In The Bikini House, we used the bikini as a metaphor in a home that is about revealing and not revealing, public and private, and the perceptions and realities about how one lives at leisure and with a community. We selected this conceptual element of transformation for a house that married the iconography of beach house with the idealism of the suburban subdivision.
Inspired by the ultimate bikinied Bond Girl, Ursula Andress, in “Dr. No” as well as by Magritte’s “(name of painting),” our designs consisted of two glass volumes stacked upon one another, with the upper volume perpendicular to the lower and cantilevered off one end. This form was developed in response to site conditions and in response to the narrative of viewing and being viewed.
The transparent glass and steel house is veiled on the exterior with a tightly woven stainless steel mesh curtain and a second layer of shades on the interior. Transparency and views on the short sides are controlled by interior shades. Manipulation of the exterior and interior allows for multiple interpretations of use and program. The moiré effectively hides its wholeness, while also, at times, obliterating its innocence.
- Place Sagaponac, NY
- Date 2001
- Client The Houses at Sagaponac
- Area 3,000 SF
- Architect Francois deMenil Architect, PC