6) In those days of cheap electricity, he used radiant heated concrete floors. Sometimes, he also advised to have these concrete floors extended to patio or open areas.
7) Blank facades, sidewalls with glass from ceiling to floor were typical features of these houses. Glass walls and open floor plan may be common today, but 50 years back they were not.
Those days, three-bedroom house would have only one bathroom. Eichler made it a point to give two baths for three-bed house, and to be in competition others had to follow that.
9) He was very particular about the overall look of his house. He gave his clients very limited choice regarding exterior color-scheme. He used to choose two or three color-schemes and then let the client chose the final one.
10) He used gray and earthy color palette for the interior. The ceiling would be gray washed, stained, redwood. The dark brown or black beams would provide an excellent contrast to it.
11) In his model homes he used classic furniture designed by the icons of the era, Eames, Nelson, Saarinen and Bertoia. This furniture was a perfect compliment to the clean lines of the house.
Joseph Eichler was the first architect who went beyond racism and made it possible for a common man to buy and enjoy his houses. However, the cost of custom made houses increased and he could not stay in the business. He went bankrupt in 1967. He continued building custom made homes later, but had to face recession.
Later, the drawbacks of Eichler design became evident: His open floor plans and thin wooden partitions were unable to cut the noise in the house. The hollow walls in the bedrooms offered little privacy.
The innovative atrium proved to be of no use practically.
He used glass everywhere. The house took lot of energy as it was poorly insulated. During the periods of energy crisis, these houses became very costly.
Since floors run radiant heating system underneath, any remodeling or repairing became difficult.
However, inspite of all these drawbacks, Eichler homes still stand as a vision of a man who wanted design to reach masses. In his own words, “his homes were not modern or traditional, they were Eichler.”
Reference: Eichler homes by Jerry Ditto, et al
article source : www.suite101.com