'Woodstock Trees' by Sebastian Mariscal

By Jaime Gillin / Published by Dwell
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We here at Dwell are big fans of Sebastian Mariscal's work; we've featured his projects in the magazine several times over the years (see here and here) and have an amazing house he designed in southern California for a Japanese couple in our upcoming September 2011 issue, which hits newsstands August 2nd. So I was intrigued to receive a notice that he'd made a video, "Woodstock Trees," to illustrate a recent project he was working on, a vacation house in Woodstock, New York.

Even more surprising is how effective this video is at conveying a real sense of space and movement through the house—something you can't really achieve with your more traditional blueprint or architectural rendering. It imparts a sense of what it will feel like to move through the space, from the entryway through to the living room, dining room, and a detached sleeping pavilion. It's atmospheric (complete with chirping birds, new age massage music, moving shadows) and almost cinematic, with slow fades between "scenes" and a steady pan through the wood-paneled living room, where a fire blazes in the concrete fireplace and a table light casts a warm glow on a weathered leather chair.

Here's the video:

I asked Mariscal about his goal in creating the video and he replied: "The video helps us better explain the spatial qualities of the project and more and more is becoming a design and presentation tool."

What do you think: Is this an effective presentation tool? If you'd hired an architect to design your house, would you find a video useful to further the conversation, and get a sense of what the final built structure would look like?

Jaime Gillin


When not writing, editing, or combing design magazines and blogs for inspiration, Jaime Gillin is experimenting with new recipes, traveling as much as possible, and tackling minor home-improvement projects that inevitably turn out to be more complex than anticipated.

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