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Robinson House (Marcel Breuer) model

An inventory of the item at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 10 Sep 2015

Biographical History

Marcel Breuer (1902-1981) was a Hungarian-American modernist architect and furniture designer. In 1946, after extensive research into modern architecture, Preston and Helen Robinson chose Breuer to design their house in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains in Williamstown, MA. The bi-nuclear residence possessed two wings, each of a different shape, connected by an entrance hall. A rectangular volume contained the garage and bedrooms. The living spaces were contained within a square volume reached by a ramp from the entrance hall. Low, fieldstone walls extended from the house into the surrounding landscape. A dramatic, triangular wooden truss lengthened the butterfly roof beyond the glass wall of the living room, shading the stone-paved east terrace. Breuer also created a sculptural, stone fireplace as a focal point for the living room. The house was clad in wooden siding and colored panels. Harry Seidler and Eliot Noyes oversaw construction during Breuer's long trip to South America in the summer of 1947. The clients were extremely happy with Breuer's design and lived in the house until 1975.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Robinson House (Marcel Breuer) model consists of large scale model of the house designed by Marcel Breuer for Preston and Helen Robinson in Williamstown, MA. The model was constructed by Robin Janik, a graduate student in Syracuse University School of Architecture, on the occasion of the Marcel Breuer exhibition curated by Teresa Harris at Syracuse University's Special Collections Research Center in 2012.

Arrangement of the Collection

Single item.


Access Restrictions: Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Model is extremely large and requires advance notice for retrieval.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

Additional information about the Robinson House may be found in the Marcel Breuer Papers, and in the Marcel Breuer Digital Archive.

Subject Headings


Breuer, Marcel, 1902-1981.
Janik, Robin.


Architectural design.
Architectural models.
Architecture -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Architecture, Domestic.

Genres and Forms

Architectural models.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Robinson House (Marcel Breuer) model,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 2012.

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