Butler House
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Architect William Wurster
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Location Pasatiempo, California   map
Date 1931 to 1936   timeline
Building Type courtyard house
 Construction System wood frame
Climate mild
Context rural
Style Bay Area Modern
Notes Covered open walkways create a gracious minimalist courtyard.






Plan Drawing
Plan Drawing
Plan Drawing
Rendering, exterior overview
Rendering, exterior perspective, entering the courtyard
Plan Drawing

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Discussion Butler House Commentary

"To accommodate the outdoor orientation of the Butlers' lifestyle, Wurster planned a progression from indoors, or enclosed space, to outdoors.
"From the domesticated vegetation of the courtyard, one moved through the Living Porch onto the Living Terrace overflowing into the natural landscape, where one could contemplate the distant views toward the southeast...
"Departing from the secluded microcosm of the Moorish paradise garden or the Hispanic patio, the Butler House and Garden achieved an almost uninterrupted confluence of building, interior open space, and natural surroundings... The Butler House functioned as an envelope that merely suggested, rather than imposed, the limits between interior and exterior. The living porch served as a membrane between bedroom and living room and court and natural landscape. The courtyard functioned as a lens that refracted and reflected nature back onto itself and onto architecture."

— Dorothée Imbert in An Everyday Modernism: the Houses of William Wurster, edited by Marc Treib, University of California Press, 1995. p116-118.

Sources on Butler House

Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. 19th ed., edited by John Musgrove. London: Butterworths, 1987. NA200.F63. ISBN 0-408-01587-X. mentioned, p1416, plan drawing, p1408   The classic text of architectural history. Expanded 1996 edition available at Amazon.com

John Musgrove, ed. Sir Banister Fletcher's A History of Architecture, 19th edition. London: The Royal Institute of British Architects, 1987. ISBN 0-408-01587-X. LC 86-31761. NA200.F63 1987. exterior photo of veranda, p1418, plate b. plan drawing, p1408.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at Amazon.com

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