Beach Houses: Andrew Geller

Alastair Gordon, Author Princeton Architectural Press $40 (116p) ISBN 978-1-56898-321-9
Gordon (Weekend Utopia) takes readers on a tour of""quixotic designer-architect"" Geller's beach houses in this handsomely illustrated homage. Geller, a long-time designer at the Loewy Corporation, a pioneering industrial design firm, made a name for himself in the 1950s and 60s when he began taking commissions to build architecturally adventurous summer houses in Sagaponack, Amagansett and other beach towns. His playful designs made the most of their location--generally, these were small houses on small lots, and windows opening onto the beach were crucial--and often reflected important parts of their owners' personalities: a Kodak executive's house was a boxy structure with""lenslike"" windows, while a well-known ladies' man's dwelling looked a little like a""square brassiere."" Later, Geller worked on the Leisurama brand of prefabricated summer homes, which were sold at Macy's and came furnished, right down to towels and toothbrushes. As Gordon writes,""each one of Geller's houses told a story and sometimes, in his best work, this story took the form of a kind of comic-strip imagery that recalled Krazy Kat, Rube Goldberg, Betty Boop, and the bebop jazz that Geller admired."" While many of the houses Geller designed were destroyed in hurricanes, demolished to make room for McMansions or remodeled and expanded beyond recognition, the photographs and architectural drawings in this volume bring them appealingly back to life. 25 color, 60 b&w illustrations.
Reviewed on: 04/01/2003
Release date: 04/01/2003
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Paperback - 127 pages - 978-1-61689-237-1
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