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Tropic_Summer20_eMag

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26 T R O P I C M A G A Z I N E designed, was most interested in integrating his houses into the desert environment. Just as a group of exceptional Florida architects were shaping Modernism for a region defined by hurricanes and humidity, White was designing for the unrelenting sun and heat of the desert. While not as well known as architects like Richard Neutra or Donald Wexler, White was nonetheless blessed in his early career, working for Rudolph Schindler, apprenticing at Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West, and later as draftsman for John Porter Clark and Albert Frey, mid-century era architects who've reached star status over the years. Two years after the Wave House, White was commissioned by psychoanalyst, Dr. Franz Alexander to build a house that took his experimental roof even further, this time using curved steel beams to hold in place vertically stacked wood planks, their narrow sides accentuating the openness and length of the upper story woodwork. Like the Wave House, the Alexander House paid close attention to its setting, positioning the house to emerge from surrounding boulders just so — its roof curled up, offering incredible mountain vistas while the structure's position and deep roof overhangs avoided direct sun as much as possible. Indeed, once inside the house, it becomes abundantly clear that its design is all about the indoor-outdoor connection. The curved beams are welded to V-shaped supports, both inside the house and out. The entertaining floor is decidedly open plan, reaching out from a central, open- Living room, dining room, bar, and kitchen are all open in plan, visually dominated by the sweep of White's roof and its curved beams. The 2nd level was designed to provide a panoramic view of the mountains.

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