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Nine Square

Wheeler Kearns

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Project Description

For a widowed grandmother of many and a lover of art, this "cheap and cheerful" residence is a container and agent for family gatherings amidst art, within a garden.

Located on a non-descript yet busy suburban intersection, this square house is designed to provide visual and acoustic privacy from the public streets while extending open living spaces deep into a protected private landscape defined by a squared perimeter of privet.

The plan is divided into nine structurally efficient 24' foot bays, with one bay left defined but open to the sky. The public reading is of a visually quiet opaque volume, low-slung and clad like a radish in horizontal fiber-cement panels. One large pivoting door opens to reveal the hidden exterior courtyard and the home's sheltered entry.

Limited materials (grey cement panels, white gypsum board, white solid surface material, clear anodized aluminum, American walnut, white epoxy terrazzo) and minimal detailing deliberately form the background to the art, grandchildren and landscape that truly empower this place.

Super-insulated closed-cell foam with lightweight wood frame construction, lightweight rain-screens, deeply-recessed glazed areas, hydronic floor heat using a dual-purpose high-efficiency boiler, on-site water management systems all contribute to the "rightness" of the solution.
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