Carl Stenstrom- Architect A Private Residence

Located near Lake Quivira, this house sitting on twenty acres with a fabulous private lake has been under construction since 1985. Designed by our friend Carl and built by essentially one person it remains unfinished. With a gated entrance and a long winding drive to the house it is a special environment of organic architecture and nature. Unfortunately you can not see the beautiful pond which would be to the right and below the house.

Above is the car-court and front door to the left of the tree. These pics were taken some time ago. Below: is the perspective rendering by Carl of the rear of the house.

Carl was an avid Wrightian architect as revealed by the "rubblestone" walls, corner windows and use of a difficult site...

Below: Unfinished soffits cap the low-slung earth hugging design. Note the clean, well laid stone walls with the horizontal band eching Wright's Taliesin West Complex. This is a seating nook outside just beyond the entrance.

The metal scuppers add roofline drama to the deck off the kitchen and living room.
A treasure in the making and a ton of work for one man, it's a testament for the book "The Natural House" by Wright in the 1950's that advocated buying acreage or land and building one's own house, preferably designed by Wright himself.

For more info on Carl Stenstrom click on the label...

Robert Harvey Oshatz- Architect Part Three

Some random photos of Bob and guests enjoying the architecture...some interesting detail pics...

This series of images does not compare to the images found on Bob's website. He opened his architectural firm in 1971 and has done some distinctive work...
Check out his website to see green sustainable/organic architecture:
To learn more about organic architecture go to:

Robert Harvey Oshatz- Architect Part One

A good friend of mine David Milstead, architect and Director on the Board of Friends of Kebyar, recently went to Oregon to work with Bob Oshatz on some models for projects in the works. He sent me these photos. I don't know the various projects but I do know Oshatz's work is provocative, exuberant and just downright eyecatching...Influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright and Bruce Goff, he has assimilated ideas to create his own unique brand of Organic Architecture. His work is never dull and always cool.

Carl Stenstrom-Architect His Opus-Part Two

The following studies depicts Carl's efforts to reconcile size and shape along with exterior walls, balconies and windows. Interesting to see "Wrightian" design elements such as planters, water features and spires. In the early 1950's, Carl applied for the apprentice program at Taliesin. Upon hearing that Carl had two young chidren, Frank Lloyd Wright told him they didn't have accommodations at the time...disappointed, Carl soon was in Bartlesville, OK working on the Price Tower. I believe that is where he developed his love affair with concrete...though the geometry of this building is different from the Price Tower, there are similar characteristics.

The image below is a revision for an enclosed top floor. I don't know why but this sketch reminds me of drawings by Mendolsohn... These two sketches (above and below)are interesting...a shorter building design and below, it featured open balconies...are those spotlights shining into the sky? It appears there are semi-circular fence elements on the surrounding stone wall... perhaps to tie in with the balcony railing and the top of the roof deck enclosure that looks a lot like the skylight in Wright's Guggenheim?

The sketch above is an early perspective with "clunky" elevator towers that look awkward compared to the more refined later perspectives...Carl would often sketch at the top of the paper and have a lot of white space before you see the name of the project at the bottom, almost in the same way as Wright used the Japanese woodblock techniques in many of his earlier perspectives. Note the "inverted-L house" is omitted from the drawing.Once the final design concept was in place Carl built this model to help the client visualize the building...With an enormous number of drawings and effort expended, the client started to lose money on other investments, the early 1980's were an economic mess. Concurrently, he started losing interest in the building, which would have been complicated and expensive to build...he stopped paying Carl and during litigation the client committed suicide...

Below- This "Typical" floor plan is easier to read than the previous ones...

The reason I call this Carl's "Opus" is for the next fifteen years he met with developers in many cities and the Lake of the Ozarks as well as Branson, in an effort to get it built...Unfortunately, it never was. Below- The "Solar Deck"...

Below- Great photo of the model taken while at the lake.

Below- This angle shows the entrance on the north of the building and the car court with drive to underground parking.

Stay tuned...I'll post some other interesting work by Carl Stenstrom

Carl Stenstrom-Architect- His Opus - Part One

It's been almost two years since my friend and architect, Carl passed away. I have had the pleasant/painful task of organizing his many drawings from a career that spanned over 40 years. Carl had to pay the bills, with hundreds of drawings for projects like U-Haul Stores nationwide to his "Wrightian" leanings such as the distinctive roof lines of his Gates BBQ designs. In his work you can see where his heart was...the more challenging the site, the more adventuresome the client, the opportunity for a more "organic" design...amplified his efforts. I call this his "Opus"...originally conceived in the late 1970's and after meeting an enthusiastic investor, John Lucas, Carl threw himself into creating a unique, eye-catching architecture for a dominant site west of the downtown skyline at 17th and Jefferson in KCMO. If you look closely at the renderings above, you will see in the background the concrete "inverted-L" house that was recently demolished...note the large stone wall that still remains at the site where a large modern house was constructed a few years ago...can't miss it when on Hwy I-35.
Carl worked and reworked his design, revising and manipulating space in the confines of a circular structure...the roof and balconies were challenging for him to resolve to his satisfaction, all the while dealing with and encouraging a temperamental client to "stay the course".
The single unit plan below would have offered a lavish lifestyle with great city views.

Below- A revision of the double-unit plan(2 dwelling spaces on one floor)

Below...By February, 1982 the project was now called "Monticello West"...the owner of the tower would have the top floor, capped by a "Solar Deck" on the roof.

Part Two will feature more drawings of the exterior, a detailed model and the reason this building didn't get built...Stay Tuned.

Bruce Goff, Architect- Thanksgiving In Bartlesville, OK

I'm late in getting this post up...Over Thanksgiving my family went to see relatives in Bartlesville, OK. As I always do, I had to cruise around and check on some amazing architecture there. We stopped in at the Price Tower to see the Contemporary Art Show, we were told the restaurant is now closed but the bar is still open at certain times. It's a great building, you should stop in if you are near. I then drove over to Christ Redeemer Church (located adjacent to Hwy 75). This originally was a church complex designed by Bruce Goff, unfortunately the church was never built but the ancillary service/ youth building was in 1961...these photos show how it looks now.

The pieces of blue-green glass are "culled" glass broken out of large vats from a nearby glass manufacturer( Bruce Goff often used "found" items or elements in his architecture). The glass is used in similar fashion as Shin-en 'kan, the Joe Price house destroyed by arson ten years ago, I love the bold corner embellishments. Note the entryway supports that resemble arrows.

Below: The glass cullet is used as sidelights to the door, letting in dramatic light by day and glowing at night from light within...

I had to get a photo of the afternoon light on this wall...the steel framed diamond windows, Oklahoma Limestone and random placement of the glass cullet give this building a refined discipline...I would have loved to see the faces of the church's building committee when BG presented his design.

The building was locked for the holiday, I'll try to locate some photos I have of the interior and post those in the future. I didn't include photos of the chapel, it is more subdued and less exciting, somewhat mismatched, but I'm sure it was more affordable than the design by Goff.

Hyde Residence Fireplace by Architect, Bruce Goff - Bonus Photo of the Week

Name: Hyde Residence
Architect: Bruce Goff
Year Designed: 1964
Builder: Michael Rothstein Construction
Year Built: 1965
Size: 3400 sq. ft. 5 bedroom 3 ½ bath
Location: Prairie Village, Kansas
Type: Residential
Style: Organic Modern
Status: Very Good
Photographer: Robert McLaughlin

The ten foot by ten foot central skylight over the brick hearth is penetrated by the fireplace chimney, which has a purple mirrored triangular wall behind. Strips of “cellophane rain” hang from the skylight, creating a magic play of light on carpet and walls. With a fire burning, you understand the concept of Earth, Fire and Water. Many people know the house from the use of green dime store ashtrays used as stained glass elements in the doors and railing.

Nicol Residence by Architect, Bruce Goff - Modern Photo(s) of the Week

Name: Nicol Residence
Architect: Bruce Goff
Year Designed: 1965
Builder: Michael Rothstein Construction
Year Built: Third Version 1965
Size: 2868 sq. ft. 4 bedroom 4 bath
Location: Kansas City, MO
Type: Residential
Style: Organic Modern
Status: Excellent Condition with an owner sensitive to the architecture
Photographer: Robert McLaughlin

Here is another classic Kansas City Modern home scheduled to be on the upcoming Out and About Wright: Kansas City Tour put on by the Frank Lloyd Wright Conservancy.

Modern Photo of the Week - Yanda Residence

Name: Yanda Residence
Architect: Albert J. Yanda
Year Designed: 1965
Builder: Albert J. Yanda
Year Built: 1966
Size: 1700 sq. ft. 2 bedroom 2 bath
Location: Kansas City, MO (Valentine Area)
Type: Residential
Style: Organic Modern
Status: Very Good Condition
Photographer: Unknown

The Yanda Residence was built by Architect, Albert J. Yanda for himself and his wife. The structure, built of steel, sits on what was considered for years to be an unbuildable lot. His creative response to the site is an introverted façade to the street and a soaring glass filled structure to the rear. The inspiration for this house may have been looking West to John Lautner's Chemosphere house in California , built a few years earlier. Not long after completing this house Yanda would move west himself. Yanda had previously been in the employ of David B. Runnells, Architect to several early Drummond Projects. Yanda's initials appear on many of Runnells' drawings as the draftsman of these plans.