Remember House is a minimalist architecture project located in San Francisco, California, designed by Edmonds + Lee Architects. On the interior, the architects started with materiality first, working within the inherited geometry of the project, and from an all-white palette that began with the very first design choice, white Douglas fir floors from Dinesen. Because of the clients’ general aesthetic focus—on white, spare, minimalism—and their enthusiasm for treating interiors the same way Edmonds + Lee do: like galleries or museums where the main visual interest pops from the decor, the art, and the furniture. The architects explore how a house could operate similarly to a gallery, as a neutral canvas – and that neutral canvas became seamless, with spaces that flow from end to end, and with a continuity of materials that favor fluid transitions over the sharp disconnects so often found in modernist projects.
The sharpest moment is in the choice of exterior palette. Because the project was a renovation that required working within existing bones and an existing ground parcel, the street-side massing needed to remain consistent. Offering a counterpoint to the interior’s spreading white-ness, and to the two neighboring houses, both of which are white, the architects chose to wrap the front in a dark cladding, differentiating the house from its neighbors and also from what it contains.
The architects also designed the interior furnishings, working with an ongoing notion of seam-lessness all the way though the project. Working on a schematic level, the architects thought about materiality and space, (the big ideas of capital-A Architecture), but also furniture and inte-rior design. Their aesthetic focus explored everything from the greatest mass to the smallest detail – which allowed for a precise and vibrant spatial, material, and architectural choreography, like the sliding doors, for which the architects introduced a large window frame to bring a sense of solidity, history, and heft, or those Douglas fir floorboards, two-inch thick pieces of wood that create what the designers and clients see as an incredibly haptic experience.
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