Walker Guest House, Sanibel Island, FL, 1952-1953
Rudolph received considerable recognition for this project including the “Award Bienal de Sao Paulo.”
“In this project the prosaic material of the lumberyard is utilized to produce a refined expression of American ingenuity. Constructed of typical lumber profiles in combination with locally constructed operable panels, the Walker Guest House became an experiment in off-the-shelf technology. Rudolph emphasized structural purity in combination with the operable panels to provide an ever-evolving spatial dimension to the project (a complex spatial experience is defined within the context of a relatively simple cagelike framework). Two out of three panels on each elevation were hinged and made operable by marine hardware ropes, and a counterweight. The exterior frame was infilled with either floor-to-ceiling plate glass or a micro-screen to keep out insects.
The rigorous four-square ordering of the interior creates a counterpoint to the three-bay organization of the exterior elevation. Each of the interior quadrants is functionally zoned as living, dining, service, and bedroom, offering another of Rudolph’s shiplike interior arrangements. However, the living area is not relegated to the interior space of the house: the flap system and framework double as a traditional wrap-around porch. A portion of the surrounding landscape is gathered into the realm of the house, more than doubling the interior square footage.”
Domin, Christopher, and Joseph King. Paul Rudolph:The Florida Houses. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2002. p. 157.
"Paul Rudolph once described this as his own personal Florida favorite: 'It crouches like a spider in the sand.'"
Howey, John. The Sarasota School of Architecture: 1941-1966. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1997. p. 65.