Monday, 16 February 2009

The Kalkinulator

12 container house (above and below)

push button cafe

I know it's dangerous to declare a favourite anything, lest the ravaging pack of vampiric critics attack with screeching cries of heresy, but I'm going to go out on a limb and declare Adam Kalkin my favourite architect. I first came across Kalkin via the interior designer Albert Hadley (another fav of mine), who did the decoration of Kalkin House which is at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont. Kalkin builds, mainly houses, out of surplus shipping containers. I love how he creates these structures that have a very modernist feel, but instead of using glass, glass, and more glass, he creates new modernist spaces of out the waste products created by globalisation. It's funny to think that if you live in a Kalkin house, the "walls" may have previously carried Chinese-made clothes or Japanese technologies - the walls have history before they're even built.

Kalkin House

There's a bit of contention over whether Kalkin is a "real" architect, as he builds with pre-fab materials, but I don't see how that's relevant to the design and building of a structure. Surely, architects don't usually create the concrete or the steel with which they build their hideous skyscrapers. Take Kalin's personal home, Bunny Lane. Bunny Lane is a huge industrial shed built around a two story traditional home. You get the best of both worlds: open modernist spaces, cosy traditional domestic interiors. It's a marvellous example of the kind of crazy innovative thinking that makes Kalkin's shipping-container houses way more than the sum of their original parts.

Anyway, enough. BD has an interesting little piece on Kalkin, which is what inspired this torrent of adoration. Everyone thinks I'm so cynical and that I disdain and sneer and everything - but here is written proof that I do in fact quite like something and someone!

Kalkin's website: - This is especially amazing. It's a video showing what happens when the button is pushed to activate the mechanism of a single container house.

Bunny House exterior

Bunny House interior (above and below)

1 comment:

dina said...

More pictures with container home, illy cafe bar in container