Adamson House is a historic building in Malibu, California. Its second name is “Taj Mahal of Tile” because of the abundant use of ceramic tiles introduced by Rufus Keeler (Adamson House n. p.). Built in 1930 by Rhonda and Merritt Adamson, the house is premised on a period Mediterranean Revival.
Therefore, the elements of the architecture refer to the times of Spanish Colonial Revival (Adamson House n. p.). The house, therefore, represents Andalusian style that is remarkable for the extensive use of hard-painting decorative tiles that were produced by Artisans at Malibu Potteries at the end of 1930s.
Exterior of the Adamson house is represented through the splendor of colors, shapes, and forms. Despite the great number of elements, the mixture of colors is still conforms to the Spanish style with Persian elements. The tiles in the swimming pool and on the garden paths look like carpets. The predominance of blue tones in the swimming pools and fountains, including the tiles curbing the pool boundaries, harmonize with warm undertones of yellow and brown tiles.
The exterior style of the Adamson house complies with the style of the outside space. Thus, mahogany beams support the ceiling of the living room. The pointed arched window and fireplace reveal the Moroccan influences delivering Neptune-motif painting. Similar style is also observed in the kitchen and bedrooms in the house.
The sofa covered with tapestry resembles Bargello design (McKowen and McKowen 246). The floor lamps are made in the Tiffany Studios style and represent the brightest features of the period. The tiles on the floor create a perfect match with the tiles used in laying the paths in the garden near the fountains and swimming pools (McKowen and McKowen 246). The floors are more reminiscent of the Moorish style, which also corresponds to the era of Spanish colonial revival (McMillian and Gainer 67).
Realistic Persian rugs have been designed mostly for the floor files. With regard to the elements represented in the interior, including the living room, kitchen, and bedrooms, the House possesses Persian, Moorish, and Italian features with the prevailing Spanish and Mediterranean stylistic dominance (McKowen and McKowen 246). Due to the abundance of color and decorative elements, Rhonda Adamson decided not to include paintings, which are presented in many other mansions of that epoch .
The Spanish style of the architecture was explained by the renewed interest in the period of Italian Renaissance in the beginning of the twenties century in the United States. Therefore, most of the buildings constructed during this period reminded of villas and palaces with the style dating back to the sixteenth century.
The Adamson house is located on the seaside and, therefore, much of the elements in style are reminiscent of the Mediterranean resorts. Most of balconies, windows, and fireplaces are made of wood and iron, which was also typical of the time of Spanish Colonial and Spanish Renaissance architecture. Ornamentation also refers to the Mediterranean architecture, the place where the Italian Renaissance was born.
The period of colonial revival also relates to the sixteenth century, the time when Spain has a particular interest in conquering the New World. The colonial settlements in the America, particular in the United States has had a potent impact on cultural and social development of the American society (McMillian and Gainer 67). Therefore, architecture has also been largely influenced by the Spanish invaders.
Adamson House. Tiles of Malibu Potteries. n. d. Web 11 Jul. 2012. http://www.adamsonhouse.org/Tile/tile.html
McKowen, Ken., and Dahlynn McKowen, Best of California’s Missions, Mansions, and Museums: A Behind-The-Scenes Guide to the Golden State’s Historic and Cultural Treasures. US: Wilderness Press, 2006. Print.
McMillian, Elizabeth Jean and Matt Gainer. California Colonial: the Spanish and Rancho Revival Styles. US: Schiffer Pub, 2002. Print.