Human Arch

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THE WING HOUSE in Rancho Santa Fe, California
Architectural Design and Interiors by WALLACE E. CUNNINGHAM * Cunningham was born in White Township, Pennsylvania.
* commenced his formal architectural instruction at Hutchinson Central Technical High School in Buffalo, New York, and then the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, where he was influenced by Marya Lilien, one of the first female apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright. 1978His first work, while still a student at Taliesin, was Wing House in Rancho Santa Fe, California. On a four-acre site near San Diego, the house is composed of two overlapping private wings,with the public spaces at the center. Cunningham drew a design in the dirt; it became his first house. “Wing House” set the tone for his career; bold sweeping curves carved into the hillside, a combination of structure and sculpture. He spent hours in the house while it was under construction to make sure that the skylights were situated to provide occupants a view of the moon’s path.Using cast concrete and glass he carves out spaces that accentuate the landscape in which they are situated. He builds the structure into the space rather than clear the space for the structure. Spans of glass bathe the interior in light but also double as a frame, allowing the land or seascape to serve as ever changing art for the walls. The lines between inside and outside also become blurred; the open plans and inclusion of pools, interior gardens, meditative spaces, his situating of vistas, and the landscape itself are all included in the floor plan. 1979he founded San Diego-based Wallace E. Cunningham, Inc.,
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