Tuesday, November 4, 2008 | |

Salmela SaunaIt's Monday again and I'm at work suffering through an interminable morning meeting. Profits and losses are read off mechanically from a spread sheet and met with bobble-head nodding faces. Across the conference table, Eric is doodling geometric patterns on his weekly calendar print-off. He starts with a triangle and spreads outward symmetrically, adding lines and circles and shapes to create a tapestry that fills the entire page. He does this every week. My mind begins to wander and I'm thinking about David Salmela's Duluth Sauna.

He has an amazing way with shapes. Each line breaks at just the right point to create a cleanliness of geometry that is rivaled by few other designers, especially in the US. The economy of architectural language is astounding. A rectangle, a triangle, and a cylinder; arranged with such care and control that I can't help but feel this is what design is meant to be. It is simplicity. A house to take a sauna, then move to the deck to relax in the landscape. Blending with nature. Blurring the line.
Salmela SaunaI take this image and try to keep it at the forefront of my mind as I pushpullpinch walls and roofs of the building I'm designing now. Chipping away at the 8 million dollar block of stone in front of me. I tell myself, keep it simple. I tell myself, use golden geometries. I tell myself to remember the elegance of that program; a man takes a sauna in the landscape. It doesn't have to be more complicated then that. A lesson learned at 200 square feet is just as relevant at 35,000.

Keep is simple, keep it elegant, make it sing.


paul said...

ohh.... this is in Duluth!!