College of Environmental Design alumnus Michael Perlmutter (B.Arch ‘77, M.Arch ‘88) recently collaborated on a book titled The Smith House II (ORO Editions, 2018) in which he worked as the book’s photographer. The book, authored by Michael Prokopow, details the architecture of a home built in Vancouver by Arthur Erickson.
The Smith House II was built for Vancouver-based artists Gordon Smith and Marion Smith in 1966. The Smith House II was the second home the clients commissioned Erickson to design and the only Erickson clients to commissioned him to design two homes.
The first Smith home was built in 1955 and was designed in a post-World War II modernism style. The second home, aptly named Smith House II, is situated in among the forest of coastal Vancouver. Smith House II was a reworking of the syslistic and spatial culture of the first house.
Also situated in a forest, but with the added benefit of ocean and island vistas, the home was “simultaneously a deft reworking of the stylistic and spatial culture of the first house and a remarkable, path-breaking study in cultural transposition, interpretation and adaptation. Emphasizing its disavowal of conventional demarcations of space, it translated the material and aesthetic sensibilities of 17th-century Japanese domestic architecture to the circumstances of mid-20th century North America and the Pacific Northwest coast.”
Originally from California, Perlmutter worked as an architecture in Stockholm and San Francisco for twelve years before shifting gears and refocusing his career as a photographer of architecture, interiors, and art. His photography practice, named Michael Perlmutter Architectural Photography, is particularly focused on Nordic countries.
Perlmutter provided all the photographs for the book Den Svenska Kakelugnen (Swedish Tiled Stoves from the Eighteenth Century), which in 2007 was nominated for the prestigious August Prize, Sweden’s equivalent of the National Book Award. In addition to his practice, Perlmutter exhibits his work and teaches internationally.
View Perlmutter’s body of work here.