there is only so much one can say about brilliance as it is most found in places where neurons cannot approach. it has often been said, mostly by me, that admiration is nothing but the recognition in someone or something else of one’s own level of capabilities, buried deep inside, showing the tip of its nose while in the presence of itself in another. and i do hope that i am right for this past weekend, i stood in the shadow of brilliance at adam kalkin‘s bunny lane house. his home, built 2001 on the former pfizer estate is basically an ode to the sound-stages of old, a place in which dreams are allowed to come true. as you can see in the pics i was able to shoot in between dropping the camera on the floor, there is not much here that can be derided. (do yourself a favor and expand the slideshow to full-screen.)
this house is basically a airplane hangar that encompasses an old-fashioned wood home, exactly as it would if this were a sitcom set. the hanger has two gigantic garage doors on each side as well as an inspired and iconic house-shaped window that is prolonged outside the structure onto a deck and, of course, a working fireplace. as you can see, the industrial-grade aluminum sheets offer a starck contrast to nature all around. and i can imagine what that looks and feels like on a balmy spring day. the giant windows on each end allow the sun to pass throughout and convey a sense, together with the open garage doors that the house never ends and is in perfect harmony with its context.
the interiors are as conservative as you might choose in order to antithesize (not sure thats a word) such a massive exterior statement. on one side, the house, so perfect and norman rockwell-ish, the first thing gina and i wanted to do was to decorate its exterior with the over-enthusiastic christmas decorations of suburban blocks. imagine that exterior, inside the hangar, blinking with lights and moving sculptures on the porch. let’s go further and picture an american flag and an old man in overalls and a shotgun telling imaginary kids to get off the grass!! and that’s kind of the thing with this place, bunny lane, the fact that whatever you age, you feel allowed to imagine such scenarios, and hopefully wilder ones. it made me feel as if everyday should have a new installation, a new intent, a new life thereby allowing its residents to also start from scratch and imagine their lives. and across fom the inner house is, well, do you remember the set design from jerry lewis’ 1961 masterpiece, the ladies’ man?
the other side of the house is much like what came to be called the doll house in the movie, a grid of bedrooms, perfectly aligned, practical and lined with glass so as to be able to peep in and out at any time. again, the sense of play goes to 11. all in all, the feel of the place is absolute brilliance and stands as a testament to adam’s vision and perseverance to build what he sees. as we met in his home, he seemed as fun and cool as his house and i cannot wait to go back. for tea. that’s because of the authentic japanese teahouse, right behind the main home, on a lake. as you can see, the structure is perfectly restored, if a bit cold in the winter, and brought piece by piece from japan by the pfizers. as you can see, my kids felt right at home from the moment they entered and, who knows…
this opportunity was generously brought to us by one of my oldest and best friends gary nadeau who met adam on one of shoots for dwell magazine which takes place in part at the house:
thank you gary. thank you adam. and have a fantastical week, you deserve it.
ps. you might have noticed that theaptBROADCAST can now embed all kinds of fun stuff. and yes, we’re going to be overdoing it for a while…