LOST MODERN 419 OCEAN WALK

Architect: HORACE GIFFORD, 1969. Destroyed c. 1972.

Standing for just a few seasons before washing out to sea, Horace Gifford’s design at (or near) 419 Ocean Walk was popularly known as the “Plywood House” owing to the prolific use of this finish inside and out. Its materiality owed a debt to the experiments of architect Rudolph Schindler, while its volumes recalled the Brutalism of Paul Rudolph and the paintings of Hans Hoffman. The home was commissioned by Robert and Celeste Rubrum, during Horace Gifford’s most frenetic year as an architect. Its rectangular volumes were alternately solid and transparent as needed for privacy and views. Public spaces clustered around a vast double-height space, tempered by the intimacy of a red conversation pit. Nearly all of the furniture was built-in. A spiral stair ascended to a bridge that connected the two-story wings.

 

House photos and drawing: Horace Gifford. Concrete Building: Orange County (NY) Government Center, Paul Rudolph, 1963-67. Painting: Simplex Munditis, Hans Hoffman, 1962.

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