“Two Bay Area designers update a house by midcentury modernist Jack Hillmer, preserving his legacy in the process.”
Amanda Dameron, Editor in Chief, Dwell
Architect Katherine Lambert—of the California firm Metropolitan Architectural Practice—and her business partner and creative collaborator, filmmaker, designer and academic Christiane Robbins, had been looking for a plot of land on which to build when they learned about the property. Despite their immediate interest in the building, they were also a bit frightened given the fact that old growth redwood (one of just four building materials used on the house) was no longer commercially available and the house was quite derelict after a half a century of wear and tear.
Yet the spatial ingenuity and ingrained sustainability of the structure were too alluring to resist. As they studied up on Hillmer, Lambert (whose portfolio includes a community of rammed-earth cottages in the Sonoma Valley) and Robbins (who is making a documentary about Gregory Ain) felt an emotional and intellectual connection to the man, his principles and the house itself. Their goal became not to give the house a nostalgic spiffing-up, but rather, to bring it into the 21st century.
As was Hillmer, Lambert + Robbins are devoted fans of Schindler—and in conceiving the house’s future, they turned to the MAK Center in Los Angeles (headquartered in Schindler’s former home) for inspiration. The property, which they’ve christened the Telesis House v2.0, is used as a weekend house when they visit Napa Valley and also as a center for academic lectures, artist retreats and residencies. Lambert + Robbins believe the property should not be strictly cordoned off as a private residence in these times where there is a level of disassociation in our lives and culture. The Telesis House harkens back to something more - an embrace of the social.
While he won't be onsite during your event, Lambert + Robbins share the Telesis House with everyone's beloved Australian Shepherd - Sam. In keeping with his namesake, Sam Shepherd is "the greatest Californian pup of his generation."