Industrial Material for Architectural Design
Perceiving the basic metal structure as an empty tent, an envelope, a sheltering roof–all open to interpretation–is at the core of this kind of design. “The twist is to both control the space and make it beautiful to look at,” says Ceglic. The idea, Satoh adds, was to “work with traditional configurations but make them our own.” Choosing an industrial material for its functionality and durability, he and Ceglic looked at the multitude of barns, sheds, and storage buildings dotting the surrounding countryside and conducted research on manufacturers of prefab corrugated metal.
A tall central tower, buttressed by lower, shedlike structures, appeared the most inexpensive way to proceed. Besides, Ceglic explains, “The volumes look good when clustered.” Having noted that the tallest shapes can cast shadows to create depth and dimension, Ceglic and Satoh spent considerable time thinking about angles, constructing a model to study how light would play off the different segments of the building.
With Furniture and Interior Design
Windows and doors were also ordered off-the-shelf–but from unlikely sources for a residential application. For example, the windows at either end of Dean’s soaring main living area came from a retail supplier. Ceglic and Satoh placed these and other windows so that they not only bathe the interior in dramatic light but frame the views as well. “We’ll think about where the bed is placed and what you’ll see,” says Ceglic.
The designers bought stock elements as a way to simplify and speed up the construction process. “We could have modified the elements but decided to work within the systems. Otherwise there would have been too many variables,” says Satoh. That might mean taking advantage of a system of trusses that span 65 feet–and being excited by the prospect. “Air and space have so much to offer for a feeling of luxury,” says Ceglic. “Every designer wants to live in a big barn or an airport hangar.”
Especially if it’s outfitted and furnished like Dean’s. Think of a hospital bathtub, a trough sink, a bed floating serenely on a tatami mat. High design (a Philippe Starck chair, a Joe D’Urso table)mixes with everyday comfort (a well worn leather club chair, recliner, sleeper sofa, futonlike seating piled high with pillows). And everything cohabits in rooms that open effortlessly into one another. “We’re not architects of fame, but we’ve learned from the plan and flow of Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion,” Ceglic says. He and Satoh brought art and nature into the design as well. An orchid in a copper pot at one end of the long dining table recalls a tree in a flat landscape; the cast-iron stove set unpretentiously amid a rhythm of black steel columns looks like part of an intriguing art installation.
As a whole, Dean’s house represents the culmination of Ceglic’s years of experimentation, and Satoh is unabashedly enthusiastic. “Jack put together all his experiences and thoughts to create his masterpiece,” he says. Surely it won’t be the last.