Expanded Field, the book, and the installation from which it evolved, is both an expression of our passion for installation work and an exploration of the overlapping territories of contemporary practice.
This home for an art collecting family was shaped by two primary design parameters: make no visible alterations to the house’s traditional front facade while transforming the interior into a modern open living space that integrates the client’s extensive collection of contemporary art. Within this home, a critical density of contemporary art makes one question the normal "stuff" of houses - switches, walls, doors, sinks. The design seeks to create a heightened level of engagement by blurring the line between normal living and art experience.
The main living floor retains all of the original uses, but opens up the physical relationships between the rooms. Living, dining and entry at the front interlink with family, kitchen and informal dining at the back. The front suite of rooms are rendered more purely, with the normal house tectonics - windows, doors, light switches, outlets - concealed or obscured. The rear suite is completely open to one another while retaining some more recognizable elements of home.
The east edge of the main level is a series of art chambers running from front to back: stair hall, powder room and library. The existing curvilinear stair hall was reinterpreted from a figural void to a spiral object by opening up the cubic volume of the stair hall and enhancing the sinuous surface of the guardrail wall. The powder room is open to the hallway, providing view to a small exterior light court with a wall-mounted Robert Gober drain. The library is a rendered as a large vitrine, itself a microcosm of the vitrine of the house. Upstairs the master bath and changing area merge into a single room in which differing material expressions define the room’s dry and wet zones or functions.
The living spaces of the house are predominately white to support of the display of art, while storage spaces are rendered in varied and intense hues that express storage as a series of intensive events scattered throughout the house. The design of the house involved a simultaneous discussion of the curation of the house with the client, including how, where, and what pieces of art would be displayed. The project also involved working with Robert Gober (drain), Lawrence Weiner (text), Felix Schramm (deconstructed wall) , Mungo Thompson (celestial ceiling photomural) and Roy McMakin (trapped cabinet) on the coordination of artworks that were embedded within the architecture.
Pizzeria Delfina Burlingame
The Burlingame location marks the first Pizzeria Delfina outside of San Francisco. We wanted to retain the essence of the original pizzerias without relying on the rote application of a set of aesthetic rules that is often leaves “chain” restaurants that feeling soulless and impersonal. Instead, we devised a nuanced strategy that would allow the qualities unique to Pizzeria Delfina — an intimacy between patron and cook; an open kitchen that serves to energize and entertain the dining area; a heightened level of service — to shine through in any space or city while also feeling well-suited to each context.
Case in point: Burlingame’s warmer climate makes it possible for a stronger outdoor dining culture to flourish, and the Pizzeria’s sizable patio is a first for any of chef/owner Craig Stoll’s concepts. The South Bay location’s considerably larger interior allowed us to include a refined, wooden mezzanine-level dining area that overlooks the kitchen and can function as a private dining room. The main dining area is flooded with natural light and offers the most direct experience of the cooking and food preparation happening behind the bar.
Material similarities are extended throughout each location, but not to an inflexible degree, and only as far as they pay homage to the Neapolitan pizzerias that started it all. We invented a pixelated tile floor pattern that riffs on a traditional Italian mosaic motif by blowing it up to an ultra-magnified scale. Each outpost of Pizzeria Delfina has a chalkboard that displays the wait list; in Burlingame, the entire facade is fair game for people to doodle with chalk while they wait.
Each Pizzeria Delfina also has a mural of the classic Bay of Naples scene, reinterpreted for the San Francisco Bay. The classic depiction shows Naples as a thriving place of abundance overflowing with fruits of the land and the sea. But, always looming over the prosperity is Mount Vesuvius, a quiet reminder that nature is a powerful and ruthless force. PD Burlingame’s mural, rendered in the cartoon literalist style of SF-based artist Sirron Norris, is positioned to show diners precisely where they are in relation to landmarks of the Bay Area. The representation is jumbled and distorted, as if the earth’s plates had already given way to an earthquake, northern California’s own Mount Vesuvius.