Category Archives: Harris House

RM Schindler’s Rose Harris House, 1942, Analysis completed, part 5 of 5

A few final thoughts


The only furniture Rose needed to buy for this house was the bed (which could have been built by Schindler for all I know) and the piano. All the other furniture is built-in, mostly of plywood. (Figures 1 and 2). The furniture shapes the space and is part of the design.

The plywood wainscot in the living room runs from the fireplace, behind the couch and dining area, then takes a Schindler notch around the kitchen pass-through. It reminds me of the front elevation.

The green roofing wrapped pop-out below the bedroom window contains a planter box and a built-in dresser for the bedroom (Fig 3).

RM Schindler’s Rose Harris House 1942, Analysis continued – part 4 of 5

Some more thoughts


As usual, Schindler creates a world with three roof/ceiling planes (Figure 1). Here the planes are 6’-8”, 8’-0” and 8’-8” high. The first two heights are typical, appearing in most of Schindler’s houses, particularly in his later Schindler Frame Houses. The third 8’-8” plane is unusually low, reflecting the modest budget and small size of the house.

The steps in the ceiling never occur over a wall,  but are offset about 2’-8”. Almost every room has a step in the ceiling. Even the bathroom has a ceiling step, although the room is so small that it would be difficult to see (Fig 2). The steps make the spaces within each room more dynamic and imply spaces that flow through the walls, somewhat like the Erlik house but without the high glass. The ceilings step up to the rear, but also on a diagonal towards the living room southwest corner, making the living room the tallest (8’-8”) space (Fig 3).

RM Schindler’s Rose Harris House, 1942, Analysis, part 3 of 5

Some interesting things


The site is very dramatic, a steeply sloping granite cone with the top scraped off  (Figure 1). The flat usable area is given over to the patio. To maximize the patio, the house is moved entirely on to the slope and accesses the patio by a short bridge(Fig 2). The house, in Schindler’s words, “balances above the hill”.1

The arrangement on the site seems perfectly logical. The patio is where it is because of the existing topography. The house is on the slope, adjacent to the patio and close to the street for a shorter walk. The garage is located below the living level, down at the street level.A ramp connects the garage level to the patio, gracefully curving up the rounded hill and tying the building to the site. The curve of the hill is repeated in the edge of the patio and the fireplace opening.