David Webb’s Pitch-perfect Models of Mid-century Homes

Laura Serra

We’ve been on hiatus long enough. It’s time to dust off The Mid-Century Modernist with a timeless item that’s sat in our drafts folder since 2011.

From a very young age, LA-based artist David Webb was fascinated by Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Fallingwater”. After visiting the house over 30 years ago he built a model. In 2010, David sent us photos of his creation, and we were floored. The detail on his 1:90 scale creation is exquisite. Webb went on to create models of other historically significant homes. He gets every detail on point, from the structure itself to the landscaping and period-correct cars resting in the driveways.

A 1:100 scale model in its case. Anderson House by Aaron Green, 1959.

Here are photos of four models along with his commentary on each creation. 

Kaufmann Desert House

“Many years later I discovered Neutra’s desert house also built for E. J. Kaufmann and when I built the model of it I was struck by the subtle similarities. It also took me to Palm Springs and some of the greatest mid-century architecture I have ever seen.”

Edris House

“I spent a lot of time on the landscape of the Edris house model because the house somehow appears to have emerged from its surroundings and looked a bit lost in isolation. This ‘Alexander house’ I think is a great example of of those brilliant designs. This is a quite large version on N via Monte Vista in Palm Springs.”

Stahl House

“The Stahl house is probably the most recognisable of all the case study houses. I think this is because Buck Stahl was an adventurous and imaginative client. His son, Mark, and I have talked about my re-creating the concept model his Dad built in 1956. It is interesting to see how much of Koenigs iconic design takes some significant cues from that model that currently exists only in a hand full of old black and white photos.”

Alexander House

“This is just a fascinating hobby for me at this stage. I would however be interested in building models for anyone with an interesting house. I’m particularly interested in the relatively affordable post war houses constructed by Joseph Eichler and the Alexanders.”

See more of Webb’s models in big, beautiful photographs on his website.

P.S. For decades, Webb’s main gigs were in film and TV – not as a production designer, but as an actor, with on-screen credits for films such as Superman Returns and Babe.

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