In 1994 I spent the summer teaching in Israel, running a studio that proposed to examine architectural invention through drawing (this was a time before computers) as a process that could be intrinsically tied to archeological excavation. The spectacular site of Herod the Great’s maritime palace at Caesarea provided the mornings activity, digging away the dirt, and an empty warehouse at the seaside Nahsholim Kibbutzim the afternoons more mentally driven exhumations.
I also began work that summer on a project that had finally produced the ideal client. Myself. In the early evening, I would lay out the plans at a scale of one inch = one foot and draw over them, moving slowly through the space of the project, determining, reconsidering and reinventing each and every material intersection, joint, or surface. This included finish plywood cabinetry stained pink and a round, nearly freestanding shower. The project was for a loft in an old match factory facing onto Hudson Square Park. Great pleasure was taken in drawing at the larger scale. It resulted in a certain attitude toward interior space that privileged porosity and episodicness, making sure the full extent of a space was always partially concealed. The raw space itself was a rectangular volume of about 20’ wide and 60’ deep intruded upon by the buildings egress and mechanical spaces. It took me some time and probably another 20 projects to recognize that increment as New York City’s most ubiquitous in terms of housing. The design was dominated by a folded golden wall finished with waxed Venetian plaster and linework in steel that made it a body-scale landscape drawing.
Once realized, the space quickly took on a life of its own. The very next year I would meet (and marry) Erika Hinrichs, and so together we began using the space as our office. The year after that we would sell the loft to my brother, Steve, and move to a commercial space on Broadway. Steve, too would get married and start a family, so we returned again to add another bedroom to the design. Three years ago, we remade the kitchen a bit larger. And now most recently we are back again to design some furniture for his youngest daughter, Noelle.