Beach Houses: Andrew Geller

Overview

Andrew Geller was known as the architect of happiness and it's easy to see why. Sporting names like The Box Kite, The Bra, and The Reclining Picasso, his whimsical vacation homes of the 1950s and 1960s dotted the coasts of Long Island, Martha's Vineyard, and the Jersey Shore. Made mostly of wood, they combined a modern interest in light, breeze, and functional living with playful form-making. In contrast to the today's Hamptons megamansions, Geller's inexpensive homes were modest in scale and reflected the ideas ...

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Overview

Andrew Geller was known as the architect of happiness and it's easy to see why. Sporting names like The Box Kite, The Bra, and The Reclining Picasso, his whimsical vacation homes of the 1950s and 1960s dotted the coasts of Long Island, Martha's Vineyard, and the Jersey Shore. Made mostly of wood, they combined a modern interest in light, breeze, and functional living with playful form-making. In contrast to the today's Hamptons megamansions, Geller's inexpensive homes were modest in scale and reflected the ideas of summer leisure of a generation more concerned with fun on the beach than ostentatious display. Now available in paperback, Beach Houses features more than fifty of these spirited houses in rarely seen vintage photographs and drawings.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book is a wistful celebration of a lost era when the world was a much bigger place and oceanfront property a relatively affordable commodity." -Metropolis
Publishers Weekly
Gordon (Weekend Utopia) takes readers on a tour of "quixotic designer-architect" Geller's beach houses in this handsomely illustrated homage. Geller, a long-time designer at the Loewy Corporation, a pioneering industrial design firm, made a name for himself in the 1950s and 60s when he began taking commissions to build architecturally adventurous summer houses in Sagaponack, Amagansett and other beach towns. His playful designs made the most of their location-generally, these were small houses on small lots, and windows opening onto the beach were crucial-and often reflected important parts of their owners' personalities: a Kodak executive's house was a boxy structure with "lenslike" windows, while a well-known ladies' man's dwelling looked a little like a "square brassiere." Later, Geller worked on the Leisurama brand of prefabricated summer homes, which were sold at Macy's and came furnished, right down to towels and toothbrushes. As Gordon writes, "each one [of Geller's houses] told a story and sometimes, in his best work, this story took the form of a kind of comic-strip imagery that recalled Krazy Kat, Rube Goldberg, Betty Boop, and the bebop jazz that Geller admired." While many of the houses Geller designed were destroyed in hurricanes, demolished to make room for McMansions or remodeled and expanded beyond recognition, the photographs and architectural drawings in this volume bring them appealingly back to life. 25 color, 60 b&w illustrations. (June) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616892371
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press
  • Publication date: 3/11/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 782,541
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Alastair Gordon is contributing editor for architecture and design at WSJ, the Wall Street Journal magazine

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Beachcombing 9
Improvisations 23
Origami 73
A Beach House for Everyone 95
Epilogue: Funky Modernist 113
Notes and Bibliography 124
List of Works 125
Acknowledgments 126
Index 127
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