The house is occupied by two business partners and friends - an artist, who lives in the lower house, and an art collector, who lives in the upper house. Together they produce and sell nature-themed art, with the work the artist creates displayed by the art collector in the gallery.
My house draws from two main themes found within the Villa Savoye:
- The blurring of the boundaries between inside and out through the use of glass facades.
- The notion of an upwards journey through the house, from the ground floor to the roof top garden, symbolising an ascension from the earth to the sky, or from a lower to a higher plane of existence.
The extensive garden spaces of the house are integrated as much as possible with the interior areas through the use of glass curtain walls, and at times the garden does actually physically enter the house, as seen on the main floor of the artist's house. This immerses the residents within the natural world, and provides an ideal setting for the creation of artworks inspired from nature.
More importantly, the idea of an upward journey has been taken and transformed into a representation of the journey an artwork produced by these residents undertakes. The entire back end of the two houses (that furthest from the street) has been separated out from the rest of the house using materiality, effectively creating two distinct "zones" - one an area of functional living (the front end of the house, featuring the kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, etc) and one an area of higher living (the rear end of the house, featuring the living areas, studios, gallery, workshop, etc).
This zone of higher living is that which represents this upward journey of artwork. A process of refinement of materiality symbolises this journey. The lowest level of the two houses, the workshop, is embedded within the cliff face and roughly hewn from the rock, representing the earthen roots of the artwork produced by the residents. As one travels upwards through the levels, there is a noticeable refinement in the stone from level to level, leading to the light, smooth marble and glass of the rooftop gallery. This light-filled room represents the highest position an artwork can attain, that of display for the cultural benefit of the population.
Slit windows and skylights are placed adjacent to many of the walls in the zone of higher living, allowing light to shine along their length and exacerbate their level of refinement.