by Frank Lloyd Wright's principles of organic architecture, Brian
Hemingway has sought out his own particular style of language that
reflects his mature point of view. In a year-long sojourn with his
family across Europe and North Africa, and many subsequent visits
to South East Asia, Hemingway clarified the underlying principles
of his private and public life among peoples and places far removed
from British Columbia's shores.
Hemingway maintains a deep and abiding commitment to the craft
and practice of West Coast architecture, landscape forms, cultural
influences and crafted details. His residential homes are a bold
and important phase in his more recent work. Hemingway's architectural
ideas about homes, learned from such notable practitioners as
William Morris, Green and Green, Bernard Maybeck, Frank Lloyd
Wright and Fay Jones, lie behind these works. The spirit of organic
design - unity through complexity- is paramount to his design
decisions: concentration on movement through space evocative of
ceremony and ritual, floor plans that allow for the play of light
and serendipity while minimizing wall separations, connectedness
to the outside world , playing with notions of inside and outside,
and openings interlocked into each wall's structural rhythms.
Each of these design decisions evokes intimations of natural harmony,
intuition and integration.
Hemingway's architectural concern for organic principles may
seem idiosyncratic, even precious. Yet his work represents the
expression of a continuing romantic tradition that extends back
in western civilization at least 200 years. His homes, crafted
for just a few families, may seem undemocratic or even elitist,
but by pursuing what he believes to be a more humane practice
of architecture, Hemingway reminds us all of our relationship
with nature, culture and our inner selves. In turn, this evokes
the eternal questions of our place in time and space. Like Frank
Lloyd Wright, Hemingway believes that a house should endeavor
to be designed as a temple for the soul.