There was an article in the Sunday newspaper magazine a few months ago about a house in New York. This house looked to be made out of plastic, like a toddler’s playhouse. Here are just a couple of images, but you can see more here, here and here. Please go and take a look – it really is stunning.
Designed by Peter Stamberg and Paul Aferiat this house was inspired by Modernist architecture, in particular the Barcelona Pavillion by Mies van der Rohe. And yet at the same time it has an almost kitsch Pop Art feel to it. Despite the appearance, it survived Hurricane Sandy in 2012 better than most of Shelter Island. Underneath the aluminium and polycarbonate walls there is a strong metal framework to support this structure which actually looks as if it is just leaning there temporarily.
The house is nicknamed Maison Plastique by the owners, but is also known as The Speed Bump by local people as everyone driving by slows down to look at it. It is certainly bright and noticeable. I don’t usually like strong synthetic colours like these, but there is something appealing here. Maybe it is the simplicity and boldness of the shapes that suits the colours. The article and the photos made me wonder if some colours suit particular styles better than others. It also gave me some new bright colour palettes to work with.
After seeing this lovely Maison Plastique, I found another version in a local garden. And to its owners eyes I am sure it is every bit as lovely as the one on Shelter Island.