A colourful re-examination of Mies van der Rohe 1929 Barcelona Pavilion, Shelter Island became the defining work of New York based studio Stamberg Aferiat’s practice.
This 102-sq-m summer retreat in Shelter Island, New York, designed by and for the office’s co-founders Peter Stamberg and Paul Aferiat, is the result of a thorough study of Newtonian colour theory and a longstanding admiration of the plasticity of artistic movements like Cubism, Impressionism and Fauvism. These inspirations, together with the use of flexible materials like steel frame with polycarbonate panels and corrugated metal, allowed the architects to ‘evoke immediacies of built form’ while at the same time delving into an architectural dream state.
The vibrant colours of the painted corrugated aluminum walls connect the house’s two separate volumes and create, together with the painted rubber roof, a dynamic aesthetic of light and colour, thus achieving the architects’ aim of making transparent the lines between architecture and art.
As Stamberg and Aferiat explain, ‘The house is a summary of many things that inspired us architecturally, artistically and intellectually. Our only limitation was budget and that allowed our imagination to be free to go wherever it wanted to go.’ What is more, they hope that this project will function as a turning point in their practice: ‘We like to be adventuresome, but architecture as a profession has to respond to clients. Hopefully Shelter Island will show our clients what is in our minds and they will trust us to be adventuresome with their projects.’
Images by Paul Warchol courtesy of Stamberg Aferiat.