Establishing a dialogue between art, architecture and architectural history and drawing inspiration from Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona pavilion and with references to Marcel Breuer, Le Corbusier, Matisse and discussing with David Hockney, Stamberg Aferiat Architecture, a New York based office, created their own space, a personal creative and residential sanctuary a few years back.
The architects made the first drawings on their way to Barcelona to visit the famous pavilion from Mies van der Rohe. They said “We wanted to take Modernism from the teens and ’20s and reanalyze it, in terms of where we are now. The glass box had been done. We wanted something more plastic, more fluid-but just as ordered, not deconstructed”. And so they did, reinventing the the modernist movement by introducing a contemporary twist to it, using the Barcelona Pavilion lines but skewing them by 2 intersecting axes, using new materials and of course, color. The cubist result is a assembly of planes, roofs and windows, not in a post-modern, deconstructive way but as an attempt to return to the elemental architectural forms.
Located in Shelter Island, on the eastern end of Long Island, New York near Coecles Harbor, the “maison plastique” sits on a flat piece of land overlooking the harbor. Although appearing bigger it’s estimated size is 100 sq.m and is composed of 2 independent pavilions situated around a central pool. The one is the master suite and the other is the main living area and the kitchen space.
Both the interior and the oddly-shaped exterior of the building are colorful introducing new colors in the landscape of the area. The architects chose bright and fun colors for the surfaces to reflect and respond to light. They interpreted the natural material colors and the naked walls of the modernism to artificially colored and textured surfaces, each with a different hue, using a vast variety of shades around the house. As they say, “Color is about making the space respond to light”. Custom-made colorful furniture along with the majority of the furniture from KNOLL and the colour-blocked artworks of Kenneth Noland and Ellsworth Kelly add to the whole color-introducing experience . Following the principles of Mies van der Rohe’s work, that each plane defines a space, they took each plane of the Barcelona Pavilion and translated into different kind of planes. Vertical walls at the primary spaces are combined with leaning planes, which enclose the pool and the raised garden coming off the living area of the building. They used multi-paneled polycarbonate walls substituting the transparency with translucency bringing the light inside the house in a more controlled way during the day and illuminating the house during the night. The roofs, butterfly-shaped, hovering on thin steel columns rise and dip causing the ceiling to expand from a minimum of 3m height to over twice that, thus achieving new living experiences. They picked new non-posh materials, such as corrugated aluminum, which they found more suitable for a country setting.
Peter Stamberg says: “As artists, our whole world is derivative. Philip Johnson cautioned young architects against trying to put everything they know into that first building for themselves. But we’re not in our 20s, and we’ve made a lot of architecture. Everything of us is in this house“.
Name: Shelter Island Pavilion
Location: Shelter Island, New York
Size of home: 1100SF Lot size: 1/3 acre
PROJECT TEAM Architect: Stamberg Aferiat Architecture
Project Team: Peter Stamberg, Paul Aferiat, Keith Tsang, Joshua Homer, Ryan Harvey, Josh Lekwa, Anna Portoghese, Michael Bardin, Adam Greene, Jasmit Rangr.
Construction Manager: deVries and Wallace Project Team: Nat Oppenheimer Mechanical Engineer: AltieriSeborWieber LLC Project Team: Andrew Sebor, Robert Hedman
Photography: Paul Warchol – Paul Warchol Photography, Inc..