Elemental House

The Elemental House, designed by Charles Jencks and Maggie Keswick Jencks, is an experiment in symbolic architecture situated in the Los Angeles Rustic Canyon. Two fundamental themes are interwoven throughout the seven pavilions that form the house. The first theme develops the idea of the four Californian Elements. As Jencks argued in the book Symbolic Architecture, in California ‘everyone worships the water, land, beautiful views and sun, or in Classical terms, Aqua, Terra, Aer and Ignis.’ The other theme, inspired by John Milton’s two poems ‘L’Allegro’ and ‘Il Penseroso’, was suggested by the active and contemplative parts of the existing site. The interaction of Milton’s poems with the Four Elements produced a double semantics: two interwoven sets of meanings to be experienced as one moved through the house.

Charles Jencks
Elemental House
Elemental House