FRED & ESTHER TANGEMAN HOUSE

The Tangeman house, an early work of Madison architect William V. Kaeser (1906-1995), is the finest example of International design in Nakoma and one of the best in Madison from the pre-war period. The design’s excellence brought it coverage in local papers and even the national architectural press of the day.

International Style features of the asymmetrical facade include a cantilevered catwalk with industrial-style rails, a glass block insert by the unconventionally placed entry door, a taut, smooth redwood board skin, and flat, unornamented bands of single-light windows that are punched through the walls and wrap some corners, becoming a continuous part of the outer surface. A dramatic grouping of fifteen windows in five columns lights the two-story stair hall. The south side windows were designed as passive solar heat collectors. On sunny winter days the furnace may not go on until late afternoon.

Although flat roofs are typical of International Style, the Nakoma design reviewers required a pitched roof to better blend with the older houses. Kaeser designed Prairie style hip roofs with wide, overhanging eaves, providing a stylistically harmonizing and practical adaptation in the midwestern climate to this fine International Style home.

 

 

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