Villa Metamorphosis
VILLA METAMORPHOSIS The title for this house, “Villa Metamorphosis`, comes from Franz Kafka’s novel “The Metamorphosis`. It was a design based on the idea that a flat roofed modern house is transformed into a black house with grotesque yet poetic features such as multiple domes with overlapped skin, and 4 cantilevered louvers that looks like birds’ mouth, and windows with hieroglyphic geometries that are neither modern nor ancient. While still making reference to the original 1960 modern house before the 2008 addition and the renovation, the redesigned house establishes an identity as a new being. THE LANDSCAPE The landscape of geometric mythology The house is located at about 100 miles north of New York City, near Woodstock, near Catskill mountains. It is intended for a small family to live full time, or during weekends, or during summer. The rear of the house is very private with views of trees and Catskill Mountains beyond. The front of the house is very open and there is a view of a lake. In addition to Villa Metamorphosis, other structures such as House of Solitude, Sky Mirror, and Tower Gate are designed to formally define the relationship between the house and the larger landscape in which the house is situated. As one approaches the house from the parking, one experiences the sequence of these objects as a choreographed theme, an idea the architect calls “The Landscape of Geometric Mythology` It was designed as if a series of mysterious objects from unknown planet have landed on this peaceful landscape with a story to tell. Various symbolic geometries found in this project are meant to play integral parts of the whole as a myth, a contemporary architectural myth. House of Solitude. This is an exterior structure with a room for contemplation. One can enter the structure, walk the narrow, long hallway. At the end of the hallway there is a small room with the roof open to the sky. One can contemplate while viewing the sky and listening to the sound of nature. Pragmatically, this structure emphasize the view of the lake from the house, while providing privacy from neighbors. Sky Mirror. This is a concrete deck that, along with House of Solitude, defines the front yard of the house. It is also a visual focal point when one sees the house from it, or when one sees the view of the lake from inside of the house through strategically located windows. One can stand on this deck or sit on it. After the rain, the water on the surface of this deck reflects the sky above, hence “Sky Mirror`. Gate Tower. This is a symbolic structure at parking space defining the entry to the property. It consists of four towers with decorative horizontal curved attachments made by metal strings. THE INTERIOR While formally very sculptural, the design was based on pragmatic needs to provide privacy from neighbors, while admitting light to make the interior bright. Thus, there is no window facing north, where a neighbor’s house can be seen. A large window was placed on east wall where a view of a lake and open field beyond need to be emphasized. Light Light and silence are the main substance of the interior at this house. Curved wall with folded roof is shaped in such relation to the angle of the sunlight that it collects sunlight all day long. In a peaceful silence, one can spend a day in this house observing how the light quality changes throughout the day. The ceiling was framed by 43 wood trusses of different shape generated by computer. The exterior was made by custom fabricated asphalt shingle with vinyl batten providing additional protection against wind forces. The interior of the curved ceiling is made of plaster with popcorn texture with line textures that is the reverse image of the exterior skin texture. Movement of body As one enters the house, the ceiling is initially an average height. As one moves the body from the living room to the room with high ceilings, the design axis of the house shifts from north-south to east-west, while vertically there is a volumetric change. Thus one experiences simultaneous shifting of space both horizontally and vertically. Louver Custom designed operable louver made of translucent corrugated polycarbonate panels were attached to the end wall at the bedrooms. A neighbor’s house can be seen from bedrooms, so they provide visual privacy. But when desired, panels can be opened for viewing. They collect light and diffuse them into the bedrooms. When it rains, the sound of rain hitting the louver is to be listened.

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Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings added a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com
  • added a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com