Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Queen and Frank Israel

I was flipping through some old vacation photos the other day and I came across these ones of The Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Palace is The Queen's official residence in Scotland, situated at the end of the Royal Mile. The pictures feature the ruins of the Augustinian Abbey that was built in 1126, and remains attached to the palace.

As I looked at the images I couldn't help but think I'd seen something like that before. Only the ruins and palace are one of a kind, and I'm not that well traveled. After some consideration I made up my mind that what I was really thinking about was the late Frank Israel's "Lamy-Newton pavilion" in Hancock Park, CA. Only in Israel's 1988 design the extension of the house is the new, whereas in the case of the palace, the extension is the old. Nevertheless they are both cool examples of contrast.

I'm not sure what the design process was surrounding the palace, but Israel was quoted in his self titled book to say," Extremely adventurous clients, the Lamy-Newtons not only favored the new, but asked for the outrageous. A strange inversion of the norm arose in which the architect had to restrain the clients, and not the opposite." I respect Mr. Israel for having the client's best interests in mind. That's something we're most committed to also.

The finished product is amazing. Notice how even with a new and different ascthetic, he was able to obey the principles of symetry. Wow...

Hope you like the pics. There's more of projects like this to come. Click to enlarge.