Thursday, October 22, 2015

Halliburton House, Inspiration For "The Fountainhead"

Early in her career the young Ayn Rand visited Halliburton's House (1938) in Laguna Beach. It was her inspiration for the novel The Fountainhead, in which an individualistic architect, Howard Roark chooses to struggle in obscurity rather than compromise his artistic and personal vision. (Wiki

Halliburton's House (1938) in Laguna Beach.

John C. Drew, an award-winning political relating on his blog a recent visit to Halliburton's House (1938) in Laguna Beach, said to be the model for Howard Roark's fictional Heller House in Ayn Rand's novel The Fountainhead. (Wiki) Halliburton's House was visited by the young, yet-to-be-famous Ayn Rand when she was inspired to write the novel about personal and professional integrity. Draw describes it thusly:

The real life Halliburton House is indeed built on a cliff and seemingly arises out of it in a manner consistent with the novel protagonist Howard Roark's vision that a building should be a natural expression of its location. As Tore Boechmann writes in “The Fountainhead as a Romantic Novel,” Roark's architectural principles are outlined in the novel’s opening chapter:
Here are my rules: what can be done with one substance must never be done with another. No two materials are alike. No two sites on earth are alike. No two buildings have the same purpose. The purpose, the site, the material determine the shape. Nothing can be reasonable or beautiful unless it’s made by one central idea, and the idea sets every detail. A building is alive, like a man. Its integrity is to follow its own truth, its one single theme, and to serve its own single purpose....Its maker gives it the soul and every wall, window and stairway to express it.
This pleasing consistency is evident to me even as I observe the Halliburton House in photos, in part, because it is made of reinforced, poured-in-place concrete boxes that blend into the colors of the exposed rock in the neighborhood. The home strikes me as a Hellenistic monument to the excesses of human idealism.

It has views of both the ocean and the canyon below. It also features cantilevered stairs that hug the southwest corner of the home from the driveway up to the entry door. Although we did not go inside the house, I understand it contains a gallery, living and dining rooms, a small kitchen, two baths and three bedrooms.

There is a deck on the roof that boasts unobstructed 360 degree views. (...)  At a time in our nation's history when collectivism and group-think appear to be on the rise, I find it useful to be reminded of Any Rand's fierce, uncompromising faith in individualism. I am kind of proud to be living so close to the architectural achievement which apparently inspired a book like The Fountainhead and an iconic, independent character like Howard Roark.