Project profile: OS House

Apr 30, 2011

Wisconsin, this house for a young family demonstrates how a small, sustainable residence built with a moderate budget can fit into a rustbelt city suffering from decades of economic decline. One of the first LEED Platinum homes in the Upper Midwest, the house occupies a narrow infill lot along the edge of Lake Michigan, completing a row of residences built over the last century. Based on massing studies testing the building's performance in relation to site constraints, solar exposure, and vegetation, the building is a simple rectangular volume with a series of outdoor rooms—an entry court, elevated patios, and a main-level terrace—all confined within the boundaries of the rectangular volume itself. The main level's transparency allows for a visual link between the street and the lake, while the upper rainscreen system creates a deep, ventilated envelope with superior performance. Along the edges of the outdoor rooms, the façade transforms into a delicate scrim of aluminum rods, defining spatial boundaries without obstructing views.
(2011 AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects recipient)

AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE)
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
The American Institute of Architects

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