The Eliat House drew upon ideas Mies developed in his celebrated Concrete Country House project of 1924, which explored the potential of reinforced concrete construction and incorporated the long, horizontal ribbon windows and flat roofs that would become trademarks of the emerging modernist style. The Eliat House’s centrifugal configuration contains clustered rooms that extend into the landscape like spokes; this arrangement of architectural volumes in relation to generous outside spaces gives the complex a stately presence.
This colorful drawing privileges the natural landscape, showing greenery cascading down the exterior walls of the house. The influence of Japanese art principles on the landscape rendering and the subordination of building to site reflect the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright, whose work was published in Germany by Berlin publisher Ernst Wasmuth in 1910. The austere volumes and landscaping of the Eliat House also recall the volumetric expression of Wright’s Textile Block houses, which were set within the lush environs of southern California.
Gallery label from 75 Years of Architecture at MoMA, 2007.