A Simple House

“All things should be as simple as possible, and no simpler.” – Alfred Einstein

There is a certain creative genius in knowing when enough might be too much. This custom house was conceived as an intergenerational legacy; a work of generosity, affection, and also of restraint. A family business had enjoyed considerable good fortune. The parents hoped to bestow a new home for their adult son and his young family. The project was to be a testament to their love, crafted in the Italian modern style that had fueled the family’s good fortune. We were engaged as collaborators, architects, mediators and counsel.

Starting was surprisingly easy. A promising building lot was acquired. By-laws and regulations were carefully studied. The allowable building envelope was investigated, as it should be for any new building. The space program was quickly adopted.

Simplicity drove the design. Pure, prismatic forms were carefully assembled around an elegant sculptural staircase. Numerous large openings were composed to dramatically introduce light and views. A restrained pallet, refined materials, understated workmanship – these were the aesthetic qualities that inspired both generations. Compromise and trust lubricated the project.

The house has no sense of austerity. It’s simple enough, but there are many touches of whimsy throughout, making the experience of living within it, a delight. It feels just about right.

As a work of architecture, we believe this dwelling has substance and elegance. As a home, it’s an enduring legacy that both generations hate to leave. But when they do –

‘..we know that we are leaving a piece of ourselves behind.’