Photo credit: Traceries , 10/2007

Property Name: Seymour Krieger House
Date Listed: 10/29/2008
Inventory No.: M: 35-161
Location: 6739, Brigadoon Drive, Bethesda, Montgomery County

Description: The Seymour Krieger House is located in the residential subdivision of Bannockburn, which was established in the 1950s. Constructed in 1958, the single-family dwelling is set on the northeast side of Brigadoon Drive, which extends less than half a mile westward from River Road before looping eastward to terminate at Selkirk Drive. The International Style building was designed by architect Marcel Breuer, with Dan Kiley serving as the landscape designer. The one-story steel-framed structure is constructed of all-stretcher coursed brick (painted white) and marlite panels with bands of large plate-glass windows and sliding-glass doors set within steel frames. The concrete foundation is clad in native field rocks, the same material used in the construction of the stone walls that project from the structure. Fundamentally a rectilinear plan, the dwelling is covered by a flat roof with a wide plywood fascia board. An interior-end chimney of brick rises from the northwest elevation, which like the southeast elevation is devoid of openings. An interior chimney of brick projects from the center of the structure, marking the location of the interior mechanical room. A carport with workshop and storage is visually connected by an exposed structural steel beam and brick wall. Typical of the International Style, the interior of the one-story dwelling has an open plan defined by asymmetrically placed openings that “express the spaces within.” Despite physical dividers such as a full-height screen of natural-finished birch with caning, the interior is open, allowing complete interaction between the living room, dining area, kitchen, entrance hall, and playroom. Private areas include the three bedrooms, two baths, and study. Like the exterior, the interior detailing is minimal, reduced to indigenous construction materials such as the bluestone flooring and the American black walnut ceilings.

Significance: The Seymour Krieger House at 6739 Brigadoon Drive in Bethesda, Maryland was constructed in 1958 to the designs of internationally renowned architect Marcel Breuer. Located on a rise overlooking Brigadoon Drive, the International Style house is set on a triangular-shaped corner lot that was landscaped by prolific landscape designer Dan Kiley. Every aspect of the architectural and landscape designs of the Seymour Krieger House has a specific function, an ideal promulgated by the International Style. The project was the first of five collaborations between Breuer and Kiley nationwide, and was one of only two projects these distinguished designers worked together on in Maryland. The house was constructed for Seymour Krieger, who was a member of the United States Prosecution Staff at the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany. After years as a member of the legal staff of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Krieger served as general counsel of the Greater Washington Educational Television Association, Inc. The Seymour Krieger House, which served as the home of the Krieger family until 1964, is the only single-family dwelling designed by Marcel Breuer in Montgomery County, and is one of four residential buildings he designed in Maryland. The Seymour Krieger House is significant for its architectural and landscape designs, the product of master architect Marcel Breuer and master landscape designer Dan Kiley. The property is an excellent example of the International Style, reflecting the architectural principles of this Modern Movement style that promoted the use of indigenous materials in the construction of the single-family dwelling as well as the designed landscape.




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