North

Oklahoma City, OK
A garage apartment renovation honoring of the four sacred directions and the four “lights.” It is honoring the past and being part of the present. It is a place where time is visible.

I cannot describe exactly how the space “arrived” in idea form; but, after the fact, I can describe the product of a lifelong “moment” of inspiration. Normally, concepts arrive after a lengthy search for project understanding and emotional interpretation. This time it was different. There were very few written words. The search seemed “natural” and appeared clearly. It is the simple organization of spaces with clearly defined functions and purposes.

Each function is an individual space and two levels are connected by a central column. That column now clearly acts as the root from the earth to the light. It connects the “car storage” to the “people storage.” Coincidentally, it is also North of the main house. The concept grows from a combination of a “stored” understanding of Indian territory, the unique light of the place and a pioneer photographer who captured both on film. It is the honoring of the four sacred directions and the four “lights.” It is honoring the past and being part of the present. It is a place where time is visible. The floor, ceiling and walls melt away and all that remains is the light. One feels the purity of time and the intersection of sun, time, day and night. It is a cool, serene vessel for contemplation and learning about Oklahoma. The high summer sun is blinding while the spring breeze whistling through screen wire is soothing. The fall color of the pecan tree is brilliant yellow and the horizontal winter light makes the glass vessels come alive. What has been created is a place to reacquaint oneself with peace and quiet.

This “light box” pays homage to North Losey, view photographer, Indian territory. This must be what it is like if you are inside a view camera watching the light move past on its way to the emulsion. He knew the low winter sun contained a rainbow that quietly comes and goes in the late afternoon. One hundred years later I have the pleasure of capturing it on film.

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