“Architecture is the only art form that we, as human beings, actually live inside of. It enables us to have a physical relationship with art and it can significantly alter our mood. The more beautiful the environment, the better we feel.
I believe that great houses possess five key elements, A welcoming sense of shelter and security, the ability to lift the spirit, a liberal dose of surprise, a relationship to the land, and a means to do all of the above with a degree of economy and respect for the environment. The Solatrium house was created as a model of what can be achieved when these five elements are applied.
Steven was raised on the Central Coast of California in the 1960's. His work has been heavily influenced by the architecture of William Wurster, Cliff May, Joseph Esherick and Roland Terry, and the work of designers Frances Elkins, Michael Taylor, and landscape architect Thomas Church. Steven's designs feature the use of indigenous materials, a meticulous sense of scale and proportion, and an emphasis on the horizontal contours of the land.
Before turning his attention to house design, Steven spent fifteen years designing and selling custom furnishings to many of the top designers and architects in San Francisco and Los Angeles. For the last ten years he has focused primarily on interior design, essentially designing houses from the inside out. The Solatrium house represents a departure and a vision for the total environment.
Inspiration for the Solatrium house came after years of designing and refining a scheme for the perfect small house. Steven's innate fondness for the ranch house form and the discovery of the book Landscapes for Small Spaces: Japanese Courtyard Gardens played a major role in the concept development. Katsuhiko Mizuno's book documents 16th century townhouses in Kyoto that incorporated small interior tsuboniwa (tsubo (3.3 meters)-niwa (garden) to bring light, air and nature into the house.