Lights, Camera, Action!
A celluloid dream of a bathroom in Brooklyn, New York, is an Alden Maddry production
Sheila Kim -- Interior Design, 7/1/2002 12:00:00 AM
Not long ago in Brooklyn, New York, a young couple—filmmakers who produce shorts, documentary footage, and TV spots for UNICEF and the NBA—hired architect Alden Maddry to convert two apartments into a duplex. He also translated the pair's cinematic passion into architectural terms, most notably in the top-floor bathroom.
Maddry treated the 50-square-foot space like a giant light box. To construct a partition between the bathroom and the adjacent stairwell, the architect affixed two layers of acrylic panels to an aluminum framework. The exterior panels are frosted, the interior ones a mix of clear and orange. ("The husband loves orange. He always wears orange clothing," Maddry says by way of explanation.) The translucent layer captures shifting effects of natural illumination, which filters through a 3-by-4-foot skylight above the stairwell. The wall also acts like a film screen, projecting shadowy figures as people move around in the bathroom behind.
Echoing those figures on a smaller scale, filmstrips shot by the clients—depicting silhouettes set against fields of saturated blue and orange—are sandwiched between clear acrylic panels screwed to the aluminum grid. The montages are not only art in their own right but also play a starring role in another work: The husband recently used the bathroom wall as a backdrop in a documentary he's filming.