Shaun

Gamble House Visit

The Gamble House in Pasadena was full of detail that adds to the warmth of this residence.  One of my favorite things I noticed was the beam connections in this home.  Built over 100 years ago, not having the luxury of modern building materials and techniques, the architects, Charles and Henry Greene, were innovative in using Japanese influence in this Arts and Crafts house.

This connection was used not only to span a large distance, but also to provide movement in the event of an earthquake, while maintaining structural integrity.  This joint, used in key portions of the structure have no fasteners, relying on friction to keep the pieces joined.

Another innovative idea, with different implementations throughout the project was the use of wedges.  One used a metal bracket with two opposing wedges that when hammered together, pulled the bracket together and securing two beams, reminiscent of laminated beams used today.  The other was the use of wooden wedges to secure beams in posts, relying on friction to keep the members together.

I'm not entirely sure why the front door is so low. It was incredibly uncomfortable to walk through.  It's surprising the effect just adding or subtracting a few inches can make.

A detail I really noticed that added warmth and depth to most of the spaces was the different detailing at the wall/ceiling connections.  With the custom wood added in that corner, the social public spaces felt warmer and more inviting.

This house is full of custom details. During the standard hour tour, the docent guiding the group through was incredibly knowledgeable and in no way was he able to cover a fraction of all the specific details and thought that went into building

MWDA
Architects