House Etch is a private home for a professional couple with children located in Chicago. The couple was drawn to the mid-century modern aesthetic of Latin American architecture where ornament made way for volumes and planes and exterior materials were expressed. The owners looked to explore those past forms with a fresh interpretation.
Second Award- Urban Design & Architecture Design Awards 2019
Firm | Studio Dwell Architects
Category | Residential Single Family
Team | Mark Peters, Jonathan Heckert
Country | United States
In response to their vision, the exterior was comprised of two basic materials; board formed concrete and stained cedar. The concrete which forms the base of the house defines the public spaces, while the stained cedar upper volume defines the private spaces.
The two materials have a dialog. The wood boards that form the surface for the concrete below, leave an etched tracing of the wood that formed them, while the exposed cedar displays the true material itself. Both etched on the surface.
The program for the residence was a common one in the city; how to provide an abundance of natural light while still ensuring privacy. The first step was to determine the views, what needed to be controlled and what could allow for glimpses both inside and out. The solution was to create a ribbon of windows, tight to the first floor ceiling that expanded downward in the public floor and upward in the private floor throughout the house.
The main entry sequence of the residence offers the visitor a dramatic view of the 36’ wide, 13’ cantilevered cedar volume that defines and protects a private exterior terrace off the main level, but hidden from view from the street. Once inside the house, the first floor erupts into a light-filled seemingly volume.
The protected entertainment terrace is accessible from the entire main level, which then transitions down to a large landscaped and playful yard which includes a whirlpool, a basketball court and an in-ground trampoline.