A Paul Rudolph-Designed Midcentury Is Rescued From Obscurity and Finally Completed
At the request of the original clients, Judge John and Alice Fullam, who resided in the home from 1958 to 2006, architect Paul Rudolph never publicized this design during his lifetime. In fact, it wasn't until 2006 that awareness of the great design dawned, as the new owners became concerned over the fate of the residence. From 2007 to 2014, work was done to bring the residence up to code. The biggest turning point occurred in 2014, when Eric Wolff purchased the home and found out that the original 1957 drawings by Rudolph himself still existed. With the help of architect John Wolstenholme, Wolff researched the original drawings, and upon discovering Rudolph's intent to add a third bay, decided to construct the approximately 1,000-square-foot addition to complete Rudolph's original design composition.
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The residence represents a turning point for Rudolph: a turn from his earlier planar designs to the geometric, sculptural designs which propelled him to stardom as an architect. The Fullam Residence is created around the idea of massings, geometric forms extending beyond the building envelope. A strong juxtaposition of heavy and light appears between the thick, Pennsylvania-fieldstone walls, and the roof which appears to float above. Negative spaces between the stone massings are infilled with glass, creating light-filled interiors. The unusual roof configuration allows the winter sun to fall deep into the space, passively heating the stones, while providing shade from the warm summer sun.
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For the addition, architect Wolstenholme and Wolff remained true to the original material usage and character. The 36-inch stone walls were built using the same local field stone as the original. Windows and openings, constructed in more energy-efficient glazing, match the original dimension, while stone floors were matched to the original fieldstone. Eco-friendly upgrades to the home include triple glazing of the north-facing windows, conversion to LED lighting, and added foam insulation into the roofing. The addition blends into the rest of the home seamlessly, as if it was always part of the composition.
The Fullam Residence stands as a stunning example of the functional, sculptural, and spatial complexity that came to define Rudolph's unique architectural style. Now completed with intricate care, the home will continue to be a lasting influence on modern architecture and a great addition to Rudolph's published portfolio.
Architect of Record: Paul Rudolph (original)
Architect of Record: John Wolstenholme (addition)
Landscape Design Company: Scott McLeod, Classic Gardens