A house that perfectly captures the essence of the place where it stands is golden. Only a few architects are so strong in their craft that they can root for the local culture from their concept. Yet American architect Corinne Mathern managed to infuse this house in sunny Santa Barbara, California, with the Mediterranean tranquillity exuded by the hills of the surrounding Mission Canyon.
In her designs, Corinne Mathern seeks balance-an ultimate point at which we encounter our true selves. For her, the reflection of the occupants in a concept is crucial, because only then does the pure character of a home come to life. The Californian architect has been realising various projects in the residential, commercial and hospitality sectors since 2014. For these very different purposes, she always tries to find different angles. Yet she always sticks to the simplicity of nature: her work can be recognised by the many earth tones she works with. The variety of materials, textures and layers enhances her work. On top of that, meaningful heirlooms, objects and art add character to her concepts. Her own handmade furniture pieces turn each work into an original whole.
Meaningful heritage items, objects and art add character to her concepts
This modern house full of contemporary elements owes its simplicity to Mexican architect Luis Barragán. Not directly, of course, but Mathern draws a lot of inspiration from his work, steeped in simplicity. The concept owes its wealth of light to the openness with which it was created: windows and doors extend from floor to ceiling. Moreover, the kitchen, living and dining rooms also flow together flawlessly. Yet here, single, blue, green and yellow pigments break with the base of natural tones, such as the deep blue fabric seats in the seating area. This is not entirely coincidental: the architect wanted to use these to draw in the deep colours of the surroundings. In this way, you can also see the “Victoria Garden” colour as a pine-like shade incorporated into the media room's seat. Many pieces of furniture in this design were also based on the work of Irish furniture designer Eileen Grey. Through her mid-century pieces, Mathern's imagination goes wild. Furthermore, it was especially important to enjoy luxurious tranquillity in the home. ‘The client himself was inspired by the Aman Resorts in Japan. With that, I was able to proceed to achieve the intended serenity with similar elements,’ adds the architect. When you hear tranquillity, you immediately think of places where you can relax. Here, too, the designer has thought of such places: residents can retire completely by the pool or let themselves be pampered in the spa.
Architecture by Dovetail Architects
Construction by Allen Construction
Photography by Nicole Franzen
Text by Emma Verstappen