One of the first homes in Emerald Bay, and designed by Roland Coates for himself and his family, the residence had an historical background that is rare. Unfortunately, the house had suffered through several remodels and the ravages of time, but if one squinted, you could still get a sense for the original. In designing the home, we wanted some of this spirit to remain while still creating something that was modem and of the day. With the historic background of the original home, the interesting dynamic within the design was how to recall the home’s history, albeit mostly recreated, while still fashioning a modern piece of architecture. In the end this tension resolved itself through texture, tone, and contrast. One quick example would be the original wood fence this fence’s simple rhythm is archetypal in its nature. In the new residence we wanted to capture a touch of this spirit but in lieu of wood we opted for raw aluminum bars turned at an angle recreating the texture of the original, but in a more modern rendition. This play exists throughout the residence, particularly as one moves from outside to in.
Once inside, the historic references were allowed to fall away, and a play of contrasts began to emerge. And while the exterior material palette is permitted to come inside, it is now set off with more complex and non-traditional detailing. Inside we find a coarse and natural palette (lime washed brick, raw white oak, and steel) juxtaposed against a more refined material selection including back painted glass, leathered granite, and wood veneers. This contrast of materials adds a series of tensions: old verses new, raw verses refined, and traditional verses modern. With an historic precedence, and occupying a place of deep memory within the community, the nod to the original became the basis for the first moves within the design. By referencing the original Monterey style, but bending it to meet the client’s needs, we had a means of connecting to the old and offering a thread to the original for the community to seize. Reuse of portions of the original (fireplace, moldings, and the basement level) points toward sustainability but also provides a definitive link to the past and a point of departure for the design moving forward, firmly linking us to the past but with an understanding of the era in which it was recreated.