Once the holidays were over (had they really started?), I decided to pretend to be an extension of it by escaping to California, to a ranch planted in the middle of a beautiful walnut field. If the setting itself is a haven of peace, someone had to make a project to enjoy it (on this question, the debate is open).
So yes, this strange assembly of cubes distorts, in my eyes, the landscape mixing valleys and vegetation. The soft topography is hit hard by the hard lines of the building, so dear to my heart, which find no great justification for their presence here.
But what captivated me in this project has little to do with integration into its environment. Putting that aside, I chose instead to focus on the interior and the way the architects at Feldman Architecture worked to achieve a minimalist atmosphere that contrasts with the treatment of the exteriors.
Let’s start with the material. A winning trio of stone, wood and steel, punctuated by glass openings offering sumptuous plays of light. The stone walls in varying shades, from cream to slightly pink, are based on a beam system that is itself supported by black steel rods. The whole finds its coherence in light balustrades whose wooden handrail punctuates the high line. The structural system is clearly expressed. A transparent architecture in short, which tells us “how it fits” by taking the trouble to distinguish each material from a specific colour. The contrast is clear. In short: it clicks.
As far as natural light is concerned, the architects took care to play with the lines. Shadow and light intersect and punctuate the raw material. On the stone walls, the contrast is fully expressed, like a frameless painting, evolving with the passing hours.
The regret of not having felt the same attention paid inside to the outside integration leaves me hungry. However, this does not take away from the architectural and technical mastery that this Californian ranch bears witness to.
…The choice of a single image to illustrate this article was not an easy task (see here an invitation to consult the Feldman Architecture publication).
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