Architecture May 23, 2012 By Nalina Moses

Yen House, La Jolla, California, 1980.

Yen House, La Jolla, California, 1980.

Kellogg has spent his entire life in southwest California, which gives him an intimate understanding of the region’s climate, geology and culture. The Desert High House, one of his best-known works, is covered with a delicate concrete exoskeleton that sits in its scrubby surroundings like a native creature.

If there’s one outside influence Ken embraces, in all its complexity, it’s that of Frank Lloyd Wright. Kellogg met Wright at Taliesen West when he was a student in the 1950’s, a visit that he says was “inspirational.” What impressed him most about the extraordinarily charismatic and prolific older architect was his “individuality rather than personality.” That iconoclastic spirit is apparent in Kellogg’s own work, which employs jubilantly inventive forms. The Yen House in La Jolla, which opens in an array of wood arches, is free-form and also lucid, a combination of traits that might be uniquely Californian.

Architects today, who spend a great deal of their time constructing computer renderings and completing projects overseas, yearn for for a way to build that’s more primal: modest in scale, attuned to craft, and closely linked to place. Seen in this light, Kellogg’s lifelong project is especially inspiring. Over the decades he’s established a body of work that includes a chain of restaurants for Chart House, dozens of private homes, and a wedding chapel in Japan. One building can’t be mistaken for another yet they all share a rich physicality, expert craftsmanship, and a sympathy with their surroundings. In a dizzyingly global culture Kellogg’s work offers a

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