John Icke is a famous American architect. John Ike: 9 Houses, 9 Stories, published by Vendome Press, is an in-depth exploration of the inextricable connection between an architect and those who realize his vision. Using his projects as examples, he shows how compromise is achieved, which leads to the creation of residences with individual character and layout. The book is complemented by text from architecture and design critic Mitchell Owens. British photographer Richard Powers created photographs for her.
John Icke is one of the founders of Ike Kligerman Barkley and a current partner at Ike Baker Velten. His firm has offices in New York and San Francisco, where he develops concepts that combine an understanding of nature with a deft ability to reimagine local aesthetics and style. He loves homes and interiors that are equal parts intelligent and visually appealing.
For his book, co-written with Mitchell Owens and illustrated by renowned British photographer Richard Powers, Ike selected nine projects. A signature shingled home in the New York City suburbs, a renovated mid-century modern home in San Diego, a glass-and-brick home near Seattle, a beach house on the Atlantic coast, and a reimagined historic building in Brooklyn, Maine. The houses featured in this book all vary in style, location, and materials, but share a common theme. For John Icke, each of them is an illustration of the many ways of creating architecture. His involvement in projects ranges from mentor to chief architect to designer, but they all show the importance of collaborative efforts.
Icke focuses each chapter on a person who was particularly instrumental in making the project happen, be it an interior designer, landscape architect, contractor, craftsman, or client. “I love working in partnership, and I thought it would be interesting to tell the story of how these projects come together from the perspective of my role—whether as a landscape architect, a partner in my firm, or an owner,” he says.
The architect shows knowledge of history and admires beauty and detail – both structural and decorative. For example, he talks about a beachfront villa in Deal, New Jersey: “The design is reminiscent of the architecture of Catania in Sicily, where after a major volcanic eruption in the 18th century, they rebuilt everything using a lot of black lava and plaster.” Ike was assisted in this project by his colleague at the company, Casey Park. The Italian influence is evident in the stately scale, arched windows framed in blackened steel, and the dark façade. Interior designer Mia Jung, who worked on the house with Ike, adds: “John’s designs always have a storyline, a narrative. I always tell clients that if they can give him freedom, trust him, and let him go in that direction, the project will be amazing.”