The House That First Inspired Steve Jobs

Illustration for article titled The House That First Inspired Steve Jobs

Like everyone else in the planet, I'm reading Steve Jobs' biography. Finding the origin of his character and taste is truly fascinating. Like the influence of his very first home on his perception of what design for the masses should be.


Jobs' first home was a Joseph Eichler-built house. Like many people in California, Jobs' adoptive parents lived in one of the 11,000 homes built by Eichler in 12 communities all over that state. The Eichlers, as they are commonly known, are simple, clean, single-story open-plan houses, with exposed wood beams and large, top to bottom glass panels.


Eichler was influenced himself by Frank Lloyd Wright, as he lived for a while in one of the famous architect's Usonian houses. Wright coined the word Usonia to refer to his idea of architecture and landscaping for the common American citizen, home designs that were simple, small and embedded in the environment. The real estate developer thought he had to bring Wright's design philosophy to the masses and he succeeded.

Jobs had warm memories of this house. He loved it. He told to his biographer that this house greatly influenced his vision of what design for the masses should be: "I love it when you can bring really great design and simple capability to something that doesn't cost much. It was the original vision for Apple." It's too bad that he didn't live to see what would have been his ideal house—to be built in the terrain where the Jackling House was located—which follows the Usonian ideal as well, although in a larger scale. [Architizer]

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I love this style of house (which is probably why I bought one) but, I was not aware of its architectural roots back to Wright. It is referred to (here) as a California contemporary and its a very livable house.