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buchanan architecture

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russellbuchanan, buchanan architecture

Project Name



3809 Mockingbird


Project Status


Year Completed



4,400 sq. feet


  • Russell Buchanan, FAIA
  • Gary Orsinger, AIA
  • Troy Carlson, AIA

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Project Description

MOCKINGBIRD residence is designed using an innovative building envelope system commonly found in climate-controlled warehouse construction. The residence is clad in an ultra energy-efficient metal insulated panel system that combines maximum protection from extreme temperatures with minimum long-term maintenance.

Designed for a young family in the stone import and fabrication business, the residence is a 4,410 square foot home located on Mockingbird Lane. The scale of the building is kept in context with the neighboring residences and is designed to minimize its impact on the site. The main building is a simple rectilinear shape, designed in plan using five equal squares. Adjacent to the main building is an entry vestibule clad entirely in onyx slab. Completing the composition is a polished black stone wall which provides privacy and security from the busy street. Tailored details, such as the quirk miter at corners, subtly refer to the ancient craft of the owner’s livelihood.

The exterior detailing is crisp and pragmatic allowing the composition of the building masses to be simple and unadorned. At the entry vestibule, light and translucent stone provide a warm and inviting transitional space. Once inside, the building reveals itself as an ordered series of elements; exposed structure, A/C systems, lighting and materials all combine to tell a story of craftsmanship and functionality. All the lower level public spaces share light and access to a private outdoor courtyard. A camouflage netting drape provides a late morning sunscreen to the large glazed opening.

Construction utilizes locally fabricated metal insulated panels (R-38) as exterior walls. These panels are pre-finished on both the exterior and interior faces, minimizing the use of multi-trade wall construction. Douglas fir glu-lam beams and floor decking provide a sense of warmth and color to the space. Performance-based building materials, energy efficient systems, solar orientation and sun-screening techniques allow the residence to operate effectively with minimal annual expense and limited carbon footprint. In the future, the building is capable of utilizing roof-mounted solar panel power and whole-roof rainwater collection which will provide net-zero utility dependency.
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