Thom Mayne introduces Peter de Bretteville, who worked with Craig Hodgetts and Eugene Kupper in the firm Works, subsequently practicing on his own and teaching at USC. Peter de Bretteville beings with a joking reference to “the long, painful part” of every architecture lecture that comes before the architect shows his first slide. He engages in some dialogue with the lecture crew about his slides, which have gotten out of order. After announcing that he will speak about his general principles before discussing his work, he stops the lecture to re-organize his slides. De Bretteville resumes his introduction on general principles after a pause. But after a few remarks about the importance of how architecture is “not observed but experienced directly,” he stops the lecture again. De Bretteville discusses an issue arising from modernism that is relevant to his work: the challenge of responding to daylight given the increasing thinness of exterior walls. He shows some strategies for reducing glare and heat in the work of Le Corbusier and Louis I. Kahn, relating them to pre-modern work such as Hadrian’s Villa and Palladio’s Villa Malcontenta. De Bretteville discusses the Willow Glen Houses, two connected steel-frame houses in Laurel Canyon. De Bretteville discusses a remodel of a World Savings bank in Reseda, California, originally designed by Victor Gruen Associates, the Sunset House, built on a spectacular site in the Hollywood Hills, and an unbuilt design for a radical remodel of an “oversized tract house.”
Video Archive | Peter de Bretteville (2)
Shelly Kappe moderates a panel consisting of Charles Moore, Frank Gehry, Helmut Schulitz, Peter de Bretteville, Roland Coate, and Glen Small. They discuss their ideas about the future. This Fall 1976 series was supported by a grant from the Graham Foundation. Moore emphasizes the importance of the past. Gehry proposes new material possibilities. Schulitz questions the values of contemporary commercial society. De Bretteville discusses complexity and its various forms in architecture. Coate discusses diversity in the world of architecture, proposing that the discipline of architecture will cross traditional boundaries and link with other fields and disciplines, citing Christo, Robert Irwin, and Frank Gehry. Small teases his fellow panelists and labels each with a nickname. He discusses his work on the Biomorphic Biosphere. The tape ends before he finishes.