A Design Expert Makes Space for Tools and Memories

This article is part of our latest Design special report, It’s about expanding the possibilities of your home.

Building your dream home is great. But what happens when your dreams change?

Ask David Kelley, the founder of global design firm IDEO. In 2000, he became one of only three in the United States to own a house designed by legendary Italian architect, industrial designer and postmodern founder Ettore Sottsass. .. The Memphis design group, whose name refers to both ancient Egypt and Elvis Presley.

A 6,000-square-foot Silicon Valley home, a cluster of separate pavilions joined by a glass atrium Sottsass Association, Some magazines and New York Times 2001 article.. But in 2018, Kelly sold his home. “My life was vast, but I’m 70 and I’m trying to make life simpler,” he said.

The goal included being close to the Stanford University campus. There, in addition to his work at IDEO, Kelly taught design at the Faculty of Engineering for 42 years and founded the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design.Include d. school. He bought a much smaller house in an excursion on a faculty campus at Stanford University. “I wanted something less expansive,” he said. “The living room of the old house was the size of the whole new house.” He also wanted a studio to make things and hold some of his vast collection — well, of all kinds. Things, more about that later.

However, not being so extensive does not mean that it is not designed. To that end, Kelly turned to two people he knew well. Mark Jensen, the founder of the San Francisco company Jensen Architects, designed projects such as IDEO’s Palo Alto and San Francisco offices, as well as the roof terrace of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the tower in collaboration with artist Anhamilton.

Johanna Grounder, an artist and designer who creates light installations and actual lighting fixtures and furniture for companies such as Floss and Glass Italy, has worked with Sottsass for 16 years (12 of whom are partners in his company). Was there. She designed the lighting for the house in front of Mr. Kelly. (Jensen and Grounder have been a couple for 20 years, and while she was some consulting light artist on his project, they had only one major collaboration at Sonoma County’s weekend home. .)

“It was a very unpretentious, common California ranch house surrounded by beautiful trees,” Jensen recalled. “Our approach was about subtraction. What else can we get rid of?” 2 The interior of the bedroom was burned down and the living area became open and loft-like, but asphalt. The exterior with roof and weathered vertical plywood siding (now painted in dark gray) has remained largely unchanged. According to Jensen, the new garage door is level with the exterior walls and does not “emphasize” its “traditional advantage.” And the large, rotating front door made of cedar adds an impressive design element. The San Francisco company Surface design was responsible for the lush landscape. Grawunder said it would enhance the flow between indoors and outdoors.

Passing through the entrance, there is a grounder’s light piece on one wall, and a manhole cover at Stanford University, a souvenir of one of Kelly’s students, is installed on the brick floor. Featuring comfortable furniture and retractable awning sails, the atrium leads to the kitchen and living area and has proven to be useful for safe outdoor gatherings during a pandemic.

Inside the house, we added skylights with large trapezoidal openings to maximize sunlight and installed sliding glass doors. The floor is recycled wood found by Grounder and Kelly, recovered from a submerged pier in San Francisco Bay. Jensen called the contrast between light and dark “becoming messy.” The kitchen with pistachio green walls has a central island that is easier to gather than cooking. There is also a wall of cedar slats that slides to the left to hide the shelves or slides to the right to hide Mr. Kelly’s bedroom. Just outside it is one of the Sottsass tartar console tables in Memphis.

Another Sottsass piece of the old house is a dining table cut and painted black by Mr. Kelly. Bookshelves in the living and dining areas. Memphis Beverly Sideboard in the living area. There is a large totem in the breeze between the living area and the studio. The dining chair was designed by Naoto Fukasawa, who was famous for furniture but used to work at IDEO, and opened the Tokyo office in 1996.

Grounder, who redesigned the layout of the existing home and arranged the furniture with Kelly, called her role in the project “essential and minimal, since working at the Sottsass home, with David. It is essential for friendship. ” .. Because of the lack of privacy from the street, she designed a small U-shaped outdoor seating space with a high cedar fence outside the glass sliding doors in Mr. Kelly’s bedroom. Its floor is covered with mint green glossy bricks used in the courtyard of the Sottsass family. Grounder called the house a “living thing” and the studio “the heart of the matter.”

“Who am I?” Said Kelly, the studio just behind the house. In a 25-foot-high space, “organized and cluttered” includes objects such as tools and bicycles that “create stories and remind you of memories.” Its unusual shape was rejected by Stanford University planners rather than part of the original design, which was a glass box. A Stanford University planner said the building needed a sloping roof and wooden siding. Jensen said. He designed a cedar rainscreen (a waterproof membrane with a red cedar board in the east on top of it). It looks like one side of the roof is just going down and out. (Another workshop for activities such as sawing and drilling is hidden behind the garage.) “The project started with a remodeling, in addition to becoming a complete live work compound, or a village.” Said Mr. Grounder.

credit…Matthew Millman

Kelly’s lifelong attachment to meaningful possessions includes, but is not limited to, his grandmother’s matchholder, the caterpillar factory clutch pedal he worked for as a student, his childhood sled, and Ohio. It is symbolized by a collection of things. His family car license plate — mounted and framed on one wall of the atrium. His minimalist white bathroom has a photo of Albert Einstein’s Ruth Orkin, who “has been in the bathroom since 1988.”

When Sottosas was designing an old house, Kelly wanted to bring in some of his collection (a vintage tractor like the 1961 Mercedes 300SL Convertible is now parked on his driveway. , Pickup trucks, sports cars are also included). “I will build a house for you for now,” he declared, so Mr. Kelly kept his collection in a barn on the premises. “I didn’t want his big idea to be watered down by an Ohio kid,” Kelly recalled.

“He was Picasso, and who did I say he should put more green in the painting?” Still, the Maestro, who died in 2007, is very smart now (and in the future). I might have thought that even strong people might have a heart to cherish the past.

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