Texas Architect July/Aug 2006: Color
Texas Architect is the official publication of the Texas Society of Architects, each edition features recently completed projects and other editorial content largely written by AIA members in Texas. That collective participation was the basis of Texas Architect’s recognition by the national AIA with a 2010 Institute Honor for Collaborative Achievement.
texas architect 24 7/8 2006 project Home on 21st Street, Lubbock client Flueckiger family architect Urs Peter Flueckiger design team Rex H. Reynolds; Steven Still; Matthew Garcia; Daniel Pruske; Urs Peter Flueckiger; Carol Flueckiger contractor Harry S. Fry Construction photographer Urs Peter Flueckiger IN Western culture color has long been considered trivial, superficial at best; at worst it is seen as artificial, sometimes even dangerous. So writes artist and scholar David Batchelor in Chromaphobia, his 2004 treatise on the theory and cultural history of color. In developing his argument, Batchelor illustrates how painters, writers, sculptors, and architects have for centuries scorned the realm of color as “vulgar” and “routinely excluded from the higher concerns of the Mind.” He traces this enduring sentiment back to its ancient roots in the Latin colorem (“to hide or conceal”) and in the Middle English term colour (“to embellish and adorn; to disguise or misrepresent”). This etymologi- cal background leads Batchelor to argue that in modern times we should be able to move past such preconceptions and blatant misconceptions. He argues that if this sentiment continues, we will remain locked in a world that deprives itself of the rich complexities and charms of color—the dazzle, delight, and seduction that comes only from color and an openness to its vast possibilities. The Flueckiger residence in Lubbock is a testament to Batchelor’s idea of color as a rich and endear- ing element that should not be simply dismissed as trivial. The house illustrates that color can be subtle and bold, practical and emotional, logical and evocative, and ultimately a highly sensitive design element that addresses many factors, such as site, materials, budget, and inhabitants. The house, a marriage of art and architecture, directly reflects the couple who designed it and live there—Urs Peter Flueckiger, a Swiss-licensed architect, and Carol Flueckiger, a painter originally from Minnesota. Both teach at Texas Tech University—he in the College of Architecture and she in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Their new home mirrors his understanding and appre- ciation of the logic and order of Swiss design, particularly the simple elegance of former employer Mario Botta, as well as his admiration of Donald Judd, who he has been studying in depth for years. As a result, the house clearly indicates his fondness for plain materials and the colors often inherent to those materials. by Darwin Harrison Red Shed