Omer Arbel: Canadian House of Lies
“I don’t share architecture and object design. These are different facets of one creative whole, ”says Omer Arbel about the project of a family home near Vancouver.The path of Omer Arbel to the profession was not straightforward. He was born in Jerusalem, as a child he came to Canada, where he made a career as an athlete-swordsman and even played for the national team. And then I went to study at the architect. Sport again reminded of itself when Arbel was commissioned to develop medals for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. By that time, he already had his own bureau, the post of art director for the Bocci brand and the glory of a multi-talented master.
Shelving 1.1 separates the living room area from the hallway. Glass balls – lamp from the 14th series, diz. O. Arbel. In the background – a sculpture of A. Ford.
Omer Arbel does not fundamentally divide architecture, object design, craft, and technological research: “These are the edges of a creative whole.” For all his projects (for which he received almost 50 various awards), Arbel assigns numbers: whether it is a limited edition chair, a city-planning concept or a cafe interior. The same Olympic medal he is called “27.3”.
The building of a triangular configuration is inscribed in a slope and decided as a link between two groves on the site.
“I do not begin any work with a form crystallized in the imagination, as is the case with others,” Omer told us. – On the contrary, I bring this form out gradually – from the context in which I am: material, socio-economic, aesthetic. And then it takes root in the environment, like a plant in fertile soil.
Beams from a tin of sapwood – the starting element of the project. This American conifer is known for its gigantic size.
It was my primacy of the context that attracted the customer at home near Vancouver (object “23.2”). The dearest man, an industrialist who leads a recluse lifestyle, he dreamed of a family home: he and his wife had three children. A client came to the project with a “dowry” – a collection of giant hundred-year-old beams made from listogo tissolist wood. All different sizes, up to 20 m long, up to a meter thick. He got the treasure during the demolition of the old warehouses, he valued them very much and dreamed of using them in the building.
Folding walls designed by the architect allow in seconds to get rid of two facades and combine the living room with the street.
From the very beginning, we discussed that beams from falsified arms are sacred artifacts with which we will not do anything – neither customized nor painted. Consequently, it was necessary to come up with a geometry of the house that would accommodate the diversity of their dimensions. Stopped on the triangle. We have developed a project in which the beams are read as an element of both the ceiling and the facade – the most difficult thing was to connect them with concrete. They built a long, five years. But the result, I’m sure, is worth it. ”
Classroom where children do their homework. Steel bent pillars allowed to “erase” the corner and maximally open the room in nature. Hanger Sciangai, Zanotta.
The project “23.2” is located on a large plot. On it is a gentle slope stretching from east to west, and two old beautiful groves, which the owners call outdoor rooms, each with its own flora and special light. “The building is located at the point of maximum tension between the two environments. And it reads like an element of the landscape, ”explains Arbel.
The kitchen has access to the courtyard. Architectural furniture – table and nightstand – works by O. Arbel. Kitchen Boffi.
Vancouver – the third largest city in Canada – is located on the Pacific coast, near the border with the United States. Megapolis is famous for regularly taking the first places in the ratings of “The Best City of the Earth”, “The Most Comfortable City for Life”, etc. One of the indicators of the high quality of life is a mild warm climate.
One of the children. Sofa Polder, diz. H. Jongerius, Vitra, – Omer Arbel still sometimes brings factory items into his projects.
“A major motivation in the project was to blur the boundaries between home and nature,” says Arbel. – All rooms smoothly flow into each other, each communicating with outdoor space. The main technique to help achieve this effect was “erasing” the corners — one in each room. Bearing walls were replaced with glass, the structures were reinforced with curved steel pipes. Our accordion partitions allow us to remove two facades at once, if desired. ”
Parents’ bedroom: sloping concrete walls and carpeting on the floor.
The house is dominated by “contextual” objects – tables and shelves, which are created by Arbel by the standards of the house; they can hardly be called furniture. However, there are things “from the catalog.” Among them – the sofa of the Dutch Hella Jongerius. Hella is an influential persona of the design scene who has made handicraft fashionable. “I once curated the exhibition of Vancouver designers of the 1960s and 70s,” recalls Arbel. – Unknown names in the world, but they are important for our region. To fit them into the global process, I added a few modern things that are close in spirit.