OS House / Johnsen Schmaling Architects

  • 01:00 - 13 August, 2011
OS House / Johnsen Schmaling Architects, ©  Johnsen Schmaling Architects 
©  Johnsen Schmaling Architects 

©  Johnsen Schmaling Architects  ©  Johnsen Schmaling Architects  ©  Johnsen Schmaling Architects  ©  Johnsen Schmaling Architects  +13

From the architect. The OS House by Johnsen Schmaling Architects is located in downtown Racine, Wisconsin and attempts to redefine the urban fabric of this historic rustbelt city.  Sited on a narrow lot between a 3-story mansion and a mid-century ranch, the colorful 1,900sf residence is a welcome and dynamic intervention to the streetscape.

©  Johnsen Schmaling Architects 
©  Johnsen Schmaling Architects 

From an organizational standpoint, the OS House is a simple rectangular volume that serves as a transition piece between the large mass of the mansion and the low profile of the adjacent ranch.  The residence also serves as a transition between the street and the shores of Lake Michigan through the use of glazing and outdoor spaces.  

©  Johnsen Schmaling Architects 
©  Johnsen Schmaling Architects 

Upon approaching the main entry courtyard of the OS House, the architects’ strategic use of glazing is evident: despite being rectangular in volume, the interior of the residence is a compilation of intricately carved niches visually connected by a series of sliding or stationary glazed panels .  These niches include unique indoor/outdoor spaces such as elevated patios, a shaded main level terrace, and a glazed vestibule adjacent to the dining room.  The organization capitalizes on the fantastic views afforded by the site.

©  Johnsen Schmaling Architects 
©  Johnsen Schmaling Architects 

Perhaps the most notable architectural feature of the OS House would be the rainscreen: a system of thin concrete panels suspended between steel channels.  In addition to being a radical architectural statement, this assembly creates an 8” deep ventilated envelope that contributes to the superior performance of the residence.  

©  Johnsen Schmaling Architects 
©  Johnsen Schmaling Architects 

Apart from being a radical formal departure from the existing neighborhood context, the OS House is is one of the first LEED Platinum residences in the Midwest.  The project utilizes a variety of sustainable materials including a ventilated rainscreens, high-efficiency glazing, low-flow water fixtures, and permeable surfaces to mitigate stormwater runoff.  These materials, coupled with innovative technologies such as a free-standing PV array, photovoltaic roof laminates, and a deep-well geothermal heating/cooling system allows the residence to operate off the grid for most of the year (and even function as a net producer during peak energy harvest).

©  Johnsen Schmaling Architects 
©  Johnsen Schmaling Architects 
Cite: "OS House / Johnsen Schmaling Architects" 13 Aug 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/157666/os-house-johnsen-schmaling-architects-2/>