The 'Life' House - Page 5

Eichler meets revered architect Pietro Belluschi—and builds a multi-level showpiece for Life magazine

Belluschi also was a shrewd businessman, and enormously successful, financially as well as professionally. Among his long list of design successes are two of San Francisco's most-famous structures—the Bank of America building and St. Mary's Cathedral.

What are Clausen's impressions of Belluschi's 'Life' house? "I'll have to admit," she told us recently, "my impressions at first were colored by discussions I had had with a journalist who was tracking Belluschi's work for years, and he didn't think much of it.

"But after poring through Belluschi's correspondence from the late 1950s, I've discovered that he had a lot more to do with that house than many thought, the structure was unquestionably his design, and it indeed was much better than they gave him credit for."

book cover

Clausen presently is a professor of architectural history at University of Washington, where she has taught since 1979. Her two books on Belluschi are "Spiritual Space - the Architecture of Pietro Belluschi" (Uof W Press, 1992) and "Pietro Belluschi - Modern American Architect" (MIT Press, 1994). A third, on Belluschi's Pan Am Building, is due out next year.