Warning: Curves Ahead
Judith Davidsen -- Interior Design, 3/1/2007 12:00:00 AM
To carve out two apartments from a dune in Atlantic Beach, Florida, William Morgan Architects first had to insert a steel-reinforced concrete bubble designed with the aid of a computer—and this was back in the days of the mainframe, long before the arrival of AutoCAD. The machine put up quite a fight over developing the structural specifications required to maintain the desired shape, but William Morgan dug in. Once the concrete footings and floors were poured, ceilings and walls could be molded in steel mesh and sprayed with Gunite. To keep the sand from shifting, he covered the dune with sod.
A student of Walter Gropius and Josep Lluis Sert at Harvard University, Morgan worked at Paul Rudolph Architect before going out on his own. Five years ago, when "William Morgan: Selected and Current Works" opened at the University Gallery at the University of North Florida, curator Henry Peterson proclaimed that Morgan "practiced architecture as an art form." He also published widely on the pre-Columbian buildings of the Southwest and Central and South America. His own work has appeared in publications as diverse as this magazine, Smithsonian, and Playboy.
From top: At architect David Ling's live-work space in New York, galvanized steel encloses a shower and toilet. Vladimir Kagan's Sloane sofa throws a curve with acrylic legs.
From top: Bronze appears light as a feather in Leo Jensen's custom pendant lamp. Richard Serra's Torqued Ellipses encouraged viewer interaction at Dia Center for the Arts.
From top: William Morgan carved a pair of mirror-image 750-square-foot apartments into a dune in Florida. The entries are nine steps below grade.
From top: Glass separates the living area from the terrace. The terraces hide in the sod-covered dune. An elevation shows how every area, except the bathroom, has a beach view.
From left: Mario Botta's sixth furniture design, the Sesto: Prince chair for ICF, is both regal and ethereal. Lewis Krevolin and Elizabeth Constantine used cut ceramic tiles for a fireplace that doubles as a divider.
From left: Octopus Products's sculpted modular panels, finished in copper, brass, or bronze, were featured at a Canadian design fair. Robert Salleroli gave up a successful interiors business to create art furniture from—of all things—dowels and scraps.
From left: Sliding panels looked like they were carved along lines dictated by the wood. Gart Urban converted a DC-7 into a flying Alcoa showroom featuring chairs that swiveled on carpeted pedestals and an aluminum ceiling with colored glass insets.
Krevolin and Constantine's terra-cotta topiaries could also serve as planters.
Alan Jonathan Lanigan commissioned two Italian sculptors to create a mural of hand-hewn copper at the El Conquistador casino hotel in Las Croabas, Puerto Rico.