Single-Family Production / Detached / Merit
The Case Study Houses of the mid-20th century continue to serve as architectural touchstones, even in settings utterly unlike their original sun-drenched sites. In Milwaukee, they've helped inspire a series of moderately priced infill houses designed by Brian Johnsen, AIA, and Sebastian Schmaling, AIA. "We're trying to reinterpret the Case Study homes' exploration of materials and of creating space, but in a more urban context," Johnsen explains.
The second home in the series, Urban Infill 02, consists of an interlocking two-story cube and one-story bar unified by a steel second-floor trellis. The architects used a standard 2-foot module to cut costs and minimize construction waste, and they specified inexpensive materials such as okoume plywood cladding for the cube and concrete block for the bar. Placement of the home's windows and fiber-cement louvers can vary according to site conditions, and the horizontal bar can be extended or moved, depending on the buyer's preference.
"This project uses restraint," one judge noted. "Its elegant proportions are to the scale of the human body."