Preston House: a home inspired by the famous Hokusai wave

An architectural work is always something of a tailor-made level: it is generally measured according to client’s demands, structured to support the budget envisaged and embellished by the architect’s expertise through the choice of certain materials and specific solutions. When all this brings a good dose of freedom and creativity, a remarkable building comes out of the Preston House, California, designed by architect Mario Romano.

The house is a refined project that draws inspiration from an ancient Japanese artwork and is well integrated with the place where it was built. California, rich in light and colors, becomes the most suitable place to host this architectural project and makes it part of the project itself in a shade of shapes and shades that contribute to making this home a true hybrid of art and architecture.

The inspiration for the design of this home was born from an ancient and famous woodcut of the Japanese painter Hokusai (1760-1849) entitled “The Great Wave of Kanagawa” (Kanagawa oki nami ura).

It is the first and most famous print among those that make up the series titled “Thirty-Four Views of Mount Fuji” (Fugaku sanjūrokkei) and depicts a stormy wave that threatens some boats in the sea off a zone corresponding to today’s Kanagawa Prefecture . In the background of the print you can see the Mount Fuji and in the composition of the woodcut, the instant is captured when the wave forms a nearly perfect spiral whose center passes through that of the image, giving the chance to see the sacred mountain of Japan .

Sea is naturally the predominant element of the work and extends throughout the scene. At the same time, the shape of Mount Fuji is reflected within the various waves and the repetition of the shapes is even more evident in the surface of the water, which has a dense texture of small curls (equal to the ripple of the major main wave ).
Another feature that blurs right away is the choice to use only white and blue colors for either the big wave or the sacred mountain. You can re-read this in Preston House, choosing to create a roof that reflects the sky with its (white) brightness and its blue gradations, splitting it through metal waves just as it happens in the print modularity. Of course, the interior is designed to reflect the poetry and symbology of the house, giving shape to a building with a strong artistic character.

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