Structural Engineers: Robert Silman Associates
Landscape Architect: Edwina van Gal
Text description provided by the architects. The M&M House is a weekend retreat constructed on a five acre wooded lot. The client is a well-known New York artist and her husband. The first phase, a modest, one story house, was constructed in 2000. Organized like an open loft space, all services are concentrated in a compact central block, allowing natural cross ventilation and optimal use of living space. Responding to the constraints of the sloping site, the house is orientated to capture light and views, while the painted wood siding echoes the rhythm of the trees on site.
In 2011, the clients approached us with a new brief: a working studio, garage and new entry. The result is a vertical counterpoint to the horizontal body of the existing house, which houses the inward looking space of the working artist’s studio. The space between becomes an extended open foyer which frames a courtyard space and serves for the exhibition of work. The lot slopes gently down to a stream and this second phase was an opportunity to implement a new landscape strategy. Working closely with the landscape architect, we created a structured geometric frame for the house, which contrasts to the naturalistic character of the larger site.
The M&M studio addition was designed shortly after completion of the Maribor Art Gallery. The studio employs a similar five-sided plan strategy and figural roof geometries; what had been a space for the exhibition of art is re-purposed for a space dedicated to the production of art.