222 Residence

Project Completed:  2004

Location: Far Northeast Oklahoma City

Project Type: Residential

Square Footage: 3,500 SF + 3-car garage

Photographer:  Robert Shimer, Hedrich Blessing

Home: A Showcase for Modern Art

For their future home, the couple chose a densely wooded corner pocket of a planned “traditional” neighborhood. The developer’s only conditions were that the house had to be invisible from the street and that the design would be approved by the architectural review committee.

Designing “Art to Live In”: Personal Considerations

He was a passionate collector of modern art, a pianist, aquarium lover and maniacal Monopoly opponent.

He had lived in a modern home in a Country Club setting. Early on, he tapped Rand Elliott Architects to design and execute several minor modifications to the structure, but knew his ultimate home would be more ambitious and custom-designed. He soon determined that it would be the work of Rand Elliott, a friend whose sensibilities and talent he admired.

Beyond site security and access into and out of the house for the couple’s two dogs, Rand Elliott’s firm had a clean slate. The fact that the wife, a friend, and professional chef, had clear ideas for planning her kitchen would produced a beautiful, functional result.

Their list of wishes included: An informal living room with grand piano, a combination dining/breakfast area, a two-person office with closed bookcases. A guest bedroom with adjacent bath that would also serve as a powder room. A safe room/sauna. A workout room with free weights and machines, a laundry room. A three-car attached garage with storage, a natural landscape, an outdoor “living room”, lap pool and saltwater aquarium.

The Site Concept

Arrival begins with sculptural mailbox at the entrance to the five-acre. An “art gateway” provides security and monitored access. The road itself curves through a natural landscape.

As few trees as possible were removed.

The Architectural Concept: Living in the Landscape

Situated on a natural land ridge, the home appears to rise from the site, like a rectangular cut was made in the earth and it was pushed up from below. Red granite gravel under a roof edge and a rust-colored roof support the concept; the rusted steel roof vents suggest natural grass growing through from the ground below.

Horizontal bands of rusting steel suggest the earth strata and repeat the red color of the soil. The thin roof cantilevers eight feet to create pedestrian protection and sun control for all seasons.

To blur the boundaries between indoor and outdoor spaces, or “bring the outside in,” the home is wrapped in glass. Glass serves as seamless barrier to the natural world, whether the vantage point is the shower, toilet, tub, or kitchen. It’s like living outdoors in a secluded corner of the world.

A linear plan reduces the mass and allows the flexibility to build between the trees. The plan separates — and arranges in sequence — public and private spaces, with narrow glass “connector spaces” stitching them together.

At the front door, a freestanding concrete wall with acrylic rods in an changeable array of colors offers an ever-changing arrival point. The rear door features a 20 x 9-foot yellow steel frame that captures and extends visual fragments beyond the glass.

The client’s art collection has been arranged to complement the home’s scale and natural light, while the landscape and weather conditions, seen through glass, are an art experience in themselves.

The floorplan provides personal “moments in time”: views of a natural landscape and glimpses of wildlife from the bathtub or the glass shower. An unexpected rainy-day delight is the sight of a waterfall plunging into the lap pool — a sheet of water that you can view from indoors or step outside and stand under.

Interior finishes include a stained concrete slab the color of the red soil, as if the landscape moves through the structure, its rusty red color inspired by the exterior steel. Spatial warmth is created with surface and color. Black rugs define living spaces within the space, along with and sleek furniture and the grand piano.

A large, freestanding 400-gallon saltwater aquarium provides beauty and calming movement between the living room and dining room. Above the kitchen counter is a glowing, lighted opening and another reminder of the outdoors.

Arriving home by car, the owners are greeted by three striking 6’ x 6’ photographs. (The client loved the idea that even the garage is an art gallery.)  A final installation on the north provides an unexpected, pocket-sized Zen Garden made from recycled glass: It’s another “moment” created to offer peace and tranquility.

 

Project Awards

RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECT  Magazine

National

2008 Grand Award

CHICAGO ATHENAEUM

International

2007 International Architecture Award

CHICAGO ATHENAEUM

National

2005 American Architecture Award

AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS

Central States Region

2004 Merit Award for Architecture

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