In a career extending from the Great Depression through the 1960s, Kaeser became one of the Madison area’s most important modern architects. Working in a personal expression of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Organicism, he approached each project with sensitivity to a building’s site, taking advantage of topography and indigenous materials to create houses that seem to grow naturally out of the earth. He was also a proponent of passive solar design and published a book entitled Your Solar House in 1946.
This house has an L-shaped plan. The south facade opens to sunlight with its large expanses of Thermopane glass, while the north-facing wall lacks windows, conserving heat to warm the house in winter. Elm trees screen excessive summer sun. An angular wall of limestone projects from the glass plane of the south facade, creating a dramatic intersection of sloping roofs. As with Wright’s Jacobs House II (DA43), Kaeser brought the outside indoors by using the same stone for the structural piers and the fireplace that he employed for the exterior walls. Similarly, he extended a pebble garden beyond the glass wall into the living space, blurring the boundary between the house and its surroundings.