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User / Michael Locke / Cox House, John Galbraith 1959
Michael Locke / 38,351 items
Architect John Galbraith designed the contemporary style house for Paul A. and Caryl Cox in 1959. Nicknamed the “Tree House” for the giant conifer tree that rises between the beams of its front entryway, the Cox House is a striking Mid-Century Modern residence that literally embraces the natural environment. The residence is a wonderful example of the interpretation and evolution of modernism in Southern California.

The Cox House draws from the Miesian tradition of architecture, which uses simple geometric forms to emphasize horizontality and transparency. The building is a simple, one-story pavilion, with alternating expanses of glass and stone exterior walls. One long, horizontal beam stretches across the entire front façade at the roofline, while individual bays step backward and forward, creating a strong visual rhythm. Rooms lined with floor-to-ceiling windows stand adjacent to recessed patios, blurring the relationship between indoor and outdoor space – a hallmark of California modernism.

Educated at the University of Washington, Seattle, John Galbraith was a Pasadena-based architect who designed a number of institutional, commercial and residential buildings. The Cox House is one of his finest designs and a small gem in South Pasadena’s Arroyo, celebrating European architectural traditions while creating something entirely regional with its natural materials and forms.

-Notes taken from Modern Architecture in L.A.; Los Angeles Conservancy

The Cox House is located at 534 Arroyo Drive in South Pasadena, California. Please do not use this image in any media without my permission. © All rights reserved.
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  • Taken: May 23, 2018
  • Uploaded: May 24, 2018
  • Updated: Feb 21, 2021