Residence for a Sculptor positions itself frontally within a hillside. It consciously projects itself as a series of constructive polemics that help in building a solid design concept:
1. Facade / Face vs. Viscera / Musculature: A smooth, taut facade is lifted above the hillside, reflecting the linear displacement of spaces. The facade is supported by a steel frame that is exposed on the rear, uphill side. The dialog here is between fineness and unrefined, between an outward effortless presentation and the physical efforts that are required to present it.
© All photographs courtesy of Sharon Risedorph Photography
2. Choreography and Expectation:
The first impression of the house emphasizes its horizontal arrangement and suggests a long view to the east. One enters from behind on the uphill side, away from the suggested view. If expectations promise a horizontal and outward experience, the first reality is an inward-focussed, strongly vertical entry space where the owner's pottery is on display.
This space has a 22' curving, torqued steel wall on one side and a curved staircase and wall on the other. Only after venturing through this space, up the stairs and across a bridge does the long exterior view of the Valley of the Moon reveal itself.
The entry space, twisting and torqued, dark, vertical, inward, is based on qualities of the owner's large clay pots, a few of which are visible at the base of the stairs. From the inception of the project, the strength of these sculptural clay forms was a deep influence on the making of spaces within the house.
4. Display / Advertising:
The Entry Vessel and the upstairs Great Room are conceived as spaces to display the product of the sculptor's labors. This sense of offering of the fabricated wares allows the house to take a certain pride in the fruits of labors there.
Green Strategies and material.
Residence for a Sculptor integrates a long list of green strategies. The house is sited to maximize passive heating and cooling and its fenestration is designed to accomplish the same goal. The fenestration is also designed to maximize natural air-flow throughout house so no air-conditioning was installed, none was needed.) It also maximizes natural daylighting throughout the house so no lights would be needed during daylight hours.
A Hybrid-House structure was used with recycled lightweight steel frames that minimize the amount of metal required for the structure. At the end of the lifetime of the house, the structural frames can be easily unbolted and recycled / reused.
Judicious environmental friendly decisions were taken when picking the material used to build the project The exterior cladding will never require painting. Bamboo flooring is used on the upper floors, while the original concrete slab is used for main floor, minimizing material waste. Earth-friendly cabinets and low-ash concrete counters are used in the kitchen. Simple measures, such as the use of in-floor radiant heat, compact fluorescent lights , low-flush toilet, minimal landscaping contribute in lowering the energy consumption of the house.