chapter  6
20 Pages

The grid and the landscape

The Haeussler Residence, 1945
WithCesar A. Cruz

This chapter examines Klumb’s method of merging a building’s spatial-structural planning grids with its site conditions. The primary example I use to illustrate Klumb’s blending of the grid and the landscape is the suburban Haeussler Residence from 1945. The Haeussler Residence was the first house that Klumb designed as a sole practitioner in Puerto Rico. The main argument of this chapter is that, in designing houses such as Haeussler and others, Klumb disdained the modern practice of using a grid to impart order upon a building site or landscape. He instead derived order from the landscape, its vistas, and a site’s environmental factors. He then imparted that order back onto his houses through an appropriate square, triangular, or rhomboidal grid. The result was that in Klumb’s houses a planning grid and a site’s contextual forces made allowances for one another and coexisted in the harmonious unity of the built work and its surroundings.