California Houses of Gordon Drake

Douglas Baylis and Joan Parry
with a new introduction by Pierluigi Serraino

In his prolific, but tragically brief career, Gordon Drake significantly influenced and inspired the direction of post-World War II residential architecture. Working almost exclusively from the West coast, he created a new architecture embraced by post-war middle class America without abandoning any of the rigor of Modernism.

Drake, who was barely 34 years old in 1952 when he was killed in a skiing accident in the Sierras, achieved a body of work enviable to much older colleagues both in quality and quantity, and with such apparent spontaneity to have virtually no rivals in the field of modern architecture.

This reissue of the 1956 California Houses of Gordon Drake by Douglas Baylis and Joan Parry is richly illustrated with photographs by Julius Shulman and Morley Baer along with Drake’s own beautiful drawings. A preface by Glen Murcutt and a new introduction by the esteemed architect Pierluigi Serraino argue that Gordon Drake’s work continues to be of great value for designers today. Drake, well ahead of his time, understood the structural relationship between architectural design, construction methods, and the environmental impact of building. Drake anticipated sixty years ago the environmental threats we are facing in our time. His sensitive attitude regarding the rhythms of nature and the necessity of making human values and concerns the central concern for good design make his work profoundly relevant even today today.

DOUGLAS BAYLIS (1915-1971) was a West Coast landscape architect who was associated with Gordon Drake from 1950 to 1952. Gordon Drake did his only remodeling job for Douglas and Maggie Baylis on their home in San Francisco. Baylis lectured at several universities and was Supervising Landscape Architect to the University of California.

JOAN PARRY was a young free-lance English writer. She researched and wrote the original material about Gordon Drake for this book. Educated in Great Britain and France, she came to America in 1949 and spent three years traveling throughout the country before settling in San Francisco.

PIERLUIGI SERRAINO is a practicing architect in the San Francisco Bay Area. The author of many books on architecture, including Eero Saarinen, Modernism Rediscovered, and NorCalMod. His articles and projects have appeared in Architectural Design, ArCA, Global Architecture, Hunch, Construire, Architettura, ACADIA, and Journal of Architectural Education.

8.75” x 8.75” cloth, 107 pp., pub date February 2011