Cowles House
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Architect Edward Larrabee Barnes
Location Wayzata, Minnesota
Date 1960 (circa)   timeline
Building Type house
Climate temperate
Style Modern
Notes simple composition of white masses with shed and gable roofs.


Available on The GBC CD-ROM



Plan Drawing

Discussion Cowles House Commentary

The Creator's Words

"[Louis I. Kahn] recognizes that the real activity of a building, what it 'wants to be,' is regulated by its use. This does not contradict a more doctrinaire functional approach as pure form. Philosophically, the difference between architecture and sculpture has to do with use, with its relation to an activity of man. However, just as a monument, or a pyramid, is something in between art and architecture, so there are bound to be buildings in between. These 'in between' buildings are pure examples of expressionist architecture.

"A building must have a strong idea that is architectural rather than sculptural or painterly —one that is related to the activity in the building. The idea should be something that can be drawn on a napkin or an envelope. When one architect says to another: 'What kind of a building are you doing?' one should immediately be able to draw an abstraction, or a diagram of the architectural idea."

— Edward Larrabee Barnes. from Paul Heyer. Architects on Architecture: New Directions in America. p329.

Sources on Cowles House

Bruno Alfieri, ed. "House, Near Kansas City, Missouri", Lotus. Vol 4. p106. drawing of floor plan, p109.

Paul Heyer. Architects on Architecture: New Directions in America. New York: Walker and Company, 1966. LC 66-22504. discussion p329.

William S. Saunders. Modern Architecture—Photographs by Ezra Stoller. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1990. ISBN 0-8109-3816-2. TR659.S28 1990. exterior photo from distance, p54. — A wonderful & inspiring book of beautiful photographs by a true master of architectural photography. Available at

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Cowles House


Web Resources
Links on Cowles House

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