For Ulises Liceaga, creating a home in a remote location involved combining art and architecture, as well as a number of firsts — and rather a lot of explosives
Completed in 2011, this 7,000 sq-ft weekend getaway in upstate New York is no arthritic farmhouse or a creaking saltbox. It was born, rather, almost as a kit, brought to this rocky, wooded plot in custom-designed, prefabricated parts, bolted together and, once finally assembled, clad in an envelope of softwood panels so that modern and rustic were as one.
"In the beginning, we chose to take the prefabricated approach because ideally it would have been the most efficient, the fastest and least expensive," says Ulises Liceaga, principal of Fractal Construction. "It just so happened that the company we choose to assemble went bankrupt, so we resorted to assembling and constructing the house ourselves.
The prefabricated approach is not one commonly used by Fractal, he adds: “This was our first prefabricated attempt and thus a learning experience. I think it would be interesting to design other prefabricated houses in the future, if opportunities arise.
Liceaga believes a designer should also take on the role of a general contractor in order to assert control over every aspect of the design process: “This allows freedom to execute a clear vision. Every element receives a high level of personal attention from conception to completion. With each member designing an aspect of the project, all the pieces come together to form a cohesive whole, much like the fractal formations that inspire the company’s ideology.