LocationAlbion, Michigan, United States
PhotographsCourtesy of garrison architects
From the architect. Garrison Architects approaches projects through a process of extensive research that responds to the current economic, cultural, technical and environmental challenges. The firm integrates this critical approach with a highly refined modernist aesthetic. The Koby Cottage exemplifies this process. The recipient of a New York AIA Architecture Merit Award, Koby Cottage is a guesthouse for families visiting their children at Starr Commonwealth, a nonprofit organization in Michigan that counsels troubled teens. The cottage allows families to come together in a private domestic setting surrounded by nature.
The 1100 sqf cottage consists of two modules raised and separated for light, space and privacy. The space between the modules is enclosed with glass. The cottage plan has an X form. The dining table is situated at the structure’s crossing, creating a place for rejoining and discussion.
The building is a device that creates new ways of viewing landscapes as a vertical slice of nature brought deeply into the volume of the house. Use of glass corners throughout the building, especially in the dining room intersection, creates a blurring between the space inside the house and the space of nature in which it is suspended. An open rooftop deck creates a direct connection with the outdoors, establishing a direct connection with the outdoors, establishing a sense of openness.
Koby is the first building constructed using the KFS (Kullman Frame System), an extremely strong and efficient modular space frame system consisting of hollow tubular steel and allowing large cantilevers and window openings. Koby is a prototype structure of a system designed for the construction of multi-story modular buildings — its tubular steel space frame has the unique capacity to achieve heights of twelve stories using a patented connection system that minimizes field finishing and speeds the overall construction process.