Post 2: A conversation with Annabelle Selldorf
Post 3: Who Knew?
Where does the garage fit in the design world?
What’s the history of garage design? Where is it headed? Enjoy an insightful series of articles exploring this topic, courtesy of Architectural Digest.
To help orient contestants in the DESIGN DRIVEN competition, AD recently spoke to Markus Dochantschi and David Salazar, principals of studioMDA architecture firm in New York City. Both are European car aficionados and proponents of extremely modern design. Prior to founding studioMDA, the pair was in Zaha Hadid’s London office.
“As an architect you ask, ‘How do you live with your objects of desire?’” remarked David Salazar in response to AD’s query about the optimal approach to creating a garage. “I’ve seen owners who are very casual, with their Ferrari parked on the street, and others who store their car in a pristine glass box with a carpet,” he continued. The range of design results is vast.
The garage, of course, began as a carriage house and during the 20th century became attached to the house—a practical arrangement that allowed driver and passengers to be impervious to weather conditions. Subsequently the garage became incorporated into the house, part of the foundation that gives the appearance the house grew around and over it.
If an architect’s client considers their car a work of art, why would they choose to isolate it in a garage far from view? “Jewelry can be kept in a lock box, or on a pedestal with beautiful lighting,” Salazar added. “Those types of things change the space around you. I think the interesting conversation is about designing spaces or showcase a piece of art. If an object is in a glass box in the living room, you see it every day and become desensitized to it. But if it’s a car, you have the opportunity to bring it out and experience it in a dynamic way.”
Dochantschi proposes that car design might influence garage design, which would in turn reflect on home design. The effect is to advance architecture to the point where automotive design is today. “Why not take the dynamic and sexiness and translate it into the surrounding space? Catapult the line of the car into the line of the building,” he queried.
He pointed out that automotive manufacturers, particularly in Germany, have been doing this with their museums and delivery centers, which feature very bold architecture. But there are older reference points too. “The Aero Saarinen building for TWA at JFK makes so much sense with the dynamic and force of the airplanes,” he noted. “If you really build a space for a high-performance car, it cannot be a shed. It has to be a high-performance space,” he said firmly.
The conversation continues…check back in the coming weeks for a new installment on garage design.