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House II
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The second in a series of ten experimental houses from the early career of Peter Eisenman.
About this creation

Now known for his work on big projects like the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin and the Wexner Center at Ohio state University, in the 1960s Peter Eisenman was much more of an architectural theorist.



Constructed in 1969, as a summer house on top of a hill in Vermont, the theory behind House II had more to do with abstract notions of spatial geometry than any idea of habitability or comfort.



Based upon a 3x3x2 grid, the elements of the building attempt to subvert that grid, but always in a rigourously logical fashion, according to a set of rules in Eisenman's head.



The part-walls and columns are an attempt to create an interplay of space and light, such as exists around trees, which were absent on the site originally. The experiences of being inside and outside are inverted.



The end result of all this is a building on a barren hilltop with a strange kind of abstract beauty. It's usefulness as a house is more open to question.



The people for whom it was built, who paid for it, hated it. They never lived there and it fell into disuse and neglect; finally, dereliction.



Ten years ago it was rescued, by a couple who bought it simply because they liked it, not knowing of it's significance or it's architect.



They soon discovered what they had, and set about restoring it to something like it's original design - the first owners had mucked about with it quite a bit in an unsuccessful attempt to make it more agreeable to them.



The version I've built here is closest to Eisenman's original design, with one or two minor deviations to account for the bricks I had at my disposal.



It's pretty much as it looks now, minus the porch added to the front door and a small extension to the side.



Few things divide opinion quite like a house like this. As a fan of modern architecture, I understand it and like it, although I'm not blind to it's flaws.



The first owners wanted something more 'homely', but that does beg the question; why go to Peter Eisenman ? That said, they did deserve something that didn't leak or cost a fortune to maintain - which they didn't get.



It's all fixed now, and it's finally loved and lived in.













Comments

  January 2, 2018
*Only* if curious! My essay is complete, though needs a final edit. Not an easy read, but I got a kick out of writing it. The general point is that House II is a fascinating building. Also I've added a link to this page in my notes. And thanks again for getting me started. https://returningcenter.wordpress.com/2017/11/30/house-ii/
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  December 17, 2017
interesting!:D
 I made it 
  December 14, 2017
Quoting Gary Garvin Nah, yours is better, Nick. The complexity of your build amazes and is appropriate for the house. You got me started on scale, 14 Lego units between the posts of his initial grid, though I adjusted the height. And it was just right for the model. Also it closely aligns with the house dimensions, which is about 45 x 45 feet. One unit for each foot. Sometimes scale works out, as it did for my Bauhaus: https://returningcenter.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/the-bauhaus-sml/ Once I set the scale, everything worked out very closely. Luck, really, and a joy.
Cheers Gary. Those Bauhaus builds convey the stark beauty of their subject wonderfully. It's neat how scale can sometimes be your friend! I nearly always scale a build around the dimensions of an important part (a wheel for a car, a window panel for a house etc) but didn't do that here.
  December 12, 2017
Nah, yours is better, Nick. The complexity of your build amazes and is appropriate for the house. You got me started on scale, 14 Lego units between the posts of his initial grid, though I adjusted the height. And it was just right for the model. Also it closely aligns with the house dimensions, which is about 45 x 45 feet. One unit for each foot. Sometimes scale works out, as it did for my Bauhaus: https://returningcenter.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/the-bauhaus-sml/ Once I set the scale, everything worked out very closely. Luck, really, and a joy.
 I made it 
  December 10, 2017
Quoting Gary Garvin You inspired me, Nick. I had to give House II a shot: https://returningcenter.wordpress.com/2017/11/30/house-ii/ I'll add more text and links to this MOC page and your work later. Your model is superior in many respects. I had to to do something different and simplified a bit. I enjoyed this project no end. Thanks, and please, more architecture!
Thankyou Gavin. Like you, I found building this house to be the best way of understanding it. Yours looks superb, superior to this in every respect. On another note, more architecture is coming soon :-)
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  December 10, 2017
You inspired me, Nick. I had to give House II a shot: https://returningcenter.wordpress.com/2017/11/30/house-ii/ I'll add more text and links to this MOC page and your work later. Your model is superior in many respects. I had to to do something different and simplified a bit. I enjoyed this project no end. Thanks, and please, more architecture!
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  June 5, 2014
Great replica. A perfect case for Lego, and you made it perfect :)
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  April 23, 2012
Looks more like a Halo map than a home, but nice build!
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  April 10, 2012
modern, cold, houses are my favs, so it s natural I love this, it s history is also quite interesting, too bad it s scale does nt fit the figs, it would have looked awesome toghether!
Nick Barrett
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White Knight
  April 4, 2012
Fascinating !>.....well done
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  April 4, 2012
Fantastic! A beautiful house! Now you only nead is a interior! 5/5 :-)
 I made it 
  April 4, 2012
Quoting StoveTop Creator I'm fascinated with all these types of modern designs... Of course, I have visited several Frank L Wright ones. But then, I like Georgian designs too! Oh, I thought the same thing as Barto... flat roof=potential leak problems?!
You're both right - especially in snowy Vermont... I love the work of FLW as well, pity most of it is so far away from me!
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  April 4, 2012
I'm fascinated with all these types of modern designs... Of course, I have visited several Frank L Wright ones. But then, I like Georgian designs too! Oh, I thought the same thing as Barto... flat roof=potential leak problems?!
 I like it 
  April 4, 2012
Nice work, Nick! Your version and the original blend seamlessly. But when I looked at the real one, first thing that came to mind was, "I bet the roof leaks'. I guess that was a problem for the owners?
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  April 2, 2012
It's all top-notch, the house itself, your interpretation and your techniques, of course, especially the offset parts. I think I can learn much from this. Fantastic job, I like it a lot!
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  March 31, 2012
Wow, Nick, you really got quite close to the original! Very nice ideas for the interpretation of the design. Great job! :-))
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  March 31, 2012
Wow!! Impressive!! I'm not keen on modern architectures (good old-fashion Frenchy... ^^) but I'm amazed by your great work reproducing from plans and pictures... This house is kind of complex.
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  March 31, 2012
Great done! A unique, abstract and beautiful work. Bravo!
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  March 31, 2012
Well done!
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  March 31, 2012
You did a good job of recreating the house in LEGO. And thank you for the interesting article.
Nick Barrett
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Chris Melby
  March 30, 2012
Nick, you nailed it! You have pieces going in every direction, and it looks SWEET! Very nice build here! Chris
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  March 30, 2012
Uniquely designed! I like it! -LB Jr
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  March 30, 2012
Quite a unique building, to say the least. Well recreated, especially with the glass.
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  March 30, 2012
An awesome piece of Legotechture! I love this building! A lovely slab of errr ABS lol. It's spot on. Great build Nick!
 I made it 
  March 30, 2012
Quoting MortalSwordsman . What a fantastic building and your recreation of it is excellent. I am a fan of modern architecture too and I can see the “interplay of space and light” principle especially in the third from last photo. Great build Nick
Glad to hear from a fellow fan. Thanks Joe. This is one of those works that takes a bit of getting to know. The experience of re-creating it has taught me a lot.
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  March 30, 2012
What a fantastic building and your recreation of it is excellent. I am a fan of modern architecture too and I can see the “interplay of space and light” principle especially in the third from last photo. Great build Nick
 I made it 
  March 30, 2012
Quoting Henrik Hoexbroe Mr. Barrett! I swaer, I had *NO* idea that this is your build. I just clicked on it, because it seemed interessting. Then when I got to the end and was about to leave a comment, I saw your icon, and thought; "Oh, so Nick´s commented already. Typical!" THEN I saw that you were actually the builder! -What a pleasant surprise!!! I like this build a LOT! It´s absolutly fantastic, -and thank you also for the informative comments!
Thanks Henrik. I'm full of surprises... :-)
 I like it 
  March 30, 2012
Mr. Barrett! I swaer, I had *NO* idea that this is your build. I just clicked on it, because it seemed interessting. Then when I got to the end and was about to leave a comment, I saw your icon, and thought; "Oh, so Nick´s commented already. Typical!" THEN I saw that you were actually the builder! -What a pleasant surprise!!! I like this build a LOT! It´s absolutly fantastic, -and thank you also for the informative comments!
 I like it 
  March 30, 2012
Nick, this is beautiful! I had no idea who built this when I saw it on my homepage until I clicked on it, you've done a wonderful job recreating this house. And it was interesting reading the history too, thanks, and fantastic work!
 I made it 
  March 30, 2012
Quoting Tom Simon Who needs livability when it looks like that? Actually, I would have to agree with the first owners that it should not have leaked. That is poor engineering. And good engineering is not an enemy of vision or artistry. Now tell us, how do your mini and maxi figs feel about living in this house?
Agreed. As for figs, the minis are too small (slightly) and the maxis are too big. Somehow it looks more at home out of context.
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  March 30, 2012
Who needs livability when it looks like that? Actually, I would have to agree with the first owners that it should not have leaked. That is poor engineering. And good engineering is not an enemy of vision or artistry. Now tell us, how do your mini and maxi figs feel about living in this house?
 I like it 
  March 30, 2012
Wow Nick,this is brilliant!It looks just like real one from your pictures.Great job as always!:) Patrick S.
 
By Nick Barrett
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