Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Skirted Roundtable with Architect Bobby McAlpine

This week at The Skirted Roundtable Megan, Joni and I chatted up Bobby McAlpine - architect, designer, teacher and philosopher.

Bobby has just released a book that highlights twenty five of his five hundred or so projects to date.

This is my favorite project in the book, although it's not actually a house, it's a chapel build on the Blount estate in Alabama, commissioned by Mr. Blount for his wife. They are both now buried here. So romantic!
Another amazing project (also on this same estate) include this dining room for 100 addition that Bobby was asked to design. The original house is a lovely Georgian style structure and he was afraid he'd be known as the guy who ruined the beautiful original building by adding such a huge addition. His solution? A glass and brick structure reminiscent of ancient English churches and other structures where the ends still stand, but the middle section has fallen in.

I will admit to something - I wasn't familiar with Bobby McAlpine until Joni (a huge fan of his work) suggested we have him on and was gushing over his new book. And, even harder to admit, but once I received the book, I was not bowled over. The work didn't "speak" to me in the way it clearly does to Joni and to legions of others.  There are some gorgeous rooms no question. But the exteriors weren't calling me in. Maybe I'm too much a rustic (crusty?) Yankee type.

However, after speaking with Bobby about his design philosophy, the exteriors and interiors of his work made a lot more sense to me.  He designs from the heart - from his own, certainly, but also from the heart of the home. He designs the inside for how a family will live and then wraps it in the exterior. I asked him if he had a favorite room in the home and he said no, he likes sequence and transitions. He wants a home to open up and reveal itself, and he wants guests to feel that they are not only welcomed, but wanted.

So, join us here and leave a comment, as we're giving away a copy of his book!

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