Centrifugal Villa / OBRA Architects


Architects: OBRA Architects
Location: Southampton, New York,
Principals in Charge:Pablo Castro, Jennifer Lee
Project team:Selin Semaan, Akira Gunji, Luis Costa, Shin Kook Kang, Satoshi Kiyono, Kaon Ko, Bronwyn Kotzen, Fabiana Meacham, Elizabeth Snow, Elina Almuhametova, Chiara Filios, Doreen Lam
Structural Engineering:Robert Silman Associates
Lighting consultant:Peiheng Tsai Lighting Design
Project Area: 1,231 sqm
Project year: 2008
Photographs: OBRA Architects

IMG_1724_rev_m IMG_9132_rev_m IMG_1870_rev_m IMG_8992_rev_m

The Centrifugal Villa is arranged around a hollow center, as if the heart of the house had somehow fallen outside its body. The string of subsequent spaces in its interior provide a comprehension of the whole by sacrificing their individual geometric cohesiveness to the fractured configuration of the entire composition. The experience of the interior is characterized by constantly shifting vanishing points, at the place of their collision in each crease of the plan, large openings cutting dormer scoops on the roof, centrifugally release the views out to the surrounding landscape. The house, defined by this idea rather than a formal imposition, cannibalizes the local “vernacular,” distorting it through hexagonal introspection of the plan and the transposed proportion of the parts.


ground floor plan
ground floor plan

Designed as post-and-beam structure, the exterior cladding is detailed with vertical board and batten seams to give continuity to the building exterior and encourage an uninterrupted rhythmic flow around the elevations. The house utilizes geothermal heating and incorporates passive energy-saving techniques, including a narrow-section interior to allow natural ventilation and a sequence and layout of dormer windows and openings to permit generous daylighting and minimal artificial lighting needs.


Set on a 5-acre property overlooking an agricultural reserve, the completed project includes main house, separate guesthouse and garage structure, and poolhouse with poolside pavilion.

Cite: "Centrifugal Villa / OBRA Architects" 20 Oct 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=38355>
  • novan

    confusing but awesome works.

  • Jesus

    These kind of houses always look great in photos but what do the people who live in them say?

  • the uninformed observer

    Thank you for such beautiful work! The floorplans and palate otherwise would indicate that the baths and kitchen are as rigorously simple. I would love to see what the stunning attention to craft wrought in those rooms…

  • Pingback: Eco Homes: Centrifugal Villa – A sustainable dwelling with a hollow center | Green Cleaning Ideas

  • oltmann


  • Travis

    the brief is…difficult… is the wooden bench supposed to be the guard’s tower? I’m sure that some of those framed views are pretty spectacular, but I can’t see how connecting this idea with another about sustainability is informative or interesting since this is clearly a sprawling suburban house for some “cultured” individual to escape from the great city to. Any gains made by the geothermal unit are offset by the drive to get there.