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Peter Eisenman architectural drawings for House VI, 1972

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Finding aid for the Peter Eisenman architectural drawings for House VI, 1972

Biographical/Historical Note

American architect, educator and theoretician, Peter Eisenman founded the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York City in 1967. Critics of that time dubbed him one of the New York Five (along with Michael Graves, Charles Gwathmey, John Hejduk, and Richard Meier), a loose, theoretical and aesthetic grouping of New York architects that presaged Post-Modernism. The Corbusier-inspired design of House VI, Eisenman's sixth house design, signals the formalist aesthetic of that school.

Commissioned by Suzanne and Dick Frank in 1972 for a site in Cornwall, Connecticut and built in 1975, it was the most polemical of his designs to date. Published widely, the house thus garnered both recognition and controversy for Eisenman.

Many critics considered House VI, also known as the Frank House, Eisenman's most important work. It certainly generated considerable dialogue within the architecture community among architects, critics and historians. John Hejduk described the residence as the "second canonical De Stijl house," a reference to Gerrit Rietveld's Neo-Plastic Schroeder House, although Eisenman took issue with this conclusion, describing House VI instead as an "inversion" of De Stijl design. Critics have noted Eisenman's attempt to marry linguistic theory to design; his interest in Noam Chomsky's theory of syntax and transformational grammar is particularly evident in the series of "transformational" axonometric drawings he made of House VI.

Several of the design drawings in this collection appear in Suzanne Frank's book, Peter Eisenman's House VI: the client's response, published in 1994.

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