A Mondrian-inspired design created by John Guadagnoli for 224 Lorraine Avenue drew a favorable reaction when it was presented during a March 18 Montclair Historic Preservation Commission meeting.
The applicant, property owner Talib Hamid Al-Bayati, has plans to renovate the second floor of the existing two‐story accessory structure to be used as a new two‐bedroom apartment. New awning and casement windows are proposed at the second floor only. A new wood wrap‐around canopy is proposed to be installed on the southeast corner. The most noticeable change to anyone passing by would be to the building’s exterior, which will painted in a Piet Mondrian‐esque style.
Commission member Caroline Kane Levy called the plan “very, very bold” and thought the Mondrian design would be cheerful facing the parking lot, but was concerned about the section that would be seen from the street,
Commission member Steve Rooney liked the addition of windows to the residential part of the structure and said the design was one way of enlivening the parking lot.
Member David Greenbaum called the cubist design for cubist building creative and liked the ambition and playfulness.
Member John Reimnitz had some words of caution, adding that Mondrian’s work was known for its sharp lines and clean edges.
“Good luck. It’s going to live or die based on how well it’s executed and what surfaces it’s being applied to,” Reimnitz said.