Mario Romano is a custom home builder based in Santa Monica, California. Unlike many home builders, Romano and his associates literally work “outside the box” and avoid the square structures that typify much residential architecture. Romano practices what he alternately refers to as “disruptive architecture,” or “art-chitecture.” This unusual, powerful approach is in large part made possible by equally powerful Laguna Tools machines, most prominently a SmartShop® II CNC unit.
“You can apply a lot of terms to what we do,” says Romano. “Post-modern and contemporary are a good place to start. But they don’t tell our complete story. Instead of the clean, straight lines and squares found in a lot of homes, much of our work is inspired by nature and takes the shapes of waves, patterns found in the coats of animals and other non-traditional sources.”
Taking these shapes from conception to reality is where the SmartShop® II enters the picture. Not unlike Romano’s designs, the SmartShop® II blends technology, mathematics and a perhaps unexpected amount of art to create never-before-seen shapes and new uses for familiar materials. “One such material is DuPont™ Corian®,” continues Romano. “Although most people associate it with kitchen counters and similar applications, it’s become an important component in our designs for walls, ceilings, floors, and even the outside of houses.”
“Our SmartShop® II gives us the ability to produce virtually anything we design, or, in some cases, dream for its use.”
What’s next for Romano and Laguna Tools? “We’re talking about adding either a laser cutting machine, or a larger bed CNC machine,” concludes Romano. “What they will lead to is, of course, unanswered. But when it is, the results are sure to be seen as art-chitecture.”
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