THE CONNECTIVE HOUSE: This new single-family residence infills an underutilized lot. The design intentionally avoids mimicking neighboring architecture, identifying instead with the founding spirit of place. The home’s form is an outgrowth of the neighborhood’s cultural roots: respect for nature, modern living and individual expression. The home integrates four levels of modern, indoor-outdoor living and honors its owners’ aspirations for a progressive and sustainable home.
PROGRAM SYNOPSIS: The owners are a young family of four wanting a bright, comfortable, connected and breathable, private environment. They wanted common spaces to be central, flexible, connected with the outdoors and secondary functions to be contained and peripheral; adding that the home must exhibit long term thinking in regards to sustainability, maintenance and self-sufficiency.
DESIGN CONCEPTS: The property is organized by a pair of ubiquitously present, thin and powerful board-formed concrete walls that stretch from the public sidewalk to the private service alley. They emerge vertically from the home’s basement through two floors and three stories to support an inverted roof. The linear space between the walls is a multi-level circulation gallery hall that flows through the home and site.
Four zinc clad ‘boxes,’ placed at the corners of the plan, capture the home’s quiet, private and service functions. Space created between the boxes accommodates family time, social functions and draws in the outdoors.
In plan, the boxes attach to the concrete walls, shifting to preserve three mature trees native to the site. Likewise, openings cut into the walls layer over one another as the walls weave from outside to inside and back again. Large sliding glass panels, when open allow the indoors and outdoors to be integrated in the main living area.
INTERIOR DESIGN: The interior design approach was thought of in terms of the expected long life span of the home. There are ‘hard’ components that are likely to never change, such as the board-formed concrete walls, wood floors and windows. And in contrast, there are ‘soft’ components, such as furniture, art, light fixtures and rugs that may change many times over the expected lifespan of the home.
The ‘hard’ components are intentionally neutral and classic – the board-formed concrete is grey, aluminum window frames are black, plumbing fixtures are white and chrome, and most cabinetry is white. The board-formed walls participate in almost every room of the house; providing organic, rough-hewed texture and rhythm to the home. The concrete walls and classic neutral colors of the ‘hard’ components build a stage for the ‘soft’ components to be interesting, colorful, dramatic and to speak to the fashion of the day. Every room having the consistency of the board-formed walls gives even more license to the ‘soft’ components to take over each room in a unique way. The living room’s teal blue sofa and orange kitchen components are balanced by the naturalness of the wood floor and concrete wall. Similarly, the permanent components of the Office are neutral, creating a nice set for the colorful chairs and art. The diagonally oriented green carpet tile rug and stunning chandelier are set against a backdrop of neutrality in the Children’s Study where the desks are mounted to the wall and can be raised in height as the children grow older. The Children’s Bedrooms are designed for a lifetime as well – with sleeping on the lower level for young children and then desks and project areas can take over and sleeping move to the loft as the children grow older and scholastic endeavors rise in importance.
If you missed participating in IAA 2018, don’t worry! Registrations for INTERNATIONAL ARCHITECTURE AWARDS 2019 are Open.Participate in IAA 2019