the wilson house

Over 12 years ago, the National Register of Historic Places granted landmark status to the Wilson house, a colourful shrine to the heritage of high-pressure plastic laminate, often called Formica. Ralph Wilson Sr., the late founder of Wilsonart International, now the nation's largest producer of decorative laminates, built the 3,000-square-foot model home in Temple, Tex., about 100 miles northeast of Austin, as an experimental showcase for Ralph Wilson Plastics. Together with Bonnie McIninich, his daughter, he drew up the plans and masterminded the extensive use of pink, turquoise, lemon, pumpkin, Glitter, Marble and Maple laminates as alternatives to building materials like drywall, wallpaper, paint, wood, ceramic tile and linoleum.

Joel is a contributor on Design-Milk's weekly architectural posts and Apartment Therapy's Unplggd daily technology posts.