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Melange of masters: The Shelter Island pavilion, New York by Stamberg Aferiat.

Photos: Paul Warchol.

When architects design for themselves it is an opportunity to bring out that depth of vision or capricious twist that clients seldom go for. The inspirations that in this case provided the raw material for Stamberg Aferiat are all Modernist classics, that I will save to the end before revealing. Can you guess them?

At the heart of the design is the desire to render the spaces using industrially produced materials in the same way that the early Modernists did.

Another idea that informed the thinking was the Cubist's approach to seeing. That movement unpicked persistence of vision as well as more traditional memory showing how the mind can stitch together disparate scenes or fragments to create a comprehensible whole. The architects used similar ideas to explore illusion in architecture such as floating volumes and ambiguous boundaries.

Finally, the exploration of colour acknowledges a gratitude to the way artists, particularly the Fauves, but I must add of my own volition Goethe and the great watercolour artist Turner, experimented with, and built upon Newton's theories of colour. Following from the artists, this architecture explores the differences between additive and subtractive mixing, or put another way, the differences in colours created from the mixing of light and pigment.


The Modernist classics that inspired the house were: Mies van der Rohe's Barcelonia Pavilion, Le Corbusier's Ronchamp, and Marcel Breuer's Wassily Chair.

Gratitude to Arch Daily for drawing this interesting project to my attention.


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