Welcome to the Archives of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation. The purpose of this online database is to function as a tool for scholars, students, architects, preservationists, journalists and other interested parties. The archive consists of photographs, slides, articles and publications from Rudolph’s lifetime; physical drawings and models; personal photos and memorabilia; and contemporary photographs and articles.
Unless otherwise noted, all images and drawings are copyright © The Estate of Paul Rudolph and The Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation. Please speak with a representative of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation to get permission to use any drawings or photos. Drawings, sketches and other materials produced by Rudolph’s architectural office at the Library of Congress are maintained there for preservation, but the intellectual property rights belong to the Paul Rudolph Estate and Ernst Wagner, founder of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation.
Address: 16 Minute Man Hill
Zip Code: 06880
Nation: United States
Google Maps Address: 41.11355, -73.35249
Floors (Above Ground):
Architect: Paul Rudolph
Rudolph Staff: James Brown
Structural: David Hofman
Contractor: Charles Remlin
Perched on a green hillside, this horizontal composition stretched its long, lean, linear elements across the site—and provided its owner with expansive views of Long Island Sound. Houses that are “one room deep” (as is the case here) often feel the most connected to the landscape: one never feels confined—and never far from a window. This feeling of openness is enhanced by several expansive exterior decks, which also contribute to the horizontal aesthetic.
It is in the Micheels house that Rudolph most explicitly composed with the “thrust and counterthrust” of various elements, especially planar ones. Volumes, sun shading beams, support columns, and panels were composed with De Stijlian dynamism—all slipping and sliding past each other, or pushed outward, or intersecting, or suspended—and often in a combination of the above. Some of this had been explored earlier, in Rudolph’s Dweck House (Deal, NJ, 1971)—but here the elements boldly thrust outward with movement. Rudolph said “I want a million and one things going on at once, but they must be resolved and balance, because it is through the resolution of tension that something becomes dynamic.” The building does not feel jagged or jumbled, and it is through Rudolph’s sense of balance that he’s able to resolve all these elements into a practical and serene home. Contributing to that resolution is his choice of materials and palette: white—inside and out—with the diverse exterior elements visually homogenized through the application of an aggregate finish, and the interiors all smooth, painted surfaces.
The house was comprised of numerous series of interlocking planes in a linear fashion. These planes were prefabricated wooden beams covered in white cement aggregate.
Paul had designed the eastern section of the structure to suspend over the ground.
Paul sought to exhibit a sense of motion. This impression of motion was achieved by the relationship between the spaces and the way they connect with one another by overlapping parallel walls and the way the walls and the structural elements join with one another, interlocking and moving past the intersection.
There was an extremely popular dispute over its demolition in 2007. A legal dispute had taken place between the owners and the preservationists before it was finally torn down.
The destruction of the Micheels House is an example of the fate of too many of Paul Rudolph’s buildings—and all the sadder here because of the exuberance that Paul Rudolph brought to this rich architectural confection. Despite strong attempts to save the building—including an offer from a buyer who was willing to preserve it—the house was taken down only 35 years after it was built. Part of the mission of the Paul Rudolph Heritage Foundation is to preserve Rudolph’s built work.
DRAWINGS - Design Drawings / Renderings
DRAWINGS - Construction Drawings
DRAWINGS - Shop Drawings
PHOTOS - Project Model
PHOTOS - During Construction
PHOTOS - Completed Project
PHOTOS - Current Conditions
LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION
de Alba, Roberto. (2003). Paul Rudolph: The Late Work. New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press.