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OS House

Johnsen Schmaling Architects

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MonicaScinto, Hanley Wood

Project Name

OS House

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Project Description

Located in an old rustbelt city neighborhood, this LEED Platinum-certified home occupies an infill lot at the edge of Lake Michigan. The building volume mediates between the tall mansion to the north and the single-level ranch to the south. A series of outdoor rooms are carved out of the compact building form, creating an open entry court, upper level patios, and a shaded terrace, all confined within the boundaries of the rectangular volume itself. The main level’s high transparency facilitates a visual connection between street and lake. The house is wrapped in a rain screen of thin concrete panels, creating an 8” deep ventilated envelope with superior insulation properties. Along the outdoor rooms, the façade system transforms into a delicate scrim of metal rods, defining the boundaries of these spaces without obstructing views. Floor-to-ceiling apertures penetrate the rainscreen, their brightly colored frames an unapologetic nod to the cheerful polychrome of the neighborhood’s Victorian homes. PV roof laminates and a freestanding array produce 80% of the power, and a deep-well geothermal system provides heating and cooling and supplements the solar water heater. Storm water is harvested or diverted into rain gardens; exterior hard surfaces – driveway, entry path, and terrace – utilize permeable pavers.
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