This modest home, featured in the New York Times article, “Bespoke for the People,” began with a simple rectangular plan –just like many modern prototypes for prefab, sustainable homes. But here, a few subtle shifts morph the shape into something much more environmentally responsive and site-specific. Without losing the economy of prefab, we can customize the house to its site to better capture added benefits that come free of charge –namely, views, light, shade, and breeze.
This project embraces an economy of means, but argues that within this economy, there is still enormous potential to customize the relationship of a home to its site –one of the prime determinates of sustainable choices for building orientation, thermal heat gain and loss, and passive cooling strategies.
The shape of the house begins to physically shift with the push and pull of the surrounding environment. The simple box folds in two to embrace the open, one-acre site. Walls skew under the rectangular roof to focus on near and distant views. This geometric shift then creates the tapering roof overhangs that strategically protect the private spaces from the harshest rays of the summer sun.
In the end, the design keeps the benefits of a simple plan with streamlined construction, and the economical and sustainable use of materials. With just a few subtle shifts in the plan, we create a home engaged with its surroundings and far more able to take advantage of the best attributes its site has to offer –qualities often lacking in the simple box. Please contact us for more detailed information.
The property also has a small pool house centered around a courtyard protected from view, sun, and afternoon breezes.