The street-facing front of the residence limits views into the residence, providing privacy through the use of frosted glass and an interior large two and a half storey concrete wall. In contrast, the back exterior unpeels to the outside, providing expansive views onto the bucolic lot and allowing light to flood into the space.
Designed for a young family, who wanted a contemporary home where everyday life is not compartmentalized to specific spaces, the house plan flows freely, allowing areas to bleed into each other harmoniously. Rather than being defined by walls, the spaces are nuanced through small level and/or material changes, such as a step-down into the living area or a shift from concrete to wood floor. The palate is restrained allowing for no visual breaks in keeping with the free-flowing space.
At the front of the house, large shifted concrete pads welcome you into the residence, transitioning internally into a polished concrete floor, which then slips back out to the exterior to form a long narrow concrete pool. The concrete defines circulation, leading you into the house and back out, but also internally acting as a threshold between the kitchen / dining room and the sunken living space.
Internally, the concrete floor steps down into the living space, where the steps wrap and fold to create a ledge for the hearth, which is anchored to a large 2 1/2 storey unpolished concrete wall. The concrete wall slices through all floors vertically, as well as providing an anchor for the white metal skeleton stair.
The challenge was to address the needs of the family, while maintaining the desire for an open plan. The L-shaped floor plan allows all spaces to receive maximum light, unobstructed views onto the wooded lot and into other areas of the house, while still providing private functional spaces.