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Upon reflection

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A composition in harmony with the landscape, this sculptural form is a combination of flexible living space, art studio and gallery

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Garden studios and guest quarters come in a variety of guises. More often than not they incorporate design elements of the main structure, but equally as important is their relationship with the surrounding environment. In the design of this modern, 1200sq ft garden pavilion, forming a relationship between the natural environment and the existing house was a central consideration, says architect Mark Dziewulski. “The owner wished to create a tranquil and sheltered environment from which to enjoy the rich natural landscape and spectacular river views,” he says. “The single interior space is a combination of office, art studio and flexible living space. It’s also a gallery in which to show a rotating display of pieces from the owner’s extensive sculpture and painting collection.” Paralleling its intended use as a gallery space, the structure itself is a sculptural form. The subtly curved roof features circular skylights, and the extensively glazed facade cantilevers out over the lake. “The form makes use of the contrast between the man-made and natural. It appears poised over the lake. Its reflected image and relationship to the landscape reinforce the sculpture-like quality.” “Building elements – the floor, roof, solid walls, glass and piers – are expressed as independent planes. They are interwoven, yet individual,” says Dziewulski. Uninterrupted glass walls open the room up to the landscape and blur the boundaries between exterior and interior. The space is shaded by a dramatically extended roof overhang, while the cantilevered floor extends over the lake. Areas of transparent glass floor reinforce this experience. The contemplative and peaceful atmosphere created by the glass walls is extended by the reflection and play of natural light. “The pattern of sunlight reflecting off the water constantly changes throughout the progress of the day. Three skylights bring light deep within the interior and articulate the roof form. Continuing the series of roof penetrations, an oculus in the exterior roof allows a slowly moving circle of sunlight to animate the floor,” says Dziewulski. Also projecting over the water, and connecting the structure with its exterior, is a skeletal metal staircase, joined to the land by a large stone plinth set into the bank.

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First published date: 26 May 2006

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Credit List

Architect Mark Dziewulski, AIA, ARB (San Francisco, CA)
Builder Sunseri Associates
Windows Structural glass from Milgard
Flooring Limestone from Medimer Tile
Paints Custom white from Benjamin Moore
Lighting Recessed halogens from Lightolier
Heating Carrier
Home audio Sony
Furniture Knoll