The home, a half-sunk diamond, is experienced very differently from each of its sides. Using BIM software, the firm designed modular prefabricated wooden panels that make up each of the home’s facades. Western red cedar was chosen for the panels, while tropical Bilinga was selected for the edge beam.
A screened-in porch was a must-have for the residents (they love to sit outside but hate mosquitoes) and influenced the building's asymmetrical shape. "The question became how can we integrate this into the design of a modern house," says architect Staffan Svenson. "Can it be a screen porch without looking like one?" He devised a plan to hang a horizontal louver system from the structure to give the illusion that the powder-coated steel fins hover in place. He used the same material for the guard rail on the second story.
The approximately 1,000-square-foot building opens up, quite literally, to the southwest, where the hilltop meadow gives way to the sound below. Enormous sliding glass doors open at the corner onto a small deck made from Forest Stewardship Council–certified ipe, creating a seamless transition from the combined living and dining space to the yard outside.
The house is a simple cement and steel box with elements that fold outwards to create privacy screens where needed. A perforated aluminum fence unravels from the building down toward the street. The material was selected to deter local graffiti artists from leaving their mark. Instead, a recycled brick wall serves as an appropriate canvas for street art.
Adding 290 square feet to this already small (just 566 square feet) black A-frame in Brecht, Belgium, was all the local building ordinances allowed, but the architects at dmvA found that a single wing extended out to the side gave resident Rini van Beek all the storage and living space that she needs.
In Portland, Oregon, Jeff Kovel of Skylab Architecture designed a house for Kaja and Kristopher Taft using HOMB triangular modules he developed with Method Homes. HOMB also features a super-insulated building skin and a highly efficient mechanical system.
To shield an addition and new courtyard for a bungalow in greater Melbourne, architect Anthony Clarke fitted its facade with strips of rough-sawn Victorian ash. The facade and fence provide a bit of privacy for the residents while cutting an arresting streetside figure.