You are here
Jane Couser Barton House
The Dreier House is composed of four staggered, single-story Cape Cod cottages (recalling the smallest houses in the game of Monopoly), pristine in the clarity of their separate geometries as well as the starkness of their black and white materials. Although anchored on the ridge of a steep incline, from the street the house seems to hover slightly above grade, as the walls meet the barely elevated decks or the ground at sharp right angles. Jacobsen's definition of a house as a series of interconnected rooms, each clearly expressed formally on the exterior, is fostered in this case by his choice of a vernacular prototype. This compartmentalization and fusion of exterior form and interior space is a heritage of his education in the 1950s at Yale University under Louis Kahn.
Organization of the units along a diagonal was dictated by the triangular site but turned to advantage in the lighting of each room, where a single window, or sliding glass door, suffices for each facade. Jacobsen's own structural vocabulary, the line formed by hidden gutters or triangular transom windows set flush with wall surfaces, is critical to his absolute mastery of proportion.
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.