….returning to Olaf’s room.
“Then what?" - Chris
“Jürgen re-married a gold digging scandal half his age. The Saltbox was too simple and too small. She wanted a big space to entertain guests. She wanted her own room, and by this time Jürgen was already half sick of her jabbering, so I proposed an isolated study for him. I designed another Saltbox on the opposite side of a large barn like structure. This barn had plenty of skylights and would eventually be used for big parties. The budget according to Jürgen was a few hundred thousand, but when the gold digging scandal was finished we were in the millions. She was an attractive lady, but a real pain, especially in conversation, she never stopped jabbering about complete irrelevancies.” – Olaf
“Isn’t that the perfect client? Spends more money than they should and for a few hundred an hour you have to listen to them. So we are on House Variant II, what happened to that version?” – Chris
“Stop interrupting me… I lowered the barn into the ground to allow for two staircase entrances from the opposing Saltboxes into the party barn. Ach, the parties were terrific!. Jürgen and I would sneak up to the study and smoke cigars to avoid the gold digging scandal. Her irrelevancies were even more painful when she was liquored up. She would ramble on about the lack of sexual fulfillment her older millionaire husband couldn’t provide.” – Olaf
“Let me guess, she died too, accidentally of course?” – Chris
“Ach, no! Jürgen shot her lover one night for trespassing and then shot her in self-defense. The crazy woman kept a small pistol under her pillow, would you believe that? The lovers did not die immediately. They ended up in the same hospital room in comas. Jürgen was unscathed. Jürgen informed the police the lover was an intruder and could prove this because the lover’s car was parked behind a bush at the entrance of the driveway a few hundred yards away and he had no idea who this man was although he had seen him at their parties. The two lovers never awoke and died at the same time in the hospital. Jürgen sued the hospital for faulty life support equipment and went into venture capitalism immediately thereafter to help finance an up and coming company that could produce reliable life support equipment. This is where he made his billions.” – Olaf
“So this is how our 1% operates, a bunch of sociopaths.” – Chris
“Chris you are a foolish, this is how great men of conviction create a better world. Each tragedy is an opportunity to enhance the world around them and if opportunity arises take it, tragedy or not!” – Olaf
This time I stepped out, got in my car, went to a liquor store, bought a bottle of rum, downed a quarter of a fifth in the parking lot and returned to Olaf. Don’t look at me like that, this is how the middle class operates, a bunch of addicts. Addicted to work and shopping, production and consumption, which may be the same thing...
….returning to Olaf’s room.
“You smell like alcohol, I could have you removed from this facility forever!” – Olaf
“But you won’t! So how did we ever arrive at House Variant III? Anymore dead wives and miracles of commerce?” – Chris
“At his gold digging scandals funeral Jürgen was introduced to her cousin. This woman was a social worker with a doctorate in philosophy, she did her thesis on Italian Fascism and Futurism, quite the interesting lady. She had four children from a previous marriage, all about useless to be quite honest. Her oldest son of 30 years was still a dependent, can you believe that? In the old country we were shoveling coal at age 13 to buy one scoop of Ice Cream after church on Sundays?” – Olaf
“Come on you made that last part up, back to architecture please.” - Chris
“You are so serious.”– Olaf
“You are not funny. How many people died in this making of this architecture with a capital A?” – Chris
“No one was murdered, only one suicide. The 30 year old useless son climbed over the new railings we had installed on the Saltbox decks and jumped head first to his death. He blamed his mother for separation anxiety.” – Olaf
“They lived together, how does that work?…oh wait…your design! House Variant III’s big design move, wonderful!” – Chris
“Whatever you think, clearly you’ve received moral guidance from Jürgen.” – Chris
“Schnauzze! The clients did not need the entertainment barn, a place for pompous jerks like yourself to drink wine and mingle. We removed the first floor of the barn and made it a beautiful deck with the bedrooms above bridging the two Saltboxes. The adults had their public living spaces in one Saltbox on the ground floor and the kids on the other. I designed large windows so that they could see the children but not hear them.” – Olaf
“That’s it, that’s the story behind your best project ever? It’s beyond me why the architecture magazine editors weren’t interested in a house that killed four people. So what theory did you offer the magazines and academia?” – Chris
to be continued...
House Variant III essentially is Alfredo De Vido's Sheehy House
House Variant II is an unlisted project by Alfredo De Vido.
"Futurism" by Caroline Tisdall and Angelo Bozzolla, 1977, 2003 reprint, Chapter 11
The following blogs are Interviews performed in the years of 13/14 with a man full of random thoughts and legendary type of architectural experiences. Olaf is his real first name. I knew his son Tom from my studies at University of Kansas and randomly ran into Tom in 2012 in NYC. We reminisced about all the great stories Tom had told me about his immigrant architect father. Given my boredom with the profession I requested an interview with this now insane man. Archifiction.