Custom Home 3,000 to 5,000 Square Feet / Merit Award
Architect Mark McInturff likens this gloriously simple house to a kaleidoscope, and the analogy isn't too far off. The building consists of a squared-off, corrugated metal tube with window-filled ends enlivened by panels of color. A vibrant color palette provides additional eye candy inside. “It's like a piece of music—it's only the ends that are complicated,” said a judge.
McInturff had a relatively tight budget to work with, so he concentrated on designing a simple form that could be built fairly quickly. “It's basically a rectangle with a bump on each side,” he says. A black concrete block base recedes into the background to give the house a weightless quality. Drywall details like white headers over room openings cost little and add character, as do colored walls and versatile stock windows.
Since both next-door neighbors closely flank the site, the home's long sides contain few openings. This posed a challenge in terms of natural light penetration, but McInturff countered by limiting the number of interior walls. “The kitchen is so open to the living room and dining room, it's almost part of those spaces,” he says. “It's not a very long house, so you have tons of light from both ends.”