Robert B. Roloff was a veritable da Vinci, a true, modern-day Michelangelo. The range and volume of his career can't be presented because, in spite of the fact he had more than one complete set of images of his work, he threw all of it in the trash.
What remains are traces, and wealthy interests are busily demolishing his work, quickly.
This website is under construction, and it will be taken apart and rebuilt again and again. A complete presentation will never be possible. If by chance you're in possession of a photograph of any of his construction projects, your contribution would be greatly, gratefully appreciated. Please contact the administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, you can view many pictures of Robert B. Roloff's architecture in an album assembled for use with this blog here.
Updated October 31, 2016: This blog was created and written by me, Scott Roloff, the only surviving member of Robert B. Roloff’s family. I planned to rebuild and add to this site. One determined, rotten individual and a large team of goons changed this simple idea, and it’s a miracle I’ve survived. As the only living expert on the subject of Robert B. Roloff, I assure you his miraculous architectural career isn’t the most interesting thing about him.
Recently this blog was used as authority in a federal criminal case proving I am an undesirable stripped of the law’s protection and subject to extrajudicial elimination. If that surprises you, join the club. Some people hate art that much.
The residence for Nazih Zuhdi is on the market for $649,000 (hat tip: Debbie Francis).
Dr. Zuhdi rejected the first design, telling the architect he wanted something fantastic, and that money was no object. The client accepted the second concept, which is possibly Robert B. Roloff’s greatest design.
The house is a masterpiece of structural engineering without precedent. The slanted roof beams are custom-made, laminated 2 X 4s that are heavy and fabulously expensive. They were notched to clear where they overlap. The slightest error in shape or location of the notch would waste the whole beam—a small detail that created an extremely complex geometry problem.
The house was completed in 1972. The semi-cylindrical reinforced concrete walls on the east and west ends begin eight feet and end 34 feet above finished floor. Dr. Zuhdi cut off the wall on the east end. The chimney has been removed, and the whole exterior has been painted white, changing the house’s appearance, yet not losing the architect’s intentions.
The general contractor was Harry Ussery and Vaughn Evans, who came to this job after completing the downtown convention center, formerly The Myriad, now Cox Center, also designed by Robert B. Roloff. Today’s price is a great bargain, about twice what it cost to build slightly more than 40 years ago. The realtor’s walk-through video is here and below, for your convenience: