Saturday, April 13, 2013

Artists' Cabin Inspiration

Apologies for the radio silence; I have been knee deep in finalizing details for our Fire Island re-construction. One would think a little tiny house like ours would be pretty simple, but as Mies said, "God is in the details". I think I am about to hit the wall from decision fatigue, but thankfully we are making some progress. I promise an update soon.

In the meantime, I had to share this beautiful little jewel box of a cabin, something I discovered in my hunt for the perfect grey stain inspiration. It is in Nova Scotia and designed by one of my absolute favorite architects, Annabelle Selldorf. 

In an interview a couple years back, with David Netto, she said, "I typically say my work is not about materials. It's juxtaposition I am interested in. I tend to be reductionist, so what I do use has to have power. But not the power to distract." 

That is the perfect context for this magical spot. As described on the Selldorf website: 

"Located on a rocky promontory accessible only by boat, this 900 sf project was designed for two artists, and offered a unique chance to create a private retreat defined by the landscape.  There is no electricity at the cabin; rooftop solar panels are the sole energy source. "

"Sitting on a platform raised above the site, the cabin is actually three separate buildings: one for living and dining, one for a master bedroom, and the third for a guest room. The three buildings are united by a small terrace."

"A simple design vocabulary based on rural sheds characterizes the project. The three small buildings are clad in shingles that are the pale gray of the local granite, and feature single-slant roofs. Inside, the cabin walls are pine board-and-batten construction."

"The waterfront setting, unpopulated landscape, and arrangement of the cabins make this a restorative retreat for the artists and their guests. "
There is a quiet, minimalist elegance to Selldorf's work. It's so understated that I am sure you have found yourself in some of her spaces over the past years without realizing it. The firm was founded in 1988 and it's projects range from residences and commercial work like Barney's 5th floor and Gant's flagship, to a deep niche in museums and galleries, including the Neue Gallery, Aquavella GalleryDavid ZwirnerHaunch of Venison ( both London and New York), Hauser and Wirth and the list goes on from there. Not to mention that the residential work is equally as inspiring as the cultural projects. Enjoy!

Happy weekend. Happy spring. I am off to dig in the garden while I mull over my 50 shades of grey (for the kitchen floor) and try to channel a little Selldorf restraint. 
All images from Selldorf Architects

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