The Knowles, Whifler’s Last, His Designs Outlawed.

Inspired by cathedrals he saw traveling in Europe, William Whifler designed the floor plan of the Knowles residence in the shape of a cross, at the center of which stands the home’s circular kitchen.  The home for Mr. & Mrs. Gene Knowles, 240 Glen Aulin, Burlingame, CA would be Whifler’s last.  Energy shortages of the early ‘70’s led to radical changes in the building codes that severely limited window area.  No longer able to design with walls of glass, Whifler quit his architectural practice and became a full time professor.

Drawing inspiration from the cathedrals in Europe, the Glen Aulin residence was laid out as a cross.   At the cross’s intersection, at the heart of the home stands the circular kitchen.  The idea of a U-shaped kitchen had been suggested by Gene Knowles, the client, and future homeowner.  Whifler countered with the idea of a circular space.

Seated at the kitchen table are the original owners, Pat and Gene Knowles, and Bruce Avico, an architect and former student of Whilfer’s.

Gene Knowles, and his back yard.

View blueprints