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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Naval Inspiration

"The engineering curriculum of the USNA integrated naval subjects, engineering drawings, auxiliary naval machinery, naval boilers and steam propulsion, all of which kindled my interest in  ship and aircraft design and construction ... (Their) highly organized and sophisticated systems (enhanced my interest)." --Barton Myers

Barton Myers in Uniform

Here are some examples of naval machinery that influenced Barton Myers. Personally, the exposed pipes and valves in this machinery remind me of the exposed ducts and steel trusses present in the Wolf House. It is fair to say that Myers' inspiration for the interior design of the Wolf House can clearly be related to the following pictures. Myers also mentions highly organized systems, which is an attribute of the Wolf House. The way he placed all the building's utilities on one side of the building might also be based on his fascination with ships and his time in the navy. The utilities are placed all along the wall that is facing the neighbour, as opposed to the wall facing the beautiful view of the park. This is similar to the way a ship's machinery is not open to the public and does not hinder the beauty of the ship, because rather, it is stored where only the mechanics have access. Although Myers celebrates and chooses to show certain utilities such as ducts for aesthetic purposes, he also considers an efficient organization of the parts that make the house run smoothly.

Naval boiler

Auxiliary naval machinery

Old steam propulsion engine

"Another steel influence was the battleship Olympia ... I loved the contrast of the new and old navy: the modern riveted steel plate and contemporary naval hardware, furnished with the traditional interiors of oriental rugs, mahogany chests and old ship's silver." -Barton Myers

In this quote, Myers talks about his passion for steel, the material that is most present in the Wolf House and majority of his designs. Here is a picture of the ship he mentioned in the quote. The beautiful contrast in colour and style can clearly be seen in this picture. 

Picture of the battleship Olympia
Myers also talks about his appreciation of the juxtaposition of modern and classical styles. This contrast is present in the Wolf House, with a modern, industrial interior furnished with more classic furniture and decorations.

Myers admits his time in the navy had much impact on his designs and his preference for material such as steel. This source inspiration is obvious in the Wolf House as well as his other buildings. 

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