Green House
Designed for a pair of artists, this 10,000 square-foot (930 square-meter) house was conceived as a multipurpose building, to serve living functions but also art-making, exhibition, performance, show-cooking and entertaining. Overlooking a small lake in a 10 acre wooded property, the building literally camouflages it's bulk with a "living skin" over the majority of the concrete-block structure. A three-dimensional welded metal trellis supports aggressive wisteria vines that bloom white seasonally. The greenery overlaps windows, frames views of the lake and woodlands, and provides substantial thermal insulation. The building houses two large multipurpose galleries with 16-foot ceilings and polished concrete floors, and a chef's commercial-grade kitchen. Several smaller-scaled, flexible rooms are used as ancillary studios, for sleeping, exercise and storage. A museum-sized elevator facilitates installation and removal of large-scale art pieces. Development of the property was severely limited due to the proximity of fragile wetlands. Motivated by the looming threat of stricter regulations, the client's brief to the architect was quite simply to design a structure as large as legally allowed; to simultaneously protect the wetlands and the current as-of-right development value of the property. There was a "pre-existing, non-conforming" house on the property which, combined with setback lines imposed by local authorities, established the only legitimate area to build. The irregular geometry of the footprint of the new design directly corresponds to the perimeter of this area. The volume of the building is largely an extrusion of that footprint, stopping at the limits established by local zoning ordinances for building height and cubic area. The architectural solution is a simple, inexpensive structure, similar in construction to suburban "big box" stores, with concrete block walls, steel bar joist floor and roof structure and exposed poured concrete floors. The metal trellis wraps the building, inviting Nature to climb the walls and ultimately to engulf the building.


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Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
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  • Georgi Sokolov
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  • added a digital reference
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