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Carter+Burton Architecture, Berryville, United States

Thursday 07 Apr 2011

Thinking inside the box

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28/02/13 bb simon, nyc
Hugely influencial and deservidly so.
11/04/11 ahmed elfeky, cairo
nice architecture

Award Entry

Boxhead house design for art and furniture showcase 

Programme: Boxhead is sited between setbacks and a rock ledge just west of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. The home has an open plan living space with a formal dining area served by an extended concrete counter system. A small den next to the kitchen allows the children to play and be supervised while meals are prepared. A master suite and a loft for the upstairs bedrooms allows for privacy from the more public spaces, and a painting studio can also be accessed from the family room by a hidden stair.

Design: The 'boxes within boxes' design features an economy of scale strategy where the largest volume leaves structural insulation panels uncovered, and as each box gets smaller it fits into another. Inspired by local agrarian language, traditional materials blend modern systems while exterior materials were chosen for vernacular appropriateness and low maintenance.

Metal siding protects the northwest side from storms, stucco blends with the hardwood trees and dark-stained cedar siding complements the board fences. The house was designed as a showcase for art and furniture collections.

Sustainable measures: Dynamic insulation (taking advantage of thermal lag properties in thermal mass) and special height variations help the house adapt to the changing climate. Passive solar strategies were utilized with a double layered concrete block south wall, interior block walls, dark paneling and the concrete floor to provide thermal mass and a heat sink.

The reduction of new materials and waste is achieved by leaving OSB exposed inside, and concrete tiles reclaimed from a dumpster were reused in the master bathroom. The long, thin proportion of the structure balances natural light from the south and north while helping with cross-ventilation.

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Carter+Burton Architecture, PLC

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