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    Charles Willard Moore was born in 1925 in Benton Harbor, Michigan. A former school teacher, Moore's mother recognized his gifts early on, and through encouragement in self-education and frequent trips across the United States, the young Moore developed a remarkable sense of place aided by a photographic memory.

     

    Too young to serve in World War II, Moore spent those years as an student of architecture at the University of Michigan. There he came under the wing of Dean Roger Bailey, who would expand his cultural horizons.

     

    Upon graduation in 1947, Moore went to San Francisco, attracted by the European qualities of the city, and the legacy of the Bay Region Vernacular. He apprenticed for several offices: Mario Corbett, Joseph Allen Stein, and Clark & Beuttler. Moore was registered as an architect by his 21st birthday.

     

    Hoping to teach, but not having been to Europe, Moore applied for and was awarded Cranbrook Academy's Booth Travel Fellowship.  Between 1949 and 1950, Moore traveled throughout Europe and Northern Africa, where he watercolored, photographed, wrote, and even made 16mm films of various architectural monuments. At this time, Roger Bailey, back in the United States, left his post at the University of Michigan and went to Salt Lake City, where he established Utah's first architecture program. He asked more to join the new faculty.

     

    With his first teaching job waiting for him, Moore returned from Europe and drove his imported Citroen 2CV to Salt Lake City. Moore reveled in this teaching experience, remarkable, he later recalled, because he and his colleagues were able to invent an entire architectural curriculum, without an established orthodoxy to counter their efforts.

     

    Anticipating a draft notice in 1950, Charles Moore enlisted, trained, and was sent to Seoul, Korea, serving as lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers. Some of his work included the design of simple structures such as schools and chapels. His trips on leave to Japan, however, would profoundly shape his work to come, after experiencing architectural and landscape works of tremendous spirit and subtlety.

     

    In the hopes of advancing his own studies, Moore, with the aid of the GI Bill, enrolled at Princeton University upon discharge. He arrived there in 1954 where he immediately formed important relationships with fellow students who would remain lifelong friends and collaborators, including William Turnbull, Jr., Donlyn Lyndon, Richard Peters, and Hugh Hardy. Moore's work at Princeton was influenced by its Dean Jean Labatut, professors Enrico Peressutti, George Rowley, and especially Louis Kahn, for whom he served as a Post Doctoral Teaching Assistant. Moore completed a Master's Degree and Ph.D. in only three years.  His dissertation was "Water and Architecture". Graduating in 1957, Moore returned to the Bay Region, where he commenced a remarkable 35-year odyssey of design, teaching, writing, collecting, and travel.

     

    Moore would teach and lead departments at UC Berkeley, Yale, UCLA, and the University of Texas, he would establish seven architecture firms, and write a dozen books, all while indefatigably traveling the world, frenziedly amassing an exuberant collection of folk art and toys.

     

    While at Berkeley, Moore commenced a collaboration with William Turnbull, Jr., Donlyn Lyndon, and Richard Whitaker. Their firm, MLTW, soon began producing work of international distinction, including Moore's own house at Orinda; small houses and cabins along the California coast, and, most notably, the Sea Ranch Condominium in Sonoma County. (This structure would later be recognized with the prestigious AIA 25 Year Award.)

     

    When Moore accepted the chairmanship of the Yale School of Architecture (later to become Dean when the department was reorganized), he continued his collaborations with the Berkeley group, establishing a satellite office in New Haven known as MLTW:Moore/Turnbull.

     

    Eventually, however, Turnbull established his own practice, whereupon Moore established a new firm in New Haven, Moore Grover Harper, with William Grover and Robert Harper. This firm eventually grew into Centerbrook Architects and Planners, ultimately settling in Centerbrook (Essex), Connecticut, where today it continues its work.

     

    In 1975 Moore returned to California, this time to lead the department of architecture at UCLA. In Los Angeles Moore began working with Urban Innovations Group, a teaching practice associated with the school, focused primarily on planning and urban design projects.

     

    It was with this firm that Moore completed the Piazza d'Italia in New Orleans. At the same time, Moore also established yet another independent architecture practice with John Ruble and Buzz Yudell. International in scope, Moore Ruble Yudell, continues to operate in Santa Monica today.

     

    At the invitation of the University of Texas at Austin, Moore once again relocated in 1984 to teach in its School of Architecture. In Austin, Moore's collaboration with Arthur Andersson led to Moore/Andersson Architects, today known as Andersson Wise.

     

    In the midst of the teaching, travel, and practice, Moore was also a writer of great distinction. His first book The Place of Houses (with Donlyn Lyndon and Gerald Allen), is regarded as one of the most influential works of the 20th century, and is still in print today. Among his many books and monographs (which can be browsed in our bookstore.), are Body, Memory, and Architecture (with Kent Bloomer); The Poetics of Gardens (with William Mitchell and William Turnbull, Jr.), Dimensions (with Gerald Allen); Los Angeles: The City Observed (with Regula Campbell and Peter Becker), and Chambers for a Memory Palace (with Donlyn Lyndon.)

     

    Among his many distinctions and honors, Moore is the only American architect to be awarded the AIA Gold Medal (the nation's highest accolade in the profession); the Topaz Medallion (which recognizes achievement in teaching and scholarship); an AIA 25-Year-Award for Sea Ranch Condominium, as well as two AIA Firm of the Year Awards. Having coped with diabetes for many years, Charles Moore died at home of heart failure on December 13, 1993.

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    The Charles Moore Foundation is dedicated to the appreciation of the whole physical domain—architecture, landscape, the environment, cities, streets, homes, and neighborhoods.

     

    The foundation's programs, publications, and projects are guided by the values central to the late Charles Moore's thinking, and the conviction that "good places matter."

     

    The foundation's home is the Moore/Andersson Compound in Austin, Texas. The last home and studio occupied by Moore, it is an architectural work of international significance. The foundation is dedicated to preserving the structures, landscape, and Charles Moore's outstanding collection of folk art.

     

    The foundation also assists in the care and preservation of Moore's architectural library and archives in collaboration with the University of Texas at Austin's Alexander Architectural Archive.

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    Architectural Archive

    Charles Moore Library

    Colin Rowe Library

    When the Charles Moore Foundation was established in 1997, Moore’s personal and professional archive was entrusted to the University of Texas at Austin Alexander Architectural Archive for its long-term organization, care, and preservation.

     

    The archive is located in the Charles W. Moore Room in Battle Hall, which was designed by Cass Gilbert.

     

    The collection documents Moore’s work in architecture, education, and scholarship. The holdings include drawings, models, manuscripts, notes, correspondence, and other papers. The collection also includes tens of thousands of Moore’s 35mm travel slides and even 16mm films.

     

    Visiting & Research

     

    The Charles Moore Archive is administered by the Alexander Architectural Archive of the University of Texas at Austin.

     

     (The Charles Moore Library is located at the Moore/Andersson Compound, about two miles from campus.)

     

    Access to the archive and library are by appointment only. For appointments and additional information about research policies, please contact the Alexander Architectural Archive.

     

    Tel.  (512) 495-4621

    Email:  api-aaa@lib.utexas.edu

    Charles Moore’s architectural library is housed at the Moore/Andersson Compound.

     

    Completely cataloged and shelved in its original condition, the 4,500 volume Moore Library can be searched on UTNetCat.

     

    Visiting and Access

     

    The Charles Moore Foundation welcomes students, scholars, and the public to make use of the library.

     

    Students at the University of Texas may request books via UTNetCat.  (Books will be brought to campus for use in Battle Hall.  Volumes may not be used outside of the library.)

     

    Students and members of the public may also visit the library at the Charles Moore Foundation. Simply submit an Appointment Request to schedule a visit.

    In 2001 Colin Rowe's family entrusted the care of his fine architectural library to the Charles Moore Foundation and the University of Texas at Austin.

     

    Housed in its own space at the Moore/Andersson Compound, the 2,500 volume library has been kept intact as a collection, shelved according to Rowe's preferences. The library has been completely cataloged, and is searchable as a collection on UTNetCat.

     

    Emblematic of Rowe’s scholarship and teaching, the library encompasses architecture, urban design, fine art, history, theory, and philosophy.

     

    Visiting and Access

     

    The Charles Moore Foundation welcomes students, scholars, and the public to make use of the Colin Rowe Library.

     

    Students at the University of Texas may request books via UTNetCat.  (Books will be brought to campus for use in Battle Hall.  Volumes may not be used outside of the library.)

     

    Students and members of the public may also visit the library at the Charles Moore Foundation. Simply submit an Appointment Request to schedule a visit.

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    Chuckwagon

     

    SOLD OUT

     

    Chuckwagon is the Charles Moore Foundation's annual enchilada and margarita dinner.  It is simply a time for everyone to come together to enjoy good food and each other's presence.

     

    Proceeds support the foundation's ongoing architectural preservation and landscape projects. Join us!

    Our Sponsors... Much Obliged!

     

    Diana Keller Aldridge & Frank Aldridge

    Susan Benz

    Jeffrey Chusid (Ithaca, New York)

    Sandy Fiedorek & David Heymann

    Nancy & Richard Jennings

    Laura & Spence Kass (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

    Kathryn Engelhardt-Cronk & Tom Cronk

    Betty & Duncan Osborne

    Eugene Sepulveda & Steven Tomlinson

    Connie & Samuel Pate

    Janis & Joe Pinnelli

    Alex & Robbie Robinette

    Pamela Sztybel & Skip Stein (New York, New York)

    Eliza Thomas & Ted Young

    Margot & Grant Thomas

    Judy Willcott & Laurance Miller

    Maria & Darren Woody

     

    A few of the projects we completed in 2015...

     

    Architecture

     

    New entry roof and skylight...

     

    New galvanized eave and exterior blind to protect the Opium Den window from Texas thunderstorms and UV damage...

     

    Courtyard fascias and finials...

     

    New galvanized property fence...

     

    Hal's Box Trot doors, trusses, and hoist pulley...

     

    Landscape

     

    50 new trees and foliage specimens...

     

    Timber Buddha's Belly Bamboo screen...

     

    Quarry Road agave and prickly pear propagation...

     

    Tree and limb removal...

     

    Goat herd weed eradication...

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    There aren’t many houses like this: the short list begins with Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and continues through Sir John Soane’s 1812-1813 house in London, now the Soane Museum, and on to Frank Lloyd Wright’s two Taliesins, Philip Johnson’s Glass House and Frank Gehry’s house in Santa Monica, all buildings that carry an importance in the history of architecture that far outweighs their size.  —Paul Goldberger

    "The main premise of this book," Charles Moore wrote with Gerald Allen and Donlyn Lyndon introducing The Place of Houses, "is that anyone who cares enough can create a house of great worth—no anointment is required. If you care enough you just do it. You bind the goods and trappings of your life together with your dreams to make a place that is uniquely your own. In doing so you build a semblance of the world you know, adding it to the community that surrounds you."

    That houses should create a center for those who inhabit it seemed obvious enough, but Moore often pointed out that houses should, at the same time, be instruments of connection. This second part has been, in most cases everywhere blithely liquidated, as houses have, by and large, become instruments of isolation. This has confounded most attempts at making places that have any chance for nurturing a community.

    When Charles Moore accepted an invitation in 1984 to come to Austin and develop a new graduate program at the University of Texas, it became another opportunity to develop yet another architectural practice. Like those that preceded this one—MLTW; MLTW:Moore/Turnbull; Moore Grover Harper; Centerbrook; Urban Innovations Group; and Moore Ruble Yudell—what would ultimately become Moore/Andersson Architects began with the act of making a house, the seventh that Moore would design for himself. The place would center Moore's hectic life and work, but connect the work to the sense of being in one of Austin's prized neighborhoods (Tarrytown), the larger sense of the Hill Country, and the even larger sense of Texas itself.

    Moore and the partner in this venture, architect Arthur Andersson, arrived to a neighborhood that had been traumatized by the construction of MoPAC, a state freeway that was promoted by politicians and transportation authorities as a "boulevard" but lamentably devolved into a standard concrete high-speed corridor with nary a tree sidewalk, or intersection in site, let alone any of the charm or prestige or romance that "boulevard" calls to mind. Although Moore's site was directly adjacent to the freeway and its menacingly named "feeder road," the property, an acre-sized slope was shielded by at least some of the noise and pollution by a grove of fine trees, and a greensward along a nearby creek, along which a public trail runs.

    Moore understood the apprehensiveness of his new neighbors, who were fiercely protective of what remained of the "soul" of their violated neighborhood. What he did not want to do was declare his tenancy with a monument

    Instead, he wanted to make a place that would respect the scale and patterns of the neighborhood, and unobtrusively tuck under the limbs of the stately Post and Shumard Oaks. And even though the careworn 1930's-era bungalow on the property (that had succumbed to a "ranch" addition in the 1940's) offered little in the way of promise, Moore felt it was important not to sweep in and erase the house, but keep it intact as a reminder of the site's history.

    For starters, the notion of a "compound" seemed right, since Moore and Andersson could break down the mass—two homes and a studio—into constituent parts, thereby reducing the apparent scale. "Compound" also implied a loose confederation of buildings that could take advantage of connections and overlaps to create what Moore often described as "chances for encounter.Ever since childhood road trips throughout the West, and through to his Master's thesis at Princeton, which focused on the Spanish adobes of Monterey, California, Moore was always interested in the Hispanic antecedents of American architecture. The idea of the courtyard, into which the attention and life of the inhabitants could focus, protected by a thick-walled shell, still seemed a worthy model, given Austin's temperate climate.

    Moore was also fascinated by what might be considered the antipodes of the Texas Hispanic typology, the German or Prussian or Alsatian vestige of the thin-walled dwelling, built as clusters of small, toy-like structures in communities surrounding Austin. Instead of focusing inward, these houses turned their attention  outward, to the land the inhabitants came to tend as farmers or ranchers, by means of porches, windows, dog-trots, lean-to's, gables and dormers.

    In only the way that Moore was able, he took these two contrary architectural idioms and fused the vernacular voices  to make a place special to Texas, but "uniquely his own." (Strong helpings of Soane, Maybeck, Schinkel, Pompeii, Sherwood Ranch, Vierzehnheiligen, Bantry House, and Kyoto were added to the mix!) Binding all these metaphors was the sense of the building as geode. The whole compound would be sheathed in plainspoken board and batten, painted taupe to emphasize the foliage, preferring reticence to self-importance. But upon entry, each layer gets looser and freer and more festive, until the act of crossing Moore's threshold unleashes what Paul Goldberger once described as "mad magnificence." Thwarting all expectations of the shell's equanimity, the inner sanctum is encrusted with Moore's collection folk art and toys, the crystals of the geode  This is the place that Charles Moore called home for the last ten years of his life, where he centered his many activities, ideas, friends, colleagues, and students, and where he connected to the bigger picture.

     

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    Contact

    Visit

    Stay

    Charles Moore Foundation

     

    2102 Quarry Road

    Austin, Texas  78703

     

    (512) 220-7923

     

    director@charlesmoore.org

     

     

    The Charles Moore Foundation welcomes visitors. Due to its limited staff and its residency program, architecture tours are available by appointment only.  Tours include the Charles Moore House and Studio; the Andersson House and the Cube Loft are included based on the foundation's residency schedule.  Tours typically take 1 hour.

     

    Tours are not recommended for children under 16 years of age.

     

    Out of respect for the neighborhood, we do not allow tour buses.

     

    Photography is permitted for personal use and social media.  Please inquire before any images are used for professional publication.

     

    Tour fees support the foundation's preservation projects.

     

    Adults         $25 (Includes one PLACENOTES edition.)

    Students    $10

     

     

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    "There is no better way, I think , to experience great architecture than to wake up in it. My real tour of the architectural wonders of the world would feature naps in each wonder, however marginal, to surrender to the great place and make it your own." —Charles Moore, "Impressions of Japanese Architecture"

     

    The Charles Moore Foundation welcomes architects, designers, artists, curators, scholars, and indeed anyone who seeks a place to work, study, or simply experience the Moore/Andersson Compound. Residencies vary from a single night to an entire semester. Residency contributions support the Charles Moore Foundation preservation projects.

     

    Note: Because of legal liability, we cannot accommodate children under the age of 16.  Since the Moore/Andersson Compound was designed and built as a private residence, it is not handicapped accessible.

    Request a Residency

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2102 Quarry Road | Austin, Texas | 78703

(512) 771-0008