February 27, 2013

‘God is in the details’ is a quote often attributed to modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, but in fact was coined by Gustave Flaubert, the most influential of French naturalist authors. The creator of the nineteenth century masterpiece Madame Bovary was such a stickler for detail that to read his novel is to experience a total immersion in the intricacies of life in small town France. He would even draw up maps of the fictitious streets through which his adulterous shopaholic Emma Bovary would bustle, on the look out for her lover Léon (or was it Rudolphe, or both?)

Now, I’m no Flaubert but I’ve got to say I am captivated by the level of detail we have achieved in one of our most significant projects to date, this private house facing the Pacific ocean. It has become something of a cliché to say that Eastern Seaboard housing is all about spectacular views, and like most clichés in many respects it is true. But with a vis-à-vis of such magnificence it seems to me almost incumbent upon any good architect to rise to the challenge, matching nature’s perfection with whatever ante at hand.

Hewn Western Australian limestone & screen detail on kitchen island.

Pressed render finish on building exterior & metal grille; hand-beaten bronzed door handles.

Courtyard cobble stone wall; honed teak rods on exterior.

Custom designed steel exterior spiral staircase; exposed concrete banding.

Author: Nick tobias