Some architects have a dash of gypsy blood and feel impelled to move on, no matter how comfortable their present abode. No sooner have they completed one house, to the great relief of their families, than they are thinking about the next.
Even one as rigorous and consistent as Jerrold E. Lomax feels that urge, and he and his wife, Sandra E. Miles, have just completed their fourth residence. All were bold modernist statements, and the latest is the most radical and pared-down of them all: a loft in a live-work complex that Lomax helped develop in Sand City, a small coastal town just north of Monterey, California. His neighbors are warehouses and an electrical distribution building, and he’s matched their grittiness with poured-concrete and corrugated-metal cladding. I t was quickly dubbed “industrial chic,” and the owners delight in the kinetic sculpture of moving lights on the elevated freeway, even though this blocks the ocean view.
It’s a far cry from the refined pavilions of steel and glass that Lomax designed for Craig Ellwood in the 1950s, a job that brought him back to his native Los Angeles from Houston, where he went to school. And it may seem an odd shift from the elegant house on a leafy view site that the couple built in Carmel Valley, California, when he wound up his practice in L.A. and moved north. Lomax sees his latest venture as are turn to the frugal experiments of his early years, when idealistic young architects were striving to reshape postwar America and make well-designed housing available to all.
In its collective character, the complex recalls Gregory Ain’s terrace housing and, in its unabashed materiality, the livework space that Charles and Ray Eames built for themselves.
The Jerrold Lomax loft displays his signature expression of volume,fine details and sustainable matierials. Walls of glass, front/rear decks, grooved sawcut concrete flooring, radiant heat, chefs kitchen; a modern contemporary work of art.