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Architecture Monday

March 27, 2017

This is a fun one.  An H in plan, the design spark of this house is a simple set of cartoon-like house shapes extruded so that they intersect with each other.  Voila!  A house that’s essentially six “kid’s drawing of house”.

There are three things that really allow this simplicity to sing (and keep this project from being kitschy or just odd).  The first is that all the elements are well proportioned.  The second is the slick and smooth metal panels that cover the house, letting the caricaturish forms really read like the simple mental image of a house (almost like a Monopoly house).  Lastly, and quite importantly, is the rich and contrasting woodwork that infills the gabled ends.  The geometric complexity and three dimensionality of the Mondrian-like screen pattern brings both visual depth and interest, and through that contrast it also reinforces the rest of the house’s overall plastic nature.

The carport is where these two cheerfully collide.  Here the rigorously uniform wood frame marches forth to create that cartoon house shape.  And as we try to get a handle on that, the glass roof throws us off kilter and has us do a second or third look.

When you’re working with something this simple, precision, care, and craft in all the elements is required to really make it stick.  Anything out of place becomes readily noticeable, and both corners and where materials meet must be crisp.  All done well here.

Unfortunately there aren’t too many shots of the interior, so I don’t know how well the conceptual playfulness carried inside, and if the resulting spaces are as nice.  I do hope so – architecture is, ultimately, about the quality of space within, and to find these moves not reflected inside would be unfortunate.

Nice project.  House XL by SoNo Architeki.

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