While Villa Metamorphosis was designed with personalized, distinct visual language, House of Solitude, situated next to Villa Metamorphosis, defines space not visually, but experientially.
House of Solitude limits visual language to only boxy, impersonal, generic Cartesian space. Spatial experience of architecture is defined by means of the duration of time, the path of circulation, and the relation between human body and the scale of space.
The design and construction of this structure originated from pragmatic needs to create a privacy fence wall. In the original house built in 1960, the backyard of next door neighbor to the east was completely visible from the house and from the front yard of the house, while the view to the south from the original house was very open and desirable. The original house just simply sat in the middle of an open space without any other design features defining how the house relates to the landscape.
House of Solitude was constructed to block undesirable view to the east, while focusing desirable view to the south from the property. It also defines the front yard as a focused element, as a connection between the property and the larger landscape. From the macro landscape perspective, this site is situated between the mountain (Catskill Mountains) and the river (Hudson River). This structure is a poetic device that connects the mountain, this residence, and the river.
Seen from the outside, House of Solitude is an austere white object of elongated boxes arranged in a particular way. The simplicity of the floor plan makes one more aware that House of Solitude looks different as an object seen from various angles and seen from various proximities to it.
One can enter House of Solitude and walk the narrow, dark, long hallway. At the midpoint of this hallway, quite claustrophobic space becomes slightly larger, while changing its interior wall color from light creamy orange to deep blue. At the end of the hallway there is a room with skylights, with one wall partially painted in yellow, brightly lit from sunlight from above. Wall across from this yellow wall is mostly matte white, while partially painted with shiny silver metallic color.
One’s sense of time, space and body, merges with the experience of the composition of various colors and their deeper, symbolic meanings.
While the needs for this project originated pragmatically, it became a construction of a physical version of a philosophical experimental project. This is an “experiential architecture” in which the relationship between human body, and the sense of time and space— an a priori philosophical concept stated by Immanuel Kant, can be contemplated, in solitude.