Residence for Dr. Nazih Zuhdi



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:

video