Drawing on examples of their own instantly recognizable Minimalist-inflected designs, often evoking the work of Donald Judd, celebrated architects Messana O’Rorke demonstrate how to create a serene haven for modern living.
Founded in 1996 by Brian Messana and Toby O’Rorke in New York City, Messana O’Rorke is renowned for crafting spaces of sublime restraint and ethereal beauty. Their process utilizes a rigorously limited palette of materials orchestrated in an architectural language of distilled boxes, blocks, and containers that emphasize the qualities of space itself rather than the things that fill it. The apparent simplicity and serenity of Messana O’Rorke’s designs belie the astonishing richness and variety of the experiences they nurture.
The architects’ projects span a wide spectrum of residential and commercial assignments in multiple geographies—city, country, mountain, desert, coastal. Yet even as they adapt their fundamental design vocabulary to address differences in program and context, Messana O’Rorke’s signature remains unmistakable in the ways they carve space and light. Their designs simultaneously foster both contemplation and invigoration, repose and action. There is no straining for theatrical effect, no tortured architectural calisthenics, simply a search for order, clarity, and beauty.
About The Author
New York–based architects Brian Messana and Toby O’Rorke founded Messana O’Rorke in 1996. Mayer Rus is the West Coast editor of Architectural Digest.