LAKE RETREAT, 2016
Modern architecture owes a great debt to the Japanese. Innovators like Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe were transformed by visits to the remote country. The Sukiya-zukuri style was especially novel to Western minds.
This aesthetic developed in the last few centuries of Japan’s isolation, and is truly unique. Nature is revered above all; walls dematerialize to frame wild surroundings, knots and bark remain on columns, and a sense of stillness prevails. Below the surface, ingenious and painstaking carpentry allows complex joinery which appears outwardly simple. That paradox, the precision demanded by minimalism, is a fundamental challenge of Modernist design.
I placed this house midway up a lakeside bluff. Domestic spaces are earth-sheltered on the lower level. They open to a lofty space ringed by wood columns, on a plinth overlooking a pine forest. The approach is from uphill, presenting a modest one-story façade and entrance. This house is meant to be understated, deferring attention to its natural setting.
LINK to Design Sketches