Peter Zellner

Krist Residence, Stella Maris, Long Island, Bahamas, 1998

This project for a holiday home is located in the Bahamas on an island coast between the Atlantic ocean and the Caribbean. The programme includes a house for guests, recreation areas, bedrooms, a garage, and storage spaces. On a slightly sloping terrain, opposite a football pitch, the house opens onto a landscape made up of an extremely white coral sandy beach, very low shrubs and small palm groves. The project’s point of departure consisted in dealing with the site like a curved surface, or like the wrapping of a seashell, capable of being handled, folded, and cracked to develop the dwelling programme, and thus create an original relationship between the house and a host of fleeting natural influences—water, sun and sea views. Its streaked body, like a fold resulting from some telluric power, forms a “chromosomic” landscape/figure of 26 strips of concrete, a bit like identical ribs which are interwoven between steel frames and sheets of glass. The roof seems to be a prolongation or an emanation of the terrain, resembling a crab emerging from the sand. Peter Zellner uses 3-D design programmes and algorithmic formulae which make it possible to endlessly recalculate the surfaces of the object. As the diametric opposite of a static form, the surface of the house, in progress, is inextricably bound up with the movement of the digital process. Like overflowing foam which seems to spread round about, it here introduces a simultaneity between the ground and the building. At once open and closed to the elements, permeable and impermeable, heavy and light, the house seems to bend the environment into the form of a palm leaf which, in its turn, develops in the motion of the Caribbean breeze.

Nadine Labedade

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