De Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop were challenged with the residential interior renovation of an existing 1970 4,200 sqf home. The owners, a young couple interested in collecting contemporary art, asked the architects to transform the character of the existing interior creating a balanced home and gallery with warmth and neutrality.
Follow the break to see more photographs and drawings of Art House, an AIA Kentucky Merit Award winner.
Minor reconfiguration of existing walls & openings established a subtle re-alignment of interior spaces, while also presenting new axial relationships between rooms and outdoor views. Spatially, the new visual continuity between interior spaces increases the level of diffuse daylight filtering in from multiple directions, affording optimum viewing conditions for art with indirect natural light.
A white color palette, utilized to visually unify interior spaces and minimize distracting pre-existing details, presents a neutral backdrop for displaying artwork on a rotating basis. A large expanse of wall surface within the living room area functions as a large-scale canvas for projecting video art. Both natural & artificial lighting are reflected and amplified from the wall surfaces.
A new ‘gallery spine’ – defined by wood veneer paneling – incorporates a pre-existing bridge element, staircase, and partition wall between kitchen and dining areas. Serving as both a functional & visual datum, it threads through the primary public spaces within the residence and consolidates various infrastructural elements for viewing art, including adjustable lighting, display storage and audio/visual wiring. Incorporating more colorful materials in contrast to the neutrality of the white walls, the ‘gallery spine’ evokes a sense of craft and becomes an artistic building element itself. Hinged panels within a section of the walls allow the kitchen & dining areas to be joined or separated, exposing contrasting materials between the two rooms.
Materially, the project employs a restrained approach through rigor in detailing and a deliberate expression of layering. Alluding to the idea of ‘luxury’ as an aspect of inherent material qualities rather than material cost, various project elements (both luxurious & humble) are detailed to emphasize surface characteristics such as texture, pattern, finish, & color.