March 2013

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Hinting at themes of Mediterranean Architecture, this “villa to be” is set on a steep slope and plays on the notion of the meandering passage of discovery through the landscape. From the initial descent down the driveway, tower forms act as punctuations to the path and hint at the discovery that lies ahead. Upon arrival at the entry tower, one is led into a cloistered garden that imparts the internal focus of the house. The garden is formed on three sides by different buildings  and the fourth side is centred by a fountain built into the earth.

Objects like the fountain are strategically placed in the environment as found oblects. Each one of these objects serves to inform the particular portion of the path through the landscape.  They reveal themselves as pieces that are part of a greater narrative beyond. They have their own history and evoke their own stories in the tradition of the folly garden. The cloistered garden, in itself, becomes an allegorical representation of the potential of the mind and the human imagination.



The various buildings around the garden are the main buildings of the villa, including garage, sleeping building and main living area. A series of French doors open to the garden within and allow a disintegration of inside and outside in the warm summer months. Trees within the garden form the canopy that protects against the strong summer sun and reinforce the room like quality of the cloistered garden. As you travel around the garden you are met with a very large 5′ door that indicates the significant threshold between two worlds. The sleeping unit which is slightly skewed reveals itself on the other side of the door as a framing device.

Unlike the cerebral compressed internal world of the cloister garden, the outer deck reveals cliff, ocean and vista. The final climax occurs as the skewed  path leads you out over the cliff and holds you out into the strait with the encompassing 180 degree panorama. As a counterpoint to the other garden that looks inward, this juxtaposition celebrates the outward sublimity of nature and engenders the associated awe of this fantastic site.

Although the house is still in the infancy of its construction, the “bones” begin to reveal these spaces and the ideas expressed within. We all think that this house has some pretty spectacular potential. Stay tuned as we update the progress as it occurs.

Not all minds think (or see) alike. As architects specializing in residences we continually face the difficulty that our clients are homeowners who see better in a three dimensional world. Often we find that clients have difficulty in interpreting two dimensional drawings. Consequently we have made the effort to provide three dimensional rendering for jobs when requested. These do not have to be complete full sets of drawings but rather a view that highlights fully the intentions of the architecture and gives a rendered view that pushes and pulls the flat elevations into an easily recognizable form. Usually a “eureka” moment ensues. Here is a project that we have been working on that shows the integration between both dimensions.