“Respond” A Home of Contemporary Arts
The homeowners of this design are both contemporary artists. This home uses its own facade, open spaces inside and out (by limiting barriers, or through the use of glass), social orientation, and thoughtful material choices to “respond” to the owner’s avocation, and, in turn, provide a place for response to the environment and people within it. Key words throughout the design process, in addition to “respond” or “responsiveness” were: open, visible, explore, change, movement, thoughtfulness, activity, and work.
At first glance, the structure creates focus by highlighting a partially glass-encased great room which connects visually and physically to two additional outdoor social spaces, a subdued, living-walled garage, and an intriguing, leaning roof at the home’s highest elevation. Forward momentum seems to develop as the eye travels from the living area, up to the roofline, and past the garage to towering trees bordering the east side of the property. Additionally, the great room offers a view of the fireplace and a tall, dynamic led water wall from outside providing yet another opportunity for the owners, guests, or even passersby to respond to the visual experience of this house. Internally, the small, home divides space carefully to provide balanced emphasis on gathering areas and solitary working areas alike.
Materials choices within the interior intend to support an energetic, productive, yet thoughtful creative environment. Reclaimed wood, glass, concrete and stone, reflective metals such as bronze and chrome, living walls, and the use of water and light were all chosen for this contemporary home. Reclaimed wood maintains warmth, while also serving as a response in and of itself to its own history. Glass provides a connection to the outside, making the home both receptive to, and available for response. Glass doors on two sides of the studio also make this particular space available for visual access by those within the home. Concrete and stone provide a sense of stability in contrast to creative exploration. The combined use of glass and stone (thermal mass), as well as careful shading, were also employed to make this home responsive - and responsible - to it’s climate. Metals, bronze and chrome, were selectively used to offer elements of “reflection” symbolically, and to create contrast where contrast is not often found. Metal, zinc, is also used on the roof and parts of the facade, creating an exterior visual element that responds to the moods of the skies, and reflects unwanted solar radiation away from the home. The living wall on the garage facades helps this functional space blend into the geography of the site better. A second area of living wall blocks strong western light from causing overheating in the great room. Lastly, water, the epitome of responsiveness if there ever was one, provides a valuable attraction for those inside and outside the home. To add further interest, the water wall is integrated with a water-sensitive LED system, creating a visual light effect as water trickles down the glass wall surface. The proximity of this wall along with the indoor and outdoor social areas (living room/patio) may serve as a source for response and new social connections. This water-wall also provides protection from western light and heat.
The color palette is comprised of blues, greens, some bronze tones, and accents of chrome or stainless steel. Orange (bronze) may symbolize creativity, while green symbolizes new life, and blues may provide a sense of calm and tranquility, all helpful influences to this home.