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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Marvin's Architect Challenge: The Bragg House by Moger Mehrhof Architects

What is "good design?"
According to architect Matthew Moger of Moger Mehrhof, "We believe that good design occurs through a process of evolution. Empathy is a word we often use in our office. We feel the best designs evolve through spending time with, and listening to our clients. Equally as important for us is to form a relationship with the site. We want to understand each sites natural qualities that come only from that unique place. We empathize both with our clients and with the land to allow a design to evolve that has meaning. We feel that if our design ultimately reflects our clients dreams, and feels right in the landscape, then we have achieved a good design. You can feel it." 
Matthew Moger of Moger Mehrhof

The image above is of The Bragg House by Moger Mehrhof Architects, one of the winners of the Marvin's Architect Challenge by Marvin Windows & Doors. Do you love it as much as I do? You can see that the architects paid attention to the site and listened to what it had to say. The building is not plopped on its site, rather its carved into the land and feels very connected to nature.  

The use of reusable materials like metal and cypress are assembled in a way that creates a new story and breathes new meaning. I asked Matthew Moger if he could take us behind the design and describe the "aha" moment for the design concept of the house.

He adds, "The Bragg Hill site is located at the crest of a wooded hillside in the Historic Brandywine Valley in West Chester, PA. My daughter and I camped on the site. The distant sound of cow bells and the magical appearance of the fireflies from the forest undergrowth at dusk were a few of the experiences that began to inform our design process. I observed the light quality at different parts of the day. I understood the prevailing winds as summer storms blew in. Spending time there, I began to contemplate the views as would be seen from various parts of the house. The “aha” moment was living with the site in it’s purist form to begin to understand it’s particular characteristics. From there, it is a process of imagining each room and which qualities inherent to the site are appropriate for them. Living with a site without preconception allows the design process to evolve from the land itself. "

The image on the right shows the stairwell that was built from an old oak tree from the site. The staircase itself floats away from the glass exterior wall. It has a life of its own...

The interior spaces have interesting textural details which breathe life and personality into this the fireplace wall with the chunky wood mantel set flush within the stone...

Love the beamed ceilings...

Love the chunky and smooth stone countertop set up against the rough stone wall and the barnyard door hardware that holds up the mirror....very cool.

~all photos courtesy of Marvin Windows and Doors~

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