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Lakeside Studio in California by MARK DZIEWULSKI ARCHITECT
September 25th, 2013 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: MARK DZIEWULSKI ARCHITECT
The owner wished to create a tranquil and sheltered environment from which to enjoy a rich natural landscape and spectacular river views. The single interior space has a complex program, it is a combination of office, art studio, flexible living space and gallery in which to show a rotating display of pieces from the owner’s extensive sculpture and painting collection.
The relationship between the natural environment and the building is central to the design. The sculptural form of the structure curves and twists to take advantage of the river views. The stretching cantilevered floor carries the observer well over the lake, an experience which is reinforced by views down to the water through areas of transparent glass floor. Projecting over the water, the skeletal metal stair comes to land at a massive stone plinth set into the bank.
Uninterrupted glass walls open the room up to the landscape and the boundaries between exterior and interior are blurred. The space is shaded by the dramatically extended roof overhang. The sense of openness pushes the interior into the realm of the lush foliage of the exterior and the occupant feels fully immersed in a benign landscape. The effect is contemplative and peaceful.
The play of natural light is used in several ways. Sunlight reflecting off the water dapples the ceiling with dancing patterns, constantly changing with the progress of day. Skylights bring light deep within the interior and articulate the roof form. Continuing the sequence of roof penetrations, an oculus in the exterior roof allows a slowly moving circle of sunlight to animate the floor. A curved wall of angled translucent and transparent glass panels creates an optical louver that directs views towards the river and provides an illuminated backdrop for sculpture.
In effect the composition becomes a built object responding to the dynamics of a natural
context. The form is integrated with this context and yet at the same time makes use of the contrast between the man-made and the natural. It appears poised over the lake and uses its reflected image and its relationship to the landscape to reinforce its sculpture-like quality. Building elements — the floor, roof, solid walls, glass, and piers — are expressed as independent planes, interwoven yet individual.
The curved planes are distinctly architectonic yet they share their organic form with the natural world. The openness and apparent agility of the floating structure also alludes to the lightness and elegance of forms found in nature. The design is intended to be bold but tranquil, dynamic yet in harmony with the serene landscape
Although the final effect appears effortless and clean, the technical, structural and detailing challenges required a phenomenal effort from each of the many participants.
Good design simply reflects that joy that a society takes in its built environment.
Mark Dziewulskiis a British architect who works internationally on a broad range of building types, including public, cultural, commercial, and residential. The firm has also completed projects in Europe and Asia, and has a branch in London. Their work has been featured in numerous publications, as well as on national television, and has received many design awards, including three from the American Institute of Architects as well as the International Design and Development Award. Mark Dziewulski was just awarded a medal by the Polish Government for his recently completed National War Memorial in Warsaw.
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