Novedge: Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do. Dan Brunn: My name is Dan Brunn, AIA, Principal of Dan Brunn Architecture. I was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, and as a young child I was surrounded by Bauhaus-style Architecture. I not only experienced these Modernist structures from afar, but also grew up in them. The Modernist principle of “less is more” has resonated in me. I’ve adapted this concept in my Design but with a contemporary twist. I also compose music and perform in my band, DLD. Music helps me understand rhythmic movement. I often incorporate golden ratios in my designs to choreograph a seamless flow from room to room.
Novedge: What is a recent project that you worked on?
Dan Brunn: I recently renovated my own home. The house was transformed from a typical 1950s Los Angeles bungalow into a minimalist retreat. The remodeling process delicately balanced a nostalgic façade while transforming the interior spaces to accommodate present-day domestic activities with a clean, open-air feeling. I removed all the walls to open the floor plan within living areas and create a large-scale central space. Modern furnishings with clean lines and neutral colors complement the open room. Throughout the home, my design aesthetic is evident in the utilization of provocative spatial choreography and harmonious connections between light and volume. The sheer openness and expansion of the main entertaining space, in conjunction with views to the backyard and filtering skylight system, make the house a true California classic. Novedge: How would you describe your style?
Dan Brunn: My design focuses on minimalism and the notion of “the beauty of simplicity.” I believe in timeless design that honors materials, hides mechanics and structure, and explores light and volume. A good modern home is about the human experience.
Novedge: You have gorgeous renderings on your website, what software do you use both for your projects and your visualizations?
Dan Brunn: We use a package of products, namely ArchiCAD for production and design, with its sister product, Cinema4D. We found that the streamlined nature of the package not only speeds up our productivity, but also wows our audience. The true cinema quality of the rendering engine is second to none. ArchiCAD allows amazing efficiencies, which means less management at the office and a slimmer workforce.
Novedge: Do you have favorite materials you like to work with?
Dan Brunn: Steel is the backbone of our designs but I am looking at exotic materials now, such as carbon fiber. I think this is where the profession is heading, and we’d really like to keep up and be on the forefront. With carbon fiber, we are able to make buildings appear lighter, thinner, and more svelte. I love designs that appear to float and play upon our understanding of gravity and physics.
Novedge: Which of your past projects was particularly challenging but at the end very rewarding?
Dan Brunn: With very little residential experience, the Kamienowiczs, owners of Samy’s Camera, took a chance and hired me to build their beach house in Venice, CA—an $8-million dollar project. I was given complete freedom with design and creativity, although the owners requested five elements: an elevator, laundry shoot, view of the ocean from their bedroom shower, third floor to themselves, and no brown paint. I designed the home with a minimal, open feeling, choreographing every space. I named it Flip Flop for its sense of duality. The top-floor pivoting walls rotate, allowing the owners to display or conceal artwork and embrace the sweeping vistas of Venice Beach. Designing Flip Flop was a game changer that opened new industry doors for me. The project was published in more than 35 outlets. Since I first met the Kamienowiczs, they’ve become great clients and friends. I’m working on designing another house for them not too far from Flip Flop. Novedge: What is good Architecture?
Dan Brunn: I believe an Architect’s role is to craft spaces that respect the site, provoke sensuous interaction, and heighten the user’s connection with the place. Good Architecture is authentic and endures the test of time. It has to be honest in materials, space, and usability.
Novedge: You have the opportunity to design an airport or a stadium, not both. What would you chose and why?
Dan Brunn: I would go with an airport. I love the idea of people from all over the world walking and mingling in a space, with the sole purpose to connect. I look back at Eero Saarinen’s TWA Flight Center as the perfect example. I would love the opportunity to create a profound place for this day and age. There are many obstacles now that didn’t exist in the ’60s, namely airport security and how it relates to open space. Airports used to be celebratory sites and places of wonder. I’d like to re-visit this bygone era. I am also drawn to the idea that people meander through an airport to find their own spot and identity, whereas in a stadium, they simply walk to their seat, watch an event, and leave. At an airport, you could really spend time pondering. I think that the space could have a profound and positive effect on people.
Novedge: You would like to be know as......?
Dan Brunn: I would like to be known as an Architect and Designer that cares about the people and environment he serves. There is a lot of responsibility in Design. At the essence of all the projects and products I work with is my strong sensibility about the end user and the environs as a whole. I hope that this will be remembered and will live on through my legacy.
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