Living in a Modern Museum: The Seminoff House in Living Now Magazine
article and photos from the Fitzsimmons Architects archives
We’ve featured the lovely Seminoff House on the Mod Blog before, both in a tribute to its architect and original owner, George Seminoff — https://okcmod.com/?p=2436 — and as part of last year’s AIA tour coverage — https://okcmod.com/?p=4667. This time, we’re taking a look at the house as it appeared soon after the entire structure was completed when it was featured in the Spring 1971 issue of Living Now magazine. Here’s the article in full — all photos are by the guru himself, Mr. Julius Shulman.
One long wing and a trellis suggest an enclosure , a settlement, around the pool. At night it reflects the glow of lights and activity, a contrast to the empty countryside.
This is one house that was built more or less backwards. At first it consisted only of the 20- by 40-foot rectangle at the left, now the wing by the pool. It was essentially one room, large enough for a couple and ideal for poolside parties. Then when children were born, the owners added the “main” house, the two-story section above. Owner-architect George Seminoff designed it so skillfully that it seems all of a piece. And as it matures, it becomes even richer looking. The architect used materials inventively. The brick, cedar shingles, and resawn cedar siding on the outside continue inside to become the background for the couple’s collection of art. Since his wife, Sharon, is also an artist, he allowed large blank walls for pictures. Wide glass gives a view of the countryside outside Oklahoma City. The result is a comfortable incorporation of art and nature into their daily life.
From the driveway the house has a sheltered look. The openness of the poolside pavilion beyond is unsuspected.
The teak floor of the upstairs living room is the one lavish material in the house. In the background is a cozy alcove with built-in seating and a prefab fireplace.
A pole-supported bookshelf acts as a divider (in the downstairs dining room).
Above two photos, blank walls provide display space for art. Below, the wall is cedar siding.
The wall-hung headboard, designed by the owner, is pigskin flooring in a walnut frame.
A railing of 1-inch oak dowels sets off outdoor materials on inside walls.
Notice that the famous tree in the living/dining area is still fairly contained in these vintage photos. Here’s how it looks now: