Sam’s Creek by Bates Masi Architects
We live in a time where smart phones and tablets are in everyone’s hands and multitasking is the normal way of life. Influenced from the client’s multitasking lifestyle, a diverse set of requirements developed for a new home. The clients, one of whom is the owner of a public relations company, requested that multiple activities could take place throughout the house without interruption; a dinner party could take place while simultaneously entertaining a group of children, or guests could come and go without disturbing the rest of the family.
These programmatic requests diagrammatically divide the site as well as establish view corridors from front to back. Transparency through the house puts simultaneous activities on display, and provides a setting where guests can see and be seen. A series of open-ended boxes, each tailored to a portion of the architectural program focuses the view from the street though the house to the landscape in the rear.
Mahogany boards wrap floors, ceilings, and the sides of the boxes to heighten the perspectival view and provide privacy from neighbors. Each box has independent audio, video, and climate control to operate autonomously and the length, height, and volume of each of the box is adjusted to appropriately encase the program. On the exterior, interstitial spaces between the arranged boxes are gardens and patios.
The overlap of the boxes on the interior creates thresholds and highlight interesting moments. With each box occupying a specific program, the multitasking of different events is achieved. With a limited material palate, travertine is used as flooring for the terraces and as cladding on portions of the open-ended boxes. To use the stone as an exterior cladding, a custom hanging system was designed. The travertine siding is captured at the top and bottom by a CNC wire formed frame and overlapped by the following course above.
The proportion and repetition of the siding references the wood shingle vernacular ubiquitous in the area. The fireplace merges a utilitarian object and a crafted, sculptural work of art. The fireplace is a moment frame, supporting lateral loads to allow for the large open-ended volume of the dining and living room. It also houses a coat closet and the HVAC components. The overlapping, repeating bronze components were digitally fabricated and assembled on site.
Different patina processes were studied to achieve the dark bronze facing the room and the polished bronze on the interior of the hood. Sunlight from above is reflected by the polished bronze and filters through the gaps from the overlapped construction. Similar construction methods were utilized for the master bedroom headboard using repeating strips of belting leather.
The separation of program into individual volumes allows the multitasking lifestyle of the clients to continue into their home. Where multitasking on a daily basis can seem chaotic, a new order is developed by the architecture. The client’s new home allows them to keep up with their busy lifestyle while also providing respite from it.
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