Paul Nelson Suspended House, project 1936-38

  • Not on view

A continuous metal lattice defines the main volume of Nelson's Suspended House, above which sits the roof, supported by a large steel frame. A simple concrete and glass-block volume intersects the mesh enclosure, creating a mezzanine and roof terrace. The house's open structural cage was a daring architectural experiment using the modernist concept of the free plan. Enclosures for private spaces are suspended from the steel frame and connected by ramps. All remaining open space is given over to the display of art, which, as with Theo van Doesburg's Café Aubette (1927), also exhibited here, is integral to the architectural concept. Nelson, who was closely connected to the modern art movement in the 1930s, invited Alexander Calder, Joan Miró, and Fernand Léger to decorate this model with scaled versions of their artwork. Wassily Kandinsky said of Nelson's creative oeuvre, "His work is a synthesis of everything we attempted to do."

Gallery label from 75 Years of Architecture at MoMA, 2007.
Acrylic, metal, paint, stone, textile, wood
14 x 36 1/2 x 28 1/2" (35.6 x 92.7 x 72.4 cm)
Model maker
Luis Dalbet
Gift of the Advisory Committee
Object number
MC 14
Architecture and Design

Installation views

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