Allandale House by William O’Brien Jr. is an A-frame(s) house for an idiosyncratic connoisseur and her family. A minimal house right in the middle of the a forest, a structure with huge windows that allow plenty of natural sunlight to flood through the space and a beautiful view of the surroundings. A vacation house that gives you a unique opportunity to live close to nature.
Along with its occupants, the Allandale House provides space for an eccentric collection of artifacts that resist straightforward classification. Wines, rare books, stuffed birds and an elk mount are among the relics on display in this small vacation house. The house links three horizontal extrusions of “leaning,” or asymmetrical A-frames. The skinny A-frame on the western side contains the library, wine cellar and garage. The wide A-frame in the center of the house is dedicated to two floors of bedrooms and bathrooms. The medium A-frame on the eastern side consists of living, kitchen and dining areas. The house aims to undermine the seeming limitations of a triangular section by augmenting and revealing the extreme proportion in the vertical direction, and utilizing the acutely angled corners meeting the floor as moments for thickened walls, telescopic apertures and built-in storage.
photos: Peter Guthrie
The relationship between the need for exposed storage and the interior liner of the house is a reciprocal one. Ostensibly problematic head-height limitations posed by the angled ceiling/wall planes are resolved by allowing the interior surface of the ceiling/wall to deviate from the roof surface as it nears the floor plane to become plumb. The thickness created between the outer roof surface and the inner wall surface is then reclaimed as poche from which to carve, creating bookshelves and showcases. Perceptually, the ambition is to tuck the pieces on display within the implied surface of the interior liner, enabling the items to be seen, while providing the possible conception of the space as a simple volume. A range of possible configurations were tested.
– the relative orientation of adjacent tube segments,
– the severity of rotation between segments,
– the sequence of the three different bay-widths, and
– the location of the apex of the triangle relative to its base.
Given the site features—steeply sloped with a clearing in the north easterly direction—the tube establishes a parallel relationship to the contours of the site and orients the living area toward the clearing. The inclusion of a second floor is only possible in the widest A-frame extrusion. Therefore, the desire to centralize the location of the bedrooms positions the wide A-frame extrusion second in the sequence. Lastly, in tandem with the geometric principles associated with the severity of rotation, the variable location of the apex acts as the formal smoothing agent between tube segments allowing the roof planes to fold along single seams.
SOURCE : www.wojr.org
William O’Brien Jr
William O’Brien Jr. is Assistant Professor of Architecture at the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, and is principal of an independent design practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His practice was recently awarded the 2011 Architectural League Prize for Young Architects and Designers. Last year his practice was a finalist for the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program, and was recognized as an inaugural winner of the Design Biennial Boston Award.
O’Brien has taught previously at The University of California Berkeley as a Bernard Maybeck Fellow, and was the LeFevre Emerging Practitioner Fellow at The Ohio State University. Before joining MIT, for two years he was Assistant Professor at The University of Texas at Austin where he taught advanced theory seminars and design studios in the graduate curriculum. At MIT O’Brien currently holds the Cecil and Ida Green Career Development Chair, and teaches design studios in both the graduate and undergraduate programs. He was the recipient of the 2010 Rotch Traveling Studio Scholarship which funded research and travel for an advanced design studio in Iceland.
O’Brien pursued his graduate studies at Harvard University where he was the recipient of the Master of Architecture Faculty Design Award. Prior to graduate school he attended Hobart College in New York where he studied architecture and music theory, and was the winner of the Nicholas Cusimano Prize in Music. After completion of his graduate work he studied in Austria as the recipient of the Hayward Prize for Fine Arts Traveling Fellowship in Architecture under the sponsorship of The American Austrian Foundation. He has been named a MacDowell Fellow by the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, and a Socrates Fellow by the Aspen Institute. His publications include essays, “Approaching Irreducible Formations,” in ACADIA re:Form, and “Experts in Expediency,” in Log Journal. He is currently contributing to and editing a collection of essays, entitled “Cycles,” for which he has recently received a grant from The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.