Bruce Alonzo Goff was an American architect, distinguished by his organic, eclectic, and often flamboyant designs for houses and other buildings in Oklahoma and elsewhere. A 1951 Life Magazine article stated that Goff was "one of the few US architects whom Frank Lloyd Wright considers creative...scorns houses that are 'boxes with little holes."
His father arranged for him to become an apprentice at the age of twelve to the architectural firm of Rush, Endacott and Rush in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Goff's employers were so impressed with his talent, that they soon gave him responsibility for designing houses and small commercial projects. During this period, his work was heavily influenced though his correspondence with Wright and Louis Sullivan.
In 1934 he moved to Chicago and began teaching part-time at the Academy of Fine Arts. Goff accepted a teaching position with the School of Architecture at the University of Oklahoma in 1942. Despite being largely self-taught, Goff became chair of the school in 1943.
His contemporaries primarily followed tight functionalistic floorplans with flat roofs and no ornament. Goff's idiosyncratic floorplans, attention to spatial effect, and use of recycled and/or unconventional materials such as gilded zebrawood, cellophane strips, cake pans, glass cullet, Quonset Hut ribs, ashtrays, and white turkey feathers, challenge conventional distinctions between order and disorder.
All our texts and many of our images appear under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike License (CC BY-SA). All our content is written and edited by our community.