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September 19, 2012

It comes at no surprise that some of the most famous architects' early commissions were for their parents. Who better to encourage their experimental ideas? How better to repay years of encouragement? For a few—like Charles Gwathmey (whose Amagansett house was featured in our October 2012 American Modern issue) and Harry Seidler—those were the projects put them on the map. Here, we take a look at more homes by architects for their families.

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  Villa le Lac
Le Corbusier's 1923 design on the shores of Lake Geneva has been featured a couple of times before on dwell.com, once on a story about architectural trespassing and more recently in Søren Rose's picks for his top three buildings. aplatform
    Villa le Lac Le Corbusier's 1923 design on the shores of Lake Geneva has been featured a couple of times before on dwell.com, once on a story about architectural trespassing and more recently in Søren Rose's picks for his top three buildings. aplatform
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  At 689 square feet, the open-plan house features a bedroom, powder room, bathroom, kitchen, and small salon that could be converted into a guest room. Photo by aplatform.
    At 689 square feet, the open-plan house features a bedroom, powder room, bathroom, kitchen, and small salon that could be converted into a guest room. Photo by aplatform.
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  Rogers House
Today, Richard Rogers is known for his large-scale commissions, but in the late 1960s, he designed this courtyard home opposite London's Wimbledon Common for his mother and father. He described it as “a transparent, flexible tube which would be adapted and extended,” offering freedom of layout through flexibility of design.  Courtesy of Richard Bryant/arcaid.co.uk.  This originally appeared in Richard Rogers.
    Rogers House Today, Richard Rogers is known for his large-scale commissions, but in the late 1960s, he designed this courtyard home opposite London's Wimbledon Common for his mother and father. He described it as “a transparent, flexible tube which would be adapted and extended,” offering freedom of layout through flexibility of design. Courtesy of Richard Bryant/arcaid.co.uk.
    This originally appeared in Richard Rogers.
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  Vanna Venturi House
Richard Venturi designed this Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, house for his mother in 1963. Known for quoting the visual language of older architectural movements, Venturi broke with the rigid box-like forms of the high modern style for this structure. Of this design he stated "This building recognizes complexities and contradictions: it is both complex and simple, open and closed, big and little: some of its elements are good one one level and bad on another." In his world "less was a bore," as shown by the exaggerated proportions and embellishments of the facade shown here.
    Vanna Venturi House Richard Venturi designed this Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, house for his mother in 1963. Known for quoting the visual language of older architectural movements, Venturi broke with the rigid box-like forms of the high modern style for this structure. Of this design he stated "This building recognizes complexities and contradictions: it is both complex and simple, open and closed, big and little: some of its elements are good one one level and bad on another." In his world "less was a bore," as shown by the exaggerated proportions and embellishments of the facade shown here.
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  Here's the interior of the Vanna Venturi House.
    Here's the interior of the Vanna Venturi House.
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  Kathryn Moore House
Charles Moore is remembered for designing the homes from Sea Ranch and for the PoMo Piazza d'Italia public plaza in New Orleans. He also created this Japan-inspired house sited in Pebble Beach, California, for his mother in the mid 1950s. Photo via the Charles Moore Foundation.
    Kathryn Moore House Charles Moore is remembered for designing the homes from Sea Ranch and for the PoMo Piazza d'Italia public plaza in New Orleans. He also created this Japan-inspired house sited in Pebble Beach, California, for his mother in the mid 1950s. Photo via the Charles Moore Foundation.
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  Here's the courtyard of the Kathryn Moore House. Photo via the Charles Moore Foundation.
    Here's the courtyard of the Kathryn Moore House. Photo via the Charles Moore Foundation.
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  Jerome and Carolyn Meier House
Architect Richard Meier designed this Essex, New Jersey, house for his parents in 1965. Meier described it as "A Miesian brick house under a Frank Lloyd Wright roof." Meier was also quoted as saying: "My mother always said everything was perfect except for one thing—there weren't enough closets."
    Jerome and Carolyn Meier House Architect Richard Meier designed this Essex, New Jersey, house for his parents in 1965. Meier described it as "A Miesian brick house under a Frank Lloyd Wright roof." Meier was also quoted as saying: "My mother always said everything was perfect except for one thing—there weren't enough closets."
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  Seidler House
Though located just outside of Sydney, Australia, the house Harry Seidler designed for his mother clearly traces its sources from the European canon. Photo by newformula.
    Seidler House Though located just outside of Sydney, Australia, the house Harry Seidler designed for his mother clearly traces its sources from the European canon. Photo by newformula.
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  Here's an archival shot of the Seidler House deck.
    Here's an archival shot of the Seidler House deck.
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  Watershed

Moving to the present day, this off-the-grid writer's retreat was designed by Erin Moore for her mother. Its prefab steel frame lightly touches the wood to prevent mold and mildew.  Photo by Gary Tarleton.   This originally appeared in Modern Off-the-Grid Retreat in Oregon.
    Watershed Moving to the present day, this off-the-grid writer's retreat was designed by Erin Moore for her mother. Its prefab steel frame lightly touches the wood to prevent mold and mildew. Photo by Gary Tarleton.
    This originally appeared in Modern Off-the-Grid Retreat in Oregon.
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  160 Sunnyside Ave

Architect Julia Knezic designed this 2,100-square-foot open-plan house, with generous public rooms and only one bedroom for her mother (who happens to live next door).  Photo by Sean Galbraith.   This originally appeared in All in the Family.
    160 Sunnyside Ave Architect Julia Knezic designed this 2,100-square-foot open-plan house, with generous public rooms and only one bedroom for her mother (who happens to live next door). Photo by Sean Galbraith.
    This originally appeared in All in the Family.
  • 
  The Porter Cottage

When it came time to retire, Bruce Porter sought the help of his daughter, architect Alex Scott Porter, to create a retreat off the coast of Maine.  Photo by Eirik Johnson.   This originally appeared in Green Cottage Getaway in Maine.
    The Porter Cottage When it came time to retire, Bruce Porter sought the help of his daughter, architect Alex Scott Porter, to create a retreat off the coast of Maine. Photo by Eirik Johnson.
    This originally appeared in Green Cottage Getaway in Maine.
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