Design Review: Small House by Thomas Phifer

By Dan Gregory

A small mmodern house with a monumental presence -- by architect Thomas Phifer.

New York architect Thomas Phifer takes an exquisitely conceived and meticulously detailed approach to nature through his use of different materials that layer daylight — it's what I would call the Eloquent Art of the Scrim – in such works as this small 1,900 sq. ft. house at Salt Point.

Sited at the edge of a meadow, the house is an ingenious melding of opposites. It's both an aloof geometric abstraction for viewing the landscape through a ribbon window-as-lens, and an intimate gesture of connection to the site through the tall

iving room window wall and screening wings. The fold-out wings ciontinue the patterning of the metal siding, but with screen material, so that the shape of the house is retained even as it becomes more transparent, thereby seeming to dissolve. In the upper phot you can see how the screen extends above the roof plane, catching the light in a sort of halo effect -- like an updated false front from the Wild West.

Sun Oct 06 00:00:00 PDT 2013