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Finding aid for the Peter Eisenman architectural drawings for House VI, 1972
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Peter Eisenman architectural drawings for House VI
    Date (inclusive): 1972
    Number: 920049
    Creator/Collector: Eisenman, Peter, 1932-
    Physical Description: 63.0 drawing(s)
    The Getty Research Institute
    Special Collections
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
    (310) 440-7390
    Abstract: Sixty-three architectural drawings in pencil, pen and marker on paper document the design development of House VI, one of Peter Eisenman's most important early polemical designs. Commissioned by Suzanne and Dick Frank, it was designed and built in 1972-1975, in Cornwall, Connecticut. All the drawings in this collection date from 1972.
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    Language: Collection material is in English

    Biographical/Historical Note

    American architect, educator and theoretician, Peter Eisenman founded the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York City in 1967. Critics of that time dubbed him one of the New York Five (along with Michael Graves, Charles Gwathmey, John Hejduk, and Richard Meier), a loose, theoretical and aesthetic grouping of New York architects that presaged Post-Modernism. The Corbusier-inspired design of House VI, Eisenman's sixth house design, signals the formalist aesthetic of that school.
    Commissioned by Suzanne and Dick Frank in 1972 for a site in Cornwall, Connecticut and built in 1975, it was the most polemical of his designs to date. Published widely, the house thus garnered both recognition and controversy for Eisenman.
    Many critics considered House VI, also known as the Frank House, Eisenman's most important work. It certainly generated considerable dialogue within the architecture community among architects, critics and historians. John Hejduk described the residence as the "second canonical De Stijl house," a reference to Gerrit Rietveld's Neo-Plastic Schroeder House, although Eisenman took issue with this conclusion, describing House VI instead as an "inversion" of De Stijl design. Critics have noted Eisenman's attempt to marry linguistic theory to design; his interest in Noam Chomsky's theory of syntax and transformational grammar is particularly evident in the series of "transformational" axonometric drawings he made of House VI.
    Several of the design drawings in this collection appear in Suzanne Frank's book, Peter Eisenman's House VI: the client's response, published in 1994.

    Administrative Information


    Open for use by qualified researchers.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    Peter Eisenman architectural drawings for House VI, 1972, Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Accession no. 920049

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired from Peter Eisenman in 1992.

    Processing History

    Processed in 1993, more finely processed and arranged in 2001.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Sixty-three architectural drawings in pencil and ink on paper document the complete design development for House VI, also known as the Frank House. All the drawings are from 1972 and have ID numbers written on them by Eisenman's office. Most critics and historians consider House VI one of Eisenman's most important early designs. The most theoretical and polemical of his designs to date, Eisenman described House VI as a turning point in his career. The collection includes an elaborate series of preliminary sketches that reveal the origin of elements retained in the final design. During the design process, Eisenman felt that he "achieved a synthesis between the isolation of the architectural sign and the generation of the autonomous object."

    Arrangement note

    Arranged in one series by the drawings' ID numbers.

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Names

    Eisenman, Peter, 1932-

    Subjects - Corporate Bodies

    House Six (Cornwall, Conn.)
    House VI (Cornwall, Conn.)

    Subjects - Topics

    Architecture, Domestic--United States
    Architecture, Postmodern--Designs and plans
    Architecture, Postmodern--United States--Connecticut
    Architecture--Connecticut--Cornwell--20th century

    Subjects - Places

    Cornwall (Conn.)--Buildings, structures, etc

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Architectural drawings (visual works)
    Design development drawings


    Eisenman Architects
    Frank, Dick
    Frank, Suzanne S. (Suzanne Shulof)