Puerto Rico's Henry Klumb: A Modern Architect's Sense of Place (Routledge 2020)
“Why haven’t I heard of this architect before?” I have been asked some form of this question every time that I have presented the works of the German-Puerto Rican architect Henry Klumb to various audiences. The question is always asked with a sense of admiration toward this newfound subject. Likewise, whenever someone outside of academia asks me about my work, if the conversation strays beyond teaching and just far enough into my research, there is always this sense of wonder about Klumb’s unusual life journey. Klumb did lead a remarkable life in architecture, and his story should resonate far beyond the small island of Puerto Rico.
From the Publisher
"This book follows Henry Klumb’s life in architecture from Cologne, Germany to Puerto Rico. Arriving on the island, Klumb was a one-time German immigrant, a moderately successful designer, and previously a senior draftsman with Frank Lloyd Wright.
Over the next forty years Klumb would emerge as Puerto Rico’s most prolific, locally well-known, and celebrated modern architect. In addition to becoming a leading figure in Latin American modern architecture, Klumb also became one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most accomplished protégés, and an architect with a highly attuned social and environmental consciousness. Cruz explores his life, works, and legacy through the lens of a sense of place, defined as the beliefs that people adopt, actions undertaken, and feelings developed towards specific locations and spaces. He argues that the architect’s sense of place was a defining quality of his life and work, most evident in the houses he designed and built in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico’s Henry Klumb offers a historical narrative, culminating in a series of architectural analyses focusing on four key design strategies employed in Klumb’s work: vernacular architecture, the grid and the landscape, dense urban spaces, and open air rooms. This book is aimed at researchers, academics, and postgraduate students interested in Latin American architecture, modernism, and architectural history."
To learn more about the book...
Please visit the publisher's site here, or Amazon.com here.
First row - Henry and Else Klumb at the Klumb House, Henry Klumb sitting by his lily pond and garden, and the author while visiting the Klumb House.
Second row - Two photographs of Puerto Rico's rural working poor in 1943, and a typical jibaro hut in 1945.