Saturday, November 08, 2014

why "inside" is really "outside"

"I am waiting to see the inside of the house."

Several of you have left similar comments on yesterday's post, on Facebook, or by email.  I guess I did not make the style of the house very clear in my essay.  I will try again.

The line between "inside" and "outside" exists.  It is a very physical line, but it is a line that is designed to be invisible.  At least, conceptually, invisible.

The distinction is between covered and uncovered.  But the spaces themselves are fluid -- flowing from one into the other.  Covered to uncovered.  Uncovered to covered.

Let me give you an example.  The covered spaces on the lower level are the four bedrooms, the kitchen, and the living room.  Each of those rooms is very like a stage set.  They have three walls.  But the fourth wall is conceptual. 

When not occupied, the fourth wall consists of closed glass doors.  When occupied (to take advantage of the tropic breezes), the glass doors are swung back or slid open -- effectively removing the wall.

That is why "inside" and "outside" really do not apply to the architectural philosophy of the house.

Let's illustrate with the bedrooms.  The two bedrooms on the north side are identical to one another.  The two bedrooms on the south side are identical to one another, as well, and are very similar to the northern bedrooms.

When "inside" the bedrooms, there is a distinct feeling of being outside -- as part of the main house.  The courtyard.

The landscape screening offers a semblance of privacy without completely cutting off the sight lines to the remainder of the house.

Both northern bedrooms have king-sized beds that can be converted to separate beds.  Depending on the circumstances of visitors.

Each of the four bedrooms has a day bed.  I had one in my dorm room in law school.  Their utility is a mystery to me.  But it does replicate the theme of horizontal lines of this contemporary Mexican home. 

And there is plenty of closet space hidden by a structured curtain.  (For those of you unfamiliar with the ways of tropical molds, there is a reason closets are not enclosed behind doors.  I have a stack of red-mildewed t-shirts that will attest to the wisdom of foregoing solid closets.)

The bedrooms flow into a bathroom that repeats the same tile on the bedroom floor, giving the illusion of greater space.  The lack of obstructions between the counter, the toilet, and the shower area reenforces that illusion.

The northern bathrooms have a counter with a single sink.  It is a distinguishing element from the southern bedrooms.

You may have noted what looks like muted flood lighting over the shower.  That is a ventilation chime topped by a skylight.  All the better to let in
Barragán's beloved light.
The southern bedrooms have king beds.  This is Darrel and Christy's bedroom.  One of the biggest differences with the northern bedrooms is the wood headboard that gives the room a richer texture.

Along with the desk and storage units that repeat those recurring contemporary horizontal lines.

The bathroom is almost identical to the northern bathrooms, but the southern bathrooms have double sinks.

So far, the only bedroom to be continually occupied is mine.

As you can see, the bones of the bedrooms will help determine how they should be decorated.  With all of stainless steel fixtures and muted tile, at the moment, I am leaning to a shades of gray theme.  But we shall see.

Tomorrow we will take a look at either the kitchen or the living room.  The bedrooms are based on the transitional space theory.  But both of the other rooms truly put theory into practice.

That is why the phrase "he is inside the bedroom" does not make much sense in this house.  "He is over at the bedroom" is far more accurate.

And that is where I am.  Writing to you from Mexpatrite's new home.

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