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Douglas Newby
Architecturally Significant Homes
Horse & Trolly

Materials Make Modern

Can inviting sumptuous, captivating materials allow an architect to design a more modern home? Here in Highland Park, architect Joe McCall wins the battle for a home that will make one happy with his use of materials. As you approach this modern home, the edge-cut Douglas fir porte cochere is above you that has a clear stain bringing out the natural caramelized cinnamon colors of this soft wood. At your feet are the solid stone blocks of bluestone leading to the honed bluestone at the entrance. Visually connecting these two parallel flat planes of contrasting texture and color is an outer wall of Corso Italian brick with an open transom to allow one to see the continuous Douglas fir ceiling as it extends into the interior linear courtyard. Five different textures of bluestone are seen at the home. The Douglas fir is also used for the window frames throughout the house. The steel beams and columns and walls of floor-to-ceiling windows serve the purpose to integrate the view of nature throughout the home. However, because of the use of the other materials introduced at the entrance, the home is never interpreted as a glass and steel house. If the modern battle is won with materials, the architectural war is won with the proportions and intersecting open spaces that enmesh the home in the site. My favorite modern homes have layers and depth of materials and textures, as architect Joe McCall, landscape architect David Hocker, and interior designer Wendy Konradi have created here. I am curious what your favorite materials are for a modern home? *Materials Make Modern
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