David Osler’s domestic, institutional, commercial, and civic buildings represent some of the most distinctive and recognizable modern architecture in Michigan, predominantly in Washtenaw County. Born in 1921, Osler is an Ann Arbor native and graduated from the University of Michigan College of Architecture and Design in 1943. Returning to Ann Arbor after World War II, he worked in the architecture office of Douglas D. Loree, Architect, and in 1958 opened his own practice. While his earlier work was mostly residential, each decade saw Osler’s firm receive larger commissions until he retired in 2008. However, throughout his career Osler continually received commissions to design modern houses that reflected his minimalist sensibilities.
This exhibition presents eight domestic projects that span his five-decade-long career from 1958 – 2008, highlighting a minimal design aesthetic that features crisp, clean, impeccably composed geometric lines and forms. Each project exemplifies Osler’s modern mid-century architectural vocabulary, as he designed houses that physically and visually embrace their natural settings.