We love, love, the article about the Farley studio that just came out on 360º West magazine. Both. MJ and I, think it may be one of best articles on one of our projects. Right up there with the one in Dwell. The photography, the writing, the layout, and the editing simply rock. Kudos to all: editors, writer (Meda Kessler,) art director, and photographer (Ralph Lauder,) a big thanks, what a great job!
The American Institute of Austin, Austin chapter is posting some of the award videos they make every year. I’ll post our wins as they become available. This project of ours was the honor award in 2008. Here’s why, according to the judges.
There is tacit wisdom of architecture accumulated in history and tradition. But in today’s panicked rush for the new, we rarely stop to listen to this wisdom. Architecture needs slowness to re-connect itself with this source of silent knowledge. Architecture requires slowness in order to develop a cumulative tradition again, to accumulate a sense of continuity, and to become re-rooted in culture.
In order to create an experiential background for grasping and understanding the dialectics of permanence and change, I believe that we need an architecture that rejects ephemerality, speed, and fashion; we need an architecture that slows our experience of reality.
Melancholy and Time
Encounters – Architectural Essays
The owner requested that the house have the feel of a “cabin”. A place of solace and repose in the middle of the city.
It also was important to respect the delicate lines and low profile of the existing mid century modern house designed by the late A.D. Stenger, one of Austin’s great modernist architects. From the street, the house looks virtually untouched. It remains a modest presence on the block.
The original house was taken back to the studs, the existing fireplace with its eccentric stone work was saved, and two previous unfortunate, mold infested, additions that made the existing house a black hole were removed.
A master bedroom and bath where added and the interior of the existing house completely remodeled and re-oriented around a long skylight and two interior courtyards. The skylight and courtyards maintain privacy and allow natural light into all parts of the house while providing a connection with the live oaks and changing sky.
Maple, tinted to match the tone of the pine flooring, wraps through out the house becoming cabinets, paneling, and flush doors. Traditional, earthy D’hanis “mocha” brick pavers become the surface in the courtyards.
Update: this project won a citation of Honor at the AIA, Austin 2010 Design Awards.
The program was to provide workspace for a multi-disciplinary creative studio. The location was in the last remaining intact interior of a small completely masonry (interior and exterior) strip center designed and built in the late forties.
New additions are of wood and steel to contrast the existing raw masonry. Everything new is installed so that when removed, the integrity of the raw space is maintained for the future.
Careful allocation of funds and tricks like kerfing the ¾” plywood to provide the “poor man’s curves” where used to meet the extremely low budget of twelve thousand dollars. New materials are formaldehyde free plywood with a tung oil finish, cold rolled steel, and paint.
Update: this project won a Merit Award at the AIA, Austin 2010 Design Awards.
“When Geometric Diagrams…”
When geometric diagrams and digits
Are no longer the keys to living things,
When people who go about singing and kissing
Know deeper things than the great scholars,
When society is returned once more
To unimprisoned life, and to the universe,
And when light and darkness mate
Once more and make something entirely transparent,
And people see in poems and fairy tales
The true history of the world,
Then our entire twisted nature will turn
And run when a single secret word is spoken.
translated by Robert Bly in News of the Universe: Poems of Twofold Consciousness