Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tuning a Brick Oven

My design philosophy goes like this:
When a project is complete it is best if it is integrated into the home or garden environment so well that it appears to have always been there.  A design that shouts its presence will always be a stranger to the place.

This is achieved by picking up on the visual cues, materials, and vernacular of the location.
Visual cues might be the color scheme of the building or the angles of the roofs, patios, and walkways.  They would also include the cultural context of those details and the cultural tastes of the home or restaurant where the oven is located.
Materials include the existing stone, brick, wood, plaster, and plantings.

Vernacular, defined here as the native visual language of the place, is often where the challenge lies.  The house may be colonial, the kitchen modern, but the brick oven space may still be Tuscan.  Splicing disparate styles requires choosing the elements that most represent the desired mood of the space.  Color can be the key.  Materials another choice.  Lighting a third. Etc.

Since most people wish to have their project reflect their tastes in a very personal and unique way, working with the owner is essential.  One very useful approach I employ as the designer is a ban on artistic censorship.   If there might be an idea that works, it should be spoken.  Some designers, attempting to put forth  ideas they assume will be acceptable, censor some of their best instincts because they seem radical thereby losing the one brilliant idea that would make the project shine.

Going back to the philosophy, my litmus test for success is a perfectly tailored solution for the purpose and client that fits seamlessly into the space.  Almost everyone can recognize when that is found.

All projects shown are by TBO.

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