A new exhibit recently opened at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park. It’s titled The Sensuous Environment – Sim Bruce Richards, Architect.
San Diego architect Sim Bruce Richards is best known for designing houses that appeal not only to the eyes, but to other human senses as well. The museum exhibit, with its many photographs and drawings, celebrates the unique vision of an architect whose creations feel both rustic and modern. It’s an aesthetic that appeals to an essential human connection with nature.
His houses are truly homes. They are warm and welcoming. They contain natural, textured materials that are pleasant to the senses, like stone, adobe, and beautiful woods, including mahogany, redwood and aromatic cedar. Fireplaces are centerpieces where life gathers. Natural outdoor light shines through large windows. As one display explains: Richards took inspiration from his Cherokee heritage, his apprenticeship with Frank Lloyd Wright, and fondness for the work of San Diegan Irving Gill and other early twentieth century architects…
Reading the fascinating displays, I learned he often collaborated with noted San Diego artist James Hubbell.
Richards also designed commercial and church buildings using the same aesthetic. Did you know the Morley Field Tennis Club building in Balboa Park was one of his projects?
Beautifully inviting furniture that he designed is also part of the exhibit.
The Sensuous Environment – Sim Bruce Richards, Architect presents material from the archives of the San Diego History Center and UC Santa Barbara’s Art, Architecture and Design Museum.
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