Space as Decoration
The empty spaces in Paul Rudolph’s homes were not gaps he forgot to fill in, but not everyone understood this.
“Paul mastered his drawings to convey the sense of space in his designs, the most important aspect, which could easily just look like a lack of design,” Christopher and Joseph write.
For Paul, space was just as important as the building material—if not more. Thankfully, partner Ralph Twitchell agreed, believing that open space and natural elements outdo flashy décor.
“Now we do not ornament, we are in the new age—the age of air—and we use sunshine and color penetrating surfaces. It is not a new style but a new basic principle,” Ralph said.
Space was not an experiment for the two—it was their design principle.
Many were hesitant to jump on board Paul and Ralph’s architectural revolution. More space meant less privacy, and Paul threw around the term “goldfish bowl” to describe his projects. Despite this hesitation, Paul did not want the interior of his designs to be hidden from onlookers.
“The life of the house was intended to be observed as theater,” Paul said. Paul had an intention for every space in his designs, whether it was for design or theatrics.