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Hearth & Home February 2017

Photo: ©2017 The Warner Group Architects. Photography: Jim Bartsch.

Parting Shot: Through the Water

Simon Raab is a man of many talents. Art is one of them. The fireplace surround shown above is in a new medium he calls Parleau, which is French (Par l’eau) for “through the water.” The term suggests the quality of light passing through liquid.

“Parleau is a combination of painting and sculpture,” says Thiep Cung, an architect on the project. Multiple layers of colored polymers are applied to stainless steel and aluminum, and then “crushed” or sculpted to give the appearance of an image just under the surface of the water.

“It is stunning and dramatic in person, and mimics the reflection of the Pacific Ocean in the foreground,” says Cung.

Raab comes from a family involved in creative enterprises, such as painting, sculpture and fashion design, a background that undoubtedly has served him well. Born in Toulouse, France, he now makes his home in Santa Barbara, California. Raab is a scientist, an entrepreneur and an artist. As the co-founder of Faro Technologies, he holds more than 100 patents in fields of 3D coordinate measuring systems, bio-materials, medical diagnostics and computerized surgical assistance.

Hope Ranch, Santa Barbara, California. For information contact: The Warner Group Architects, 1250 Coast Village Road, Suite J, Santa Barbara, California 93108. Phone: (805) 969-5074 or visit

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