Thursday, October 15, 2015
A young Irishman Dominic Stevens is а very unusual architect. In 1999, having left a good job in Dublin, he went to the Irish remote places, to the village Cloone, and opened his office.
The house, built by Dominic Stevens in Ireland, is faced with mirrored panels: in the daytime it is not seen among the surrounding hills, and at night only its windows gleam.
There is only one employee – Dominic himself. He equipped his workshop in a wheelless van, parked on a hill behind the house. The house, of course, Stevens also built himself. Rather, he is still building it: Dominiс believes that people can not truly appreciate the architecture, because they do not understand how it is arranged. And he wants his children to know exactly how the house, where they live, is made.
How did Dominic achieve the invisible effect?
The house is partially dug into the hillside. The retaining wall that holds part of the basement, is made of recycled materials – tires.
In his spare from architecture time, Stevens is engaged in farming – growing goats, chickens and geese, and he makes excellent cheeses. He, meanwhile, is a commonly known architect, for example, he took part in the exhibition in the national pavilion of Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 2006. But he takes just two projects per year otherwise no time is left for children and goats.
One of the two houses that Stevens took to build in 2006, belongs to a married couple of conceptual artists, Grace Weir and Jo Walzer. On a green hillside in the Irish village Dromahair, Stevens built for them a tiny box, faced with mirrored panels.
Its walls are cut by vertical windows. In the daylight the house disappears into the surrounding landscape – dissolves, becoming a reflection. At night, only lighted windows are visible – like wandering lights in the Irish bogs.
The difference in height at the site has allowed Stevens without harm to the environment (of which he is very concerned) dug into the ground and make a ‘cave’ entrance, bedroom and bathroom. That is, the house turned upside down – it is necessary to go down into the earth, and only then from the hall you can climb the spiral stairs, to the snow-white light-flooded living room.
The architecture, invisible from the outside of the building, here is also turned to the appendage to nature: the main thing in the interior is the view through the narrow windows alternating with white interfenestrations.
The house has a lot of strange things – like inclined outwards walls in the living room, that make space look distorted (exactly what tenants conceptualists need). Generally speaking, Stevens should recognize this house a creative failure, because it is impossible to immediately wrap your head around how it was made. But that’s what makes it not just a pretentious shed, but the real work of architecture.
Invisible house layout: