Inspired by the nature conservatory that surrounds this residence, the key spatial and formal strategy was to design a project that uses the built architecture to define key spatial characteristics already present in the landscape and make them even more clear and powerful to visitors and inhabitants. Architecture, here, serves landscape rather than vice versa. Clearly this is not a new notion, in fact a distinctly modern one, but with a shift in emphasis; Greater attention and focus is given to actually pulling living nature into and through the house, as opposed to simply framing a view. Nature is not so much pictured and frozen, but rather tracked and followed by the various transitional paths, courtyards, thresholds, filters, and frames.
The project is thus an architectural investigation of the power of transitional spaces and flows to shape emotional responses in us. The goal is to rethink physical paths of movement and non-programmed spaces (void or negative space) as spaces of potential sensitivity and transactional sites of exchange and interface between our bodies and indeterminate nature. Often these movement spaces are simply residual and secondary to the programmed spaces and activities of the contemporary consumer/media house of today. It is precisely these negative and transitional spaces in the program and design that can animate and activate interior and exterior life and produce physical and visual connections that transform both.
Delicate details, lighting, and fine materials provide focal points within open, airy spaces. The architecture here may be simple, in fact minimal, but it is a powerful response to the existing spatial and geological conditions of the site and a dynamic notion of nature that surrounds and permeates it.
Photography by © David Sundberg/Esto