Robert Engelbrecht House

Architect: Robert Martin Engelbrecht

Date of Construction: 1960

Location: 145 Mansgrove Road, Princeton

Materials: concrete, wood

Floors: 1

Use: residential

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The mid-century architect Robert Martin Engelbrecht built and designed his own home on the far north edge of Princeton. The area that the home is located is a very hilly and rocky region. There is no flat ground and huge boulders of rock intermingle with thick tree growth. What makes Engelbrecht’s design notable is that it spans a small creek, the center of the house is not rooted in the ground but forms a bridge between the two wings of the house. The clever adaptation to the unique site combined with the clean integration of the house with the rugged surroundings makes Engelbrecht design admirable for its engineering and design adaptations. The “L” shaped plan allows for the bulk of the house to lie on the north side of the creek which also has an attic half-story. The heavy roofline that emphasizes the horizontal man-made elements against the multitude of trees that surround the site and the creek below the house. The house is accessed past a freestanding truncated-pyramidal garage that also appears to have an apartment situated on top. The garage keeps with the Modern design of the main house and also tries to blend in with nature, but it does appear to be a later addition.

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