Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Book Review: Michael G. Imber Ranches, Villas, and Houses.

I recently received a copy of the new book Ranches, Villas, and Houses on architect Michael G. Imber and his brand of vernacular, southern-styled classicism which was utterly fascinating to my north-eastern eye.  These projects are so refreshing because they suit their numerous locations: no Cape Cods in the heart of the desert if you know what I mean. Recognize the rendering above from a project in Alys Beach?
The book is broken up into 3 sections covering the subjects at hand. The Butcher Ranch in Gonzales County, TX, seen below is probably his most well known project. Interestingly enough the project was funded by the client's sale of a Georgia O'Keeffe painting - a fair trade, don't you think?
While the styles vary throughout the book and project to project, the attention to detail and great little moments such as the round window or the curvelinear plasterwork remain constant.
I thought the fluted column fireplace in the living room below was a really playful adaptation of a common element which reminded me of a Scandinavian wood stove.
The beaux-arts style renderings which Michael does early on for each project are really beautiful and here he explores the materiality for each project.
This book is full of places you will want to visit like the courtyard pool below!
My favorite project featured in the book is a pair of exquisite Palladian Villas completed for a brother & sister in Roswell, NM. While this may seem a weird fit for New Mexico, the climate is ideal for such a style, the clients are Italian, and honestly, who can ever say no to Palladian anything? (not this architect!)
 The floorplans of both reveals just how personal each house is.
 The brother's house features this kitchen which is probably in my dream house.
Imber recently completed the Southern Living House for the eponymous magazine in 2011. I loved how the early sketches, seen below, reflect so accurately the finished project.
 Don't miss out on this large-scaled gorgeous monograph - a must for any design library!!
All photos courtesy of Rizzoli.


Karen Albert said...

Stefan that staircase and fireplace are wonderfully done. So much grace and elegance in these projects!

Art by Karena

Michael Hampton said...

I just picked up this book too! You know I am loving their architectural watercolors! So nice to know that theyre keeping the tradition alive.


ArchitectDesign™ said...

Karen -each project is better than the last!
Michael, glad you are going through the book too - loved the different renderings and floorplans for projects are what EVERY design book NEEDS.

deana sidney said...

Know so little about that neck of the woods. The belt-and-suspenders staircase is interesting... the rest is not what I would expect... Palladian villas in the SouthWest? WHo knew? LOVE the watercolors. SPlendid work.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Deana, unexpected but fitting, no?