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"Art Forms Architecture: Grigori Fateyev's poetic approach to space" -Chronogram

By Anny Pyburn Graig

Architect Grigori Fateyev’s designs are inspired by the fundamental mechanics of human experience. “How do we experience a stream of light entering the room?” he says. “What is it, where does it land, what do we feel?" These questions that sound existential have practical applications. A recent house Fateyev designed has a 1,600-square-foot flat roof. "The water is gathered into pools above the windows and forms waterfalls," he says. "Rain can be a nuisance, so we make it beautiful. We plan the living room so it will be shady in summer but in the winter, when the sun’s angle is different, the light streams in.”

In 2010, Fateyev founded Art Forms Architecture, based in Hillsdale, with a focus on developing contextual and contemporary architectural solutions for cultural institutions, museums, artist studios, private art collections, and theaters. He’s worked with Shakespeare & Co, Bard College at Simon's Rock,Turn Park Art Space, Mass Live Arts Theater Festival and Studio One, LLC, and is currently serving as curator at Turn Park, an outdoor gallery of contemporary sculpture in West Stockbridge, and at Architecture for Art, a Hillsdale gallery devoted to interdisciplinary exchange and artistic cross-pollination.

Whether it’s a cultural institution or a residence, Fateyev’s process is much the same. “You look at who the client is and their needs and find a way to summarize that together, for them and for yourself,” he says. “The site, obviously, is physical, but in any place there are historical, economic, and social factors to address—those are more complex in civic and public projects, but over the years the understanding of family, of residence, and the meaning of having a house have evolved.

In Fateyev’s work, the art very much forms the architecture. One of his favorite reactions to the finished product came from an artist five or six decades into his career. "He'd been trying to build a studio for 10 years," Fateyev recalls. "He came in with a list of needs and a sketch. So we built it and a couple of years later, I asked him, 'so how’s the house?' He said, ‘I’ve got everything I wanted, and nothing I expected.’ And that’s what I hope for my buildings, that they continue to surprise and inspire.”

photography by Lisa Vollmer




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