The Gamble House

One of the most recognizable examples of American Craftsman architecture, the Gamble House (or David B. Gamble House) is located in Pasadena, California area, and was created by the firm of Greene and Greene. Built for David B. Gamble between 1908 and 1909, it is now recognized as both a National and a California Historical Landmark. Visits and events can be held at the House at any time.

The Gamble House (3 stories) is often regarded as the pinnacle of American Arts and Crafts architecture. It was originally built as a holiday home for David and Mary Gamble. Its design draws inspiration from both traditional Japanese aesthetics and the openness that can only come from the vast spaces and mild climate of California. The American Craftsman style emerged out of the Arts and Crafts Movement and emphasized sustainability, local resources, attention to detail, and a refined aesthetic.

The Arroyo Seco is a long, seasonally dry river channel in Pasadena, and the house sits on a grassy mound overlooking it. In order to accommodate the Gambles’ love of nature, the Greenes built them a home that looks right at home in the rural neighborhood. Flowers and trees were brought indoors as part of the Gambles’ home’s decor, with artwork made from materials including wood, metal, art glass, and semiprecious stone to show their appreciation for nature. Blending man-made (brick and rough dash-coat stucco) and natural (granite river stones and creeping fig that grows up into the foundations of the terrace and steps) components, the building gives the impression that it is part of the surrounding nature.

Many elements of Japanese architecture may be seen in this home. Another way the house emphasized nature was through the “oriental” design elements applied to its doors, windows, screens, beams, furniture, lanterns, and more. These design elements take their influence from natural forms.

The Greenes also highlighted the Gamble House’s focus on nature through a “theme of three,” or set of three interconnected elements that may be found in every room. theme involving sets of three items, which may or may not be symmetrical. The combination of asymmetrical elements with classical equilibrium is illustrative of how nature itself embraces a wide range of proportions.

Several different types of wood were used in the construction of the home’s rooms. Different types of wood, such as maple, teak, Port Orford cedar, oak, and mahogany, are strategically put next to one another to highlight their unique characteristics. The architects’ tiled fireplace surrounds and the architects’ own inlay in the custom furniture complement one another, and the architects’ exposed, interlocking woodwork on the main staircase adds a touch of elegance.

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