In 2008, I had an interview with David Adjaye, in one of his visits to Lisbon. Back then, I remember him presenting an intriguing house, located in Brooklyn. Has he said, this house “captured the same mood” has Dirty House did, in London.
Once you spend some time understanding the design of both houses, you can’t avoid finding similarities between them. Both located in trendy-eastern parts of a city, both designed for a couple of artists, both address the idea of home and working spaces, both have a rigor in terms of its facade construction and composition, and – why not – both are dominated by dark outside appearances.
While with Dirty you can witness how the openings are perfectly filled with fragile tinted reflective glass and are flush with the rough anti-graffiti-dark-painted-brick facade, with Pitch Black you see the same coplanar-millimetric integration between the polypropylene panels that cover the house, the glass and also the adjacent house brick facade.
They share the same architectural DNA. And in an age of schizophrenia that’s what I like about most of David’s work (particularly medium and small scale). That’s what I like about Siza, or Niemeyer or Zumthor. That it doesn’t matter where you experience these buildings, you feel like you know them, like they are familiar to you. That while they “adapt” to a new place, they don’t lose their character and still remain interesting.