Issue 1

Your home, on the water Organic architecture by Robert Harvey Oshatz

There is no better compliment for an architect when his client says “The soul of this house merges with mine, it makes me feel happy”.

Robert Harvey Oshatz is an outstanding architect in organic architecture. He would never make a distinction between exterior and interior: in his thinking they are one and the same. The architect and interior designer both use the same basic elements of design composition, balance, rhythm and harmony – but everyone needs to be working from a shared central idea.

“We do not think of chaos as being beautiful.”

Oshatz uses his clients as the reason for a project, where the architect brings their dreams and fantasies into reality. He prefers to look at each new project as an opportunity to explore a new idea.

The Fennell residence, as a floating house, presented a unique opportunity for design. The curved glue lam beams evoke the ripples and contours of a river. The expansive glass facade embraces the water and frames the sunset, and one accesses the deck via an expansive sliding glass door. A master bedroom sits over a study and looks out over the living dining area and out to the river beyond. The curvilinear forms create spacial differentiation that enhance the experience of time as light plays through the daily and seasonal changes.

Robert Oshatz Architect - Fennell Boat DesignRobert Oshatz Architect - Fennell Boat Design

Although the structure might look complex, it has a sense of simplicity in that all the parts appear to be part of the whole. Oshatz says, every site has its own character, and the challenge is to capture that character and translate its spirit into architecture.

“We do not think of chaos as being beautiful. A project needs to be harmonious. Two different rhythms going at the same time will only lead to chaos, therefore everything is designed to be in harmony.”

(Robert Harvey Oshatz architect. Photographed by Cameron Neilson.)