With his midcentury San Diego home, architect John Ike, of celebrated firm Ike Kligerman Barkley, puts a new spin on California’s indoor-outdoor lifestyle.
Aside from a passing interest in House Beautiful when he was 10, there were few indications that John Ike was headed for a career in the design world—he worked as a medical researcher before enrolling in Columbia University’s architecture school in 1977. After seven years as an associate in the office of renowned Robert A.M. Stern, Ike took off, co-founding Ike Kligerman Barkley, an award-winning architecture and design firm with offices in New York and San Francisco, and a recurring spot on Architectural Digest’s prestigious AD100 list.
In The New Shingled House, a richly photo-illustrated book just released by The Monacelli Press ($60), Ike and his partners, Thomas A. Kligerman and Joel Barkley, show they still appreciate the small things: celebrating the versatile spirit of a humble component. “Shingles are tactile,” says Ike. “They can be sanded and precise or rough and textural, and they’re aromatic—they engage the senses unlike any other building material.”
In Ike’s own newly renovated 2,800-square-foot home in San Diego, they’re unexpected, too. Originally built by a Navy lieutenant commander in 1945, the four-bedroom Point Loma property’s exterior is clapboard; Ike reserved the shingles, made from Alaskan yellow cedar, for the walls of the living-dining area. “It’s like a fur-lined raincoat,” he says, “an interesting texture on the inside that creates surprise.”
They also make for a warm backdrop for the Scandinavian and Californian midcentury furniture and textiles that mix with works by San Diego artists and artisans throughout the interior: statements such as a custom bar that replicates a scene from a midcentury Swedish wardrobe by Otto Schultz in pewter nailheads. “I thought it was a surfer dude and chick, and the animals reminded me of the San Diego Zoo,” Ike says. “A friend said, ‘It’s the Creation, idiot!’ Adam and Eve in Eden.”
With Judy Kameon of L.A.’s Elysian Landscapes, Ike, whose primary residence is in New Jersey, planted a paradise all his own: a Ravello, Italy-inspired backyard terraced with olive, avocado and citrus trees. Two decks and a brick terrace promote quintessential California indoor-outdoor living: “This house doesn’t have a pitched roof or shingles on the outside, like the other homes in our new book,” says Ike, “but it represents a unique California midcentury adaptation of that.”
Written by Margot Dougherty.