Built speculatively by Skylab Architecture in association with local developers – a method of showcasing a fledgling practice’s work without the need for a sympathetic Client (which was possible in the boom times of the early 2000’s) – the Hoke Family purchased the house not long after completion and were approached by the film production team after the house featured in an architectural publication. The decision to proceed is possibly something they have come to regret considering the fanatical nature of Twilight fans.
Whether you are a fan of the series or have reservations about telling teenagers that love is like the feeling of wanting to devour someone (surely teenage girls have enough unhealthy food associations?) this building is a standout.
The house is bright and spacious with large panel windows opening to the trees, much like the house described in the original book. A perfect choice for the modern vampire coven wanting a change from the traditional foreboding castle. However the book actually casts the house as a predominantly white, turn of the (last) century mansion with a converted rear façade of glass looking out onto the forest. In fact, the Hoke House uses a mix of timber cladding, glass and cast concrete - a much warmer palette better suited for film yet retaining the concept of a unconventional contemporary space for this group of ‘vegetarian’ vampires. We are meant to like the family and approve of the choices they have made (they fill their lives with music, art & good design rather than succumb to their less sophisticated desires) and the use of natural materials throughout the house emphasizes the Cullen’s connection with nature and gives them another layer of humanity, something the described pure white interior scheme would have struggled to do.
Digital enhancement aged the newly planted landscape design in order to fit the required lush forest location as well as deleting any indication of neighboring buildings to create more isolation. The characteristic cast insitu columns supporting the house are not visible in the film however they are an important compositional element of the design. Not only striking at ground level but they also allow the rooms above to cantilever into the adjacent tree canopy giving the effect of intimacy with the forest and providing privacy for the occupants.