Cambio    

Cambio, as the name suggests, is about change, about finding the exhilaration and grace in letting go, and being pulled into motion. It's Spanish and meant as an imperative verb, not a noun - a command I'd heard over and over again while studying Flamenco dance.

The sense that anything could happen, that the future was just around the corner pulling one towards it, that no effort was required to get there, only the release of resistance. This was what I was after in the design. It began as a physical gesture in response to the land, colored by my internal state at the time.

Imagine holding a deck of cards in your hand, arm crossed over the front of your body - you unwind from there, fanning the cards out into space much as you would throw a Frisbee, rising up onto one foot and allowing your throwing arm to swing freely over head at the end of the toss.

Shortly after the gesture came to me, I took in a show at Yoshi's, Oakland's world- class jazz venue, featuring a New York avant-guard ensemble called Topaz led by Eric Friedlander - wild, free, beautiful stuff that blew me away. I adopted it as the music for Cambio and played it continuously as I worked on the plans.

Cambio encourages one to let go into what's calling. The gentle tug of gravity while dropping down through the house, the pull of its sweeping curves, the outward disposition of its tipped walls all work to create the physical sensations of movement, acceleration, expansion and projection. The registry of windows on all three floors reminds one that life cannot be encompassed by a single perspective. The spiral descent to the boulder below brings one to the still center at the heart of motion. The grand scale of the spaces and their natural palate offer a reflection of the surrounding nature and suggest that inside and outside are not opposites but part of a continuum of experience.

In order to create Cambio, I had to let go of trying to figure out what everybody else wanted and instead allow myself to express what was within me. Rather than think my way through the design process from outside of it, I felt my way forward within it. The result was a house that creates a powerful subjective experience of space for all who enter. It was visited by close to ten thousand people and published four times in the year of its completion.
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