written by:
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April 26, 2011
Originally published in The Photo Issue
as
A Fresh Angle

Surrounded on all sides by a sweeping Canadian hayfield, the 23.2 House is an angular ode to rural life. Out of “respect for the beams and their history,” Designer Omer Arbel insisted that not a single reclaimed plank—still marked by nailheads and chipped paint—be cut nor altered during ­construction, which gave the home its striking geometric motif. It’s what he refers to as the “alchemy between ­material and process,” which also inspired the textured ­concrete walls and crisply milled walnut furniture. 

Modern living room with a Canadian hayfield view
Surrounded on all sides by a sweeping Canadian hayfield, the 23.2 House is an angular ode to rural life.
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Modern wooden kitchen with long hallway
Omer Arbel, the creative director at industrial design firm Bocci, was given three parameters when he began designing a home for his colleague Randy Bishop: Create a “profound” connection between the internal and external spaces; build only one level; and, most crucially, utilize a wealth of 100-year-old beams salvaged from a series of warehouses owned by Bishop’s ancestors.
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Modern geometric house facade
“The house is a piece of origami made out of triangular shapes, which we then draped over the landscape,” says Arbel.
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Living room kitchen with multiple pendant ceiling lamps view
Arbel’s projects­—both products and architectural commissions—follow a chronological numbering system. The house itself is his 23rd design, while the one-of-a-kind glass pendants that accent nearly every room like a starscape are called “28.”
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Stacked wood shelving unit in office
Bishop is an avid record collector—Rolling Stones albums are a sought-after favorite—and he keeps his vinyl in the shelving unit ”1.1,” a reproduction of Arbel’s first completed work. The kids can often be found playing video games at the desk in the great room.
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Clustered framed family photos hanging on the corridor wall
Framed family photos hang, clustered and skylit, in the corridor.
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Open-plan kitchen with long concrete wall
Impromptu reading time in the open-plan kitchen is encouraged.
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Walnut door in the entry foyer
Walnut doors come together to form a corner in the entry foyer.
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Modern bathroom with floating wooden countertop
White tiles envelop the en suite master bathroom.
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Mudroom for storing shoes
Just off an internal courtyard, a mudroom provides a prime place to keep sneakers. Each family member has their own shelf, backlit by windows that illuminate every pair.
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Modern house façade with expansive accordion doors
Expansive accordion doors join together in a sharp angle when shut, but when they’re open the crook competely disappears—as does the barrier between outside and in.
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Sliding door casting a shadow on the concrete floor
Sliding doors cast shadows across the concrete floor.
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Walnut shutters with holes casting light inside toy room
Operable walnut shutters shed dappled light from windows throughout 23.2.
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14 sconces on wall in the master bedroom
Arbel’s “14” sconces spot the wall to ethereal effect in the master bedroom. “I wanted this place to be habitable. One of my greatest criticisms of modern architecture is that it often forgets to make things cozy.”

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Modern living room with a Canadian hayfield view
Surrounded on all sides by a sweeping Canadian hayfield, the 23.2 House is an angular ode to rural life.
Project 
Bishop Residence

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