Talk of the Town - Personal Profession May 12 2005

Designer displays his occupational talents at home

Architect and designer Jess Jimenez lives in a pleasant, two-story brick house that outwardly resembles all the others in his quiet Tucker subdivision. Inside, however, his house showcases the designing skills he's brought from his job to his home, spotlighting his penchant for black, white and a contemporary style.

Jimenez's dining room features unique, handmade elements that display both his creativity and personal style. Across the hall, his "listening room" is an homage of sorts to the Bauhaus and international style artistic movements of the 1920s, with a Charles Eames chair that he rescued from an untimely Dumpster death and a pair of Marcel Breuer's Wassily chairs forming the focal point of the room.

Creative Loafing: What are you doing these days?

Jimenez: I have a rendering and design business doing a lot of home renovation, addition, and design at Country Club of the South. I'm also teaching sketch and rendering at Georgia State University and American Intercontinental University.

Do you teach computer-generated or hand-done renderings?

Hand-done renderings. I've always felt that a designer, an architect, should know how to sketch - in other words, interpret your concept of the design and then sketch it so other people can understand it. There's something missing in the computer-generated renderings. It's too photographic, plastic and literal.

Speaking of hand-done renderings, are these your own drawings hanging on the walls?

Yes. These were hand-done with old-school Rapidograph technical pens.

Where was this one of the Atlanta skyline taken from?

This was from one of the MARTA stations near Georgia State. A sign said, "High Voltage - Do Not Enter!" But that was the shot I had to get, so I stood on the ledge, took a photograph and did that sketch from the photo.

You've got a unique dining room table. Could you tell me about it?

I do a lot of entertaining and I needed a bigger table, so I made this out of two doors and painted it to make it look like marble. The cylindrical pedestal underneath the table and those in the corners of the room are actually shoe display drums I got from a store that was closing. The two in the corners and the one underneath I marbleized, but those under the little table I painted black for contrast.

What is your favorite architectural style?

The international style. It came from a group of architects in the 1920s. It was what I would consider contemporary design. In my design, I tend to go contemporary, with glass, chrome, black and white, simplicity.

Who is your favorite architect?

Le Corbusier would be one. Frank Lloyd Wright, John Portman [Peachtree Center], Louis Kahn, and Richard Meier [High Museum of Art]. All the masters from the international style and Bauhaus, like Eames and Mies van der Rohe. When these architects designed, they designed everything. These were true designers. It was Le Corbusier who once said, "A house is a machine for living."