Hill House Four
For our second project with a cinematographer and his producer wife, we incorporated many of the furnishings that were acquired for their previous residence, nearly a decade earlier. The new residence - essentially a small nineteen forties post and beam style house enrobed in fresh stucco, glass and metal - had seen many design interventions over the years, resulting in a number of awkward spaces and conflicting architectural vocabularies. Our brief was to marry the disparate spaces and styles without significantly altering the architecture.
To manage the cold, contemporary proportions of the house and temper its aluminum-framed windows, doors and retractable wall, we introduced a number of high-gloss, brilliantly-colored components; a new cadmium yellow cylindrical steel staircase, a spinach green monolith of casework and an ultramarine master vanity cabinet. Set against a pale grey backdrop and new wide-plank American Black Walnut floors, these ‘follies’ serve to unify the house, reorganizing the otherwise self-same rooms into a cohesive composition. The new, elemental fireplace surround is composed of burnished concrete block and honed black marble. Floor-to-ceiling installations of Dieter Rams’ ‘Universal’ shelving throughout almost invisibly support and organize the client’s sizable library, while sheer draperies add texture and warmth.
By incorporating furniture previously collected by the clients, such as sofas by Luigi Caccia Dominioni and Roy McMakin and a Gemini coffee table by The Archers, and combining these pieces with new additions and custom elements designed by The Archers, we were able to furnish the interiors in a way that announced a bold new chapter for the couple without feeling impersonal or wholly unfamiliar. Vintage tribal and Swedish flat weaves and a unique striped carpet - taking its cues from Le Corbusier’s vivid palette - satisfy the clients’ enthusiasm for color and pattern. Carefully selected new additions like the high-backed oak chairs by Guillerme et Chambron, ‘Sioux City’ coffee tables by Richard Roth, a George Sowden Palace chair and a Le Corbusier-inspired marble and steel floor-mounted dining table by The Archers round out the furnishings. In the library, a high-back French mannerist armchair from the couple’s previous residence got a literal facelift with new upholstery fashioned from a mid-century French figural tapestry. This, along with a unique pine Enzo Mari ‘Autoprogettazione’ table supporting a family of potted cacti, greets you upon arrival.