Monday, September 16, 2013

Marvin's Architect Challenge: The Lyme house by David Mansfield Architecture and Design

What is "good design?"
According to architect David Mansfield of David Mansfield Architecture and Design, "design for us is 80% perspiration and 20% inspiration. While the design process is multi-disciplinary it always requires a single clear voice. Logic, lateral thinking and intellectual curiosity are the corner stones of the process but aesthetic certainty and mechanical and structural know how provide the catalyst for the built form. Our work is defined by our love of material & detail, always striving to make the whole greater than the sum of all the parts. To paraphrase Louis Kahn "materials tell you what they want to be" and the balance of this idiom with his ability to reduce space to it's primal elements are the basic inspiration of our work."

 David Mansfield 




Are you mesmerized by this modern interpretation of an American barn as much as I am? The owner wanted something unconventional that combined their love for Japanese and New England styles. The Lyme houseone of the winners of the Marvin's Architect Challenge by Marvin Windows & Doors,  naturally embraces its site, an homage to the Japanese concept of balance with nature. I really love this modern structure's placement on the site -  its precariously set on top of a sloped drop off..... A retreat for one's imagination to flourish.





The views are really maximized with the mix of glass and steel and the design of simple geometries. The patchwork of pewter panels are also so simple; yet magnificent. I wonder if they reflect the natural landscape in person?  I asked David Mansfield if he could take us behind the design and describe the "aha" moment for the design concept of the house.

He adds, "conceived as a guest house and ancillary out building this modern barn developed into a serene cottage retreat that takes advantage of its dramatic riverside location. Natural materials, flexible interior spaces, simple, honest design elements , the emphasis on diffused light and subdued colors  reference the client’s love of Japanese culture. Low maintenance, high life-cycle materials like zinc roofing, bleached red cedar siding, polished concrete flooring and at Douglas fir barn frame with galvanized steel cable ties and turnbuckles make reference to the structures bucolic rural Connecticut location. Barn doors become screen doors and a classic lean-to becomes a modern window seat with a dramatic cantilevered roof and mullion-less corner window."


Love the horizontal window above the bed......suits the exterior elevation and adds dimension to the interior space...bringing the outside in.



Curl up and read a book within the trees...phenomenal views...



 A bit of industry...so cool..







~all photos courtesy of Marvin Windows and Doors~




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