He came, he talked, he conquered. The buzz about our latest visitor was loud. It seemed everyone was as excited as us to hear what Bobby McAlpine had to say. And he had a lot to say. We talked for over an hour and 1/2, but of course, Linda had to edit it down somewhat.
He's a true Southern Gentleman - soft spoken and polite with a slow drawl AND a little bit of a potty mouth!!! His IQ must be in the stratosphere. He is VERY cerebral. And he is very nice.
He talked about his new book - THE HOME WITHIN US. He talked about this house he lived in for years - the one on the cover of the book and above.
We talked about how well written his book is - it's not just a bunch of pretty pictures, though there are tons of those too.
He talked about how he completely redid this house several times. He talked about who lives in it now. He talked about what he prefers to do - architecture or interior designing, because he excels at both descriptions.
He talked about the beauty of using the finest materials - like steel windows. McAlpine made everyone in America want steel windows (until we found out how much they cost!)
He talked about this major project - adding a dining hall onto a large house. Here is a picture of his solution to that dilemma. He talked a lot about this house and its owners and the chapel he built for them.
and the chapel on the same estate
We want to extend a huge thank you to Bobby for joining us on The Skirted Roundtable. It was a thrill, it was humbling, it was a dream. It's not every day you get to talk to one of the best architects America has.
And - another huge thank you to Bobby for offering his book THE HOME WITHIN US for a giveway. Be sure to enter by leaving us a comment with your name and email address.
To order this wonderfuly well written book with its gorgeous photographs - go HERE.
And as always, we appreciate your continued support.
Teresa (Splendid Sass)
Working fast at the first client meeting rings true from a what a classmate of Mr.McAlpine told me about doing renderings. Paraphrasing: "Whatever project we did, Bobby could whip out something at the last minute that was way better than everybody else's no matter how much work we put into it.
My favorite quotes:
24:00 (when design looses it way)
"Everything that becomes mature and becomes heritable is subtle ... it takes a real strong and smart appetite to try to develop what's going to last."
25:54 (what is "American" style)
"American is a dream sewn up in cotton, it's not silk or wool or stone or anything else. It's sewn in a common material that is provincial and it's lovely because it's so pure of heart. Maybe a little lacking of resource, maybe a little lacking of background, or credential, or bloodline or whatever. But there is something lovely about it ... it's loveliest architecture shows up through the naivety of it's natives."
33:35 (speaking about expensive steel windows)
"It's ironic ... humble is always the most expensive thing you can do."
40:50 (Choose great space or great decor/furnishings?)
"As an architect I would chose the space first ... really really right ... gorgeous ... poetry ... something heart-full (heartfelt?) to it ..."
"If I can't(get the right space) ... I would certainly decorate the #@!!% out of something that wasn't right..."
42:54 (do you have a favorite room?)
"No ... I love sequence; I love for things to unfold..."
43:00 (what is really, deeply important to me)
"The minute you crack open the container (meaning the house) I want you to be destroyed ... disheveled by the level of intimacy, what's being offered you has got to bring you to your knees. It's not to impress you; it is to tell you how badly wanted you are and how long we've been waiting for you."
47:40 (after visiting the Lutyens house on which he modeled a home, the one of the book cover)
"Lutyens ... mine is so much better."
I loved the richness of his language and the way he uses the language in original ways (like a author of literature would), ex. being "destroyed" by design.
I really like how Bobby wanted to be pushed in the conversation. So refreshing!
Joni, great interview questions!
Thanks for setting Bobby a place at your table. I know he had a blast and we appreciate the audience.
"There's a kinship between antiquity and modernity. They're both strong and silent." -Bobby McAlpine
How interesting to consider that the 'Villa' within John Saladino is an inspiration to 'The Home Within' Bobby McAlpine!
I'd love to win the giveaway for a copy of McAlpine's book!
Would LOVE to win the book!
an inspiration to all design professionals!
Best wishes from Ane, Norway.
I wanna hear the other half hour!
My daughter is an aspiring architect and interior designer and would be very interested in his book. I'm definitely going to get it for her.
To me Bobby is really inspired by European architecture : tatched roofs,steel windows. He is unbelievable talented and besides he is a very warm person. I loved hearing his voice!
Love the book.
Thanks for sharing!! :)
Michelle Jamieson Interiors