31 December 2006

McDermott Residence -- southwest view

McDermott Residence
Crag Knob Road, Kirkwood, Missouri.

Another home by Armstrong located nearby is the Andrews Residence. The overall concept and form of the two houses are quite similar, however the McDermott Residence is a more economical, compact design using standard building materials and techniques, while the Andrews Residence is larger and more unusual.

This project was selected as "Design of the Month" by the National Association of Home Builders and published in their journal, NAHB Correlator, in October 1954. They provided the following "Livability Analysis":

Architectural character of this home was influenced to some extent by the character of the site, which has a steep downhill slope and an excellent view. House, therefore, was oriented to face the view, with service areas and baths on the street side.

The outside deck with its built-in seats is large enough for outdoor dining and entertaining, and thus takes the place of the conventional patio. The large master bedroom has its own outdoor sitting area accessible by a door. The other two bedrooms command the full view with their glass walls.

The kitchen is well-planned for preparation and serving of food, and the breakfast bar forms a pass-thru for serving in the living-dining area, or on the porch.

Landscaping, serpentine brick wall, and small plantings had not been completed when photographs were taken, but these have been so designed as to fit the house more closely into the site, and to make full use of the downslope of the lot to supplement the view.

The is an unusually well designed, modern home, which makes use of rather conventional materials and framing methods.

The contractor for the house was Kuni-Jacobsmeyer of Clayton, Missouri.

Photograph courtesy of the Harris Armstrong Archives, Special Collections, Washington University in Saint Louis.

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