Tuesday, June 29, 2010


A feeling of floating: Between space and time, in and out, material and immaterial. A place to allow the mind to bend unconsciously toward the infinite. In other words: What's possible with a clever use of light, glass, wood, and water stirred with a few strokes of historical context. This is what the best design can do: It seizes us by the body while simultaneously releasing us from it.


Begin with a dairy building from 1902 on the historic 850-acre Hadspen estate in Somerset, England. Then, tear, rend, gut, re-imagine, and renovate into transcendence.

The attached 215-square-foot pool acts as a heat sink for a biomass power source in the summer.

The architect is Charlotte Skene Catling, principal of the firm Skene Catling de la Peña of London.

More on this here.

Below, the
Villa Berkel in Veenendaal (Netherlands). Dutch architect Paul de Ruiter used a different approach here. Historical context was demolished and scattered to the ether: A new beginning.

As before, walls dissolve into landscape, planes rise from texture, private space mingles with public, inside-out and outside-in.

Outside, a waterwall and pool; inside, a water closet where white forms rise out of a stained dark sea. They too float.

The surfaces smooth, the transitions soft, the space deep, and around every corner infinity floats beyond. More here.

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