Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cliff May and the ranch

I have always enjoyed the work of architect Cliff May, the man who gave us the modern California ranch house. Perhaps he wasn't the first to introduce a non traditional approach to the ranch but he sure made it his own.

These two rooms show how May was able to edit out what wasn't
needed in design. Simple and straight forward. By deconstructing the
building and exposing the structure he is able to give us an intimate
knowledge of how a shelter comes together.
All of May's homes have a similar feel of being
grounded and part of the surrounding landscape.
Here is a restored 1952 ranch that fits like a glove
into it's wooded site. The contribution that California
architect Bernard Maybeck had on May is very
evident with this house.

Despite Maybeck's arts and crafts style, many of the details
from his work can be found in Mays.  Similarities such as
board and batten siding, low pitched roofs and deep roof
overhangs can be spotted in May's mid century work.
Above are two examples of Maybeck's California work.

About Me

I am a landscape designer based in Key West, Florida and Surry, Maine. I place much attention with the house, not as an adjunct to the garden but as an integral element. This symbiotic relationship will always produce the best and most natural environment. The best description for my views on the relationship between the garden and the house comes from the naturalist Charles Keeler, “landscape design with occasional rooms in case of rain”