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Harwell Hamilton Harris

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Harwell Hamilton Harris

(b. Redlands, California 1903; d. 1990)

Harwell Hamilton Harris was born in Redlands, California in 1903. He studied at Pomona College in Pomona, California and at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles before he worked as a sculptor. In 1928 he entered the Frank Wiggins Trade School and began working with Richard Neutra with whom he remained until 1932. He worked in private practice in Los Angeles until 1951, then worked in Texas and North Carolina,where he has been since 1962.

Using mainly wood, Harris exhibited a sensitivity to site and materials that carried on the American Arts & Crafts movement. He adapted from the vernacular of California and from modular practices of Neutra to create his own personal Southern California style.

In his houses of the 1930s and 1940s Harris expressed his roofing on the interior to create a tension between exterior and interior. Without ignoring exterior forms, he created well-though out, sinuous interior spaces. He created Wrightean floor plans that generally used variations of the cruciform plan.

Harris was able to order and simplify exterior forms that expand the life within. Although his later works In Texas and North Carolina vary in scale and material, they exhibit the same careful exploration of interior to exterior spacing.

References
Muriel Emmanuel. Contemporary Architects. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1980. ISBN 0-312-16635-4. NA 680-C625. p345-348.

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