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This family residence's roof plan establishes architecture of the building in Atlanta

United States Architecture News - May 8, 2019 - 06:45   3998 views

This family residence's roof plan establishes architecture of the building in Atlanta

US architecture firm MALL has built a single-family residence located in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The residence propels a new dwelling typology derived from a roof plan establishes the whole architecture of the building. 

MALL was founded in 2009 by Jennifer Bonner, Associate Professor of Architecture and Director of the Master in Architecture II Program at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. She explains MALL's philosophy as "by engaging “ordinary architecture” such as gable roofs and everyday materials, MALL playfully reimagines architecture in the field."

This family residence's roof plan establishes architecture of the building in Atlanta

Image © Timothy Hursley

This 2,200 square-foot family residence, called Haus Gables, explores new dwelling typology. The building is one of only two residences in the country made of cross-laminated timber (CLT), an exceptionally strong wood material produced by gluing together layers of lumber that alternate in direction.

This family residence's roof plan establishes architecture of the building in Atlanta

Image © Timothy Hursley

A long-standing research project on roof typologies found in the American South informed this proof-of-concept. Haus Gables is a cluster of six gable roofs, combined to form a single roof. In an attempt to rework spatial paradigms of the past, such as Le Corbusier’s free plan and Aldof Loos’s raumplan, MALL offers the roof plan as a way to organize architecture. 

This family residence's roof plan establishes architecture of the building in Atlanta

Image © Timothy Hursley

"Here, the roof plan establishes rooms, catwalks, and double height spaces in the interior by aligning these spaces to ridges and valleys in the roof above. In this case, the floorplan is a result of the roof," said MALL.

"From a curb-side view, an asymmetrical and unfamiliar form replaces the traditional gable elevation house, as if the usual form were clipped. Strange profiles emerge on all four elevations as the six gable roofs are cut at the perimeter’s massing." 

This family residence's roof plan establishes architecture of the building in Atlanta

Image © Timothy Hursley

Other slight alterations to the ordinary include roof pitches which are much steeper than those found in industry standards. The house, which sits on a 24-foot-wide plot, has a width of 18 feet, the same size as a single-wide mobile home. The uncharacteristically slim home generates ideas for the applicability of the roof plan to denser urban environments.

This family residence's roof plan establishes architecture of the building in Atlanta

All exterior and interior walls, floors, and roof are made of solid Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) panels, a material widely used in construction overseas but is new to the US market. 

Custom-cut, hoisted into place, and assembled in fourteen days’ time, the CLT in Haus Gablesenables a solid house that eschews stick frame construction. Structurally inventive, the panels also promote a monolithic view of the material from the domestic interior.

This family residence's roof plan establishes architecture of the building in Atlanta

The project further engages in the conceptual exploration of materiality through a series of faux-finishes that clad the exterior and parts of the interior in opposition to expectations. 

Black terrazzo is not poured in-place and polished, but applied as a thin tile, while oriented strand board (OSB) is replaced by ceramic tiles in the image of OSB. The marble finishes in the bedroom and adjacent bathroom are made of unlikely materials, including vinyl and cartoonish drawings, rather than the oft-desired, real, Italian marble. 

This family residence's roof plan establishes architecture of the building in Atlanta

"These faux finishes that cover the interior environment seem to indicate spatial divisions, when in reality they do not correspond to the actual boundaries of any room," added the firm.

"On the exterior, two sides of the house are covered in faux-bricks made of stucco. Haus Gables undertakes an old tradition of faux finishing in the American South, historically stemming from an inability to afford precious materials, and the subsequent desire to “fake it.”

This family residence's roof plan establishes architecture of the building in Atlanta

With the use of unconventional materials and an unusual roof design, Haus Gables is an exploration of new ways that form, spatial organization, and material might function in a home.

This family residence's roof plan establishes architecture of the building in Atlanta

This family residence's roof plan establishes architecture of the building in Atlanta

This family residence's roof plan establishes architecture of the building in Atlanta

This family residence's roof plan establishes architecture of the building in Atlanta

This family residence's roof plan establishes architecture of the building in Atlanta

This family residence's roof plan establishes architecture of the building in Atlanta

This family residence's roof plan establishes architecture of the building in Atlanta

This family residence's roof plan establishes architecture of the building in Atlanta

This family residence's roof plan establishes architecture of the building in Atlanta

This family residence's roof plan establishes architecture of the building in Atlanta

This family residence's roof plan establishes architecture of the building in Atlanta

This family residence's roof plan establishes architecture of the building in Atlanta

Project facts

Title: Haus Gables
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Date: completed (2,200ft2)
Project Type: Single Family Residence

All images © NAARO unless otherwise stated.

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