During the period betwee1949 and 1967 Joseph Eichler built hundreds of homes in San Francisco. The first popular Eichler house appeared in Sunnyvale in 1950. This interior design style is unconventional and affordability.
Joseph Eichler can make a wonderful design altough he was not an architect or had any bacground in designing. He stayed in a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for a brief period of time. This stay inspired him to make custom designed houses available for the masses. Though, he did not have any designing background, he had an eye for design and feelings for things. Soon, he was able to put his dream in reality with the help of respectable architect, Robert Anshen.
In his words, “ There are other builders who efficiently produce well – built houses and sell at a fair profit. The purchaser of one of these will get a good value. We believe our houses go beyond this because much more thought and care go into them. Nothing is spent for frills and gimmicks. Beauty is achieved by the architect’s skill in designing details, his blend of materials and proper proportions and above all, the exercise of good taste. In short, we produce a work of art that has gained international reputation.”
His houses were known for their lightness and contemporary feel. He wanted those houses to be both, sound and marketable. San Francisco bay area with its temperate climate and lush landscaping provided a perfect physical setting for these homes. Within a very short period of time, thousands of Eichler homes were built in this area.
The typical unorthodox characteristics of these homes were:
1) A steeply pitched gable roof segment often interrupted a flat or low slopping roof. This gave the flat roof an interesting geometric shape. It also provided a shelter for the entry courtyard.
2) These houses were designed for their occupants, thus they had custom designed appearance. This feature made these houses fresh and modern concept in the world of real estate.
3) He not only paid attention to the interior of the house, but he also took lot of care of the external landscaping of these houses. The gentle, flowing lines of the sidewalks, streets and landscaping provided a pleasing contrast to the horizontal and vertical design of the house. These curved landscaping not only soften the look of the house, but also provided varied view of the house from different angles.
4) He believed in bringing outdoors in. the entry passage provided sky lights. The atrium was a kind of extension to the living space. The mild climate of California allowed atriums to grow lush greenery and tropical plants. Thus, the occupants could enjoy greenery inside their house, all through the year.
5) To bring outdoors in, he built the roof with widely spaced beams carrying roof decking. He constructed glass walls between garden posts. The visitor is first greeted with atrium and then tastefully designed interior.