a recreation room and the entry. Upon ascending the stairs one emerges into an interior garden which not only surprises and delights, but also is very functional in that it serves also as a short cut between living areas.

During the construction of the Volsky house a dozen of the neighbors collaborated on a letter of protest regarding its “sheer grossness”, and voicing their concern over “a definite though incalculable loss of property values.” Within a year of the completion of the house Life Magazine printed a 6 page article on it in their Ideas in Houses section. In the following years it appeared on CBS-TV’s show “21st Century” hosted by Walter Cronkite, Schonen Wohnen, and L’Architecture D’aujourd’hui magazines. Since that time the Volskys have made a hobby of maintaining the house in its original form.”
www.atomix.com/haertling/volsky.html

Volsky Residence , Boulder, CO - 1965

From LIFE Magazine, 1966:

Volsky Residence , Boulder, CO - 1965

Volsky Residence , Boulder, CO - 1965

Volsky Residence , Boulder, CO - 1965

Volsky Residence , Boulder, CO - 1965

Volsky Residence , Boulder, CO - 1965

More LIFE pics:

Volsky Residence , Boulder, CO - 1965

Volsky Residence , Boulder, CO - 1965

All Photos: Michael Rougier

Links:

Charles A. Haertling – Architect A.I.A.

Charles Haertling (Wikipedia)

Outside the box – The Rocky Mountain News

Work by the wonderful Charles Haertling!


Posted April 19, 2010 by mcarch in History

Tagged with , , , , ,

6 responses to “Volsky Residence by Charles Haertling

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Pingback: Volsky Residence By Charles Haertling – Modern Austin

  2. Surprisingly this very futuristic and holistic design of the house has very well organised interior. The circular ground plan has created equal options for each space to reach the inner garden or to enjoy the view scenery of surrounded nature. The patios close to the bedrooms can offer a charming place to have, for instance, a breakfast in the morning there… fabulous masterpiece.
    Julie

    Like

  3. Just proves that if you want to do something bold and revolutionary, there will always be opponents. I bet those neighbours feel silly now regarding the positive media outcome of the project.

    The round walls in this case seem to work surprisingly well. I’ve seen the round wall idea used in a lot of modern condos, though I don’t find that it works very effectively. Perhaps it has to do with the average square footage in a modern urban condo being around 650 for a one bedroom, which tends to cramp the living arrangements. In this case though, with more space, and more importantly a real reason to construct the house in this way for the view, it makes total sense. Very cool house!

    Like

  4. Nice house, nice write up. Arnold from West Bridgford

    Like

  5. Pingback: round home moored to a hill | round houses

  6. Bold and beautiful

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 55 other followers

%d bloggers like this: