Figure 8 House
Clark Tate, AIA
Mathew Weaver, AIA
Photography: MB Productions, Michael Blevins
On a barrier island off North Carolina’s Atlantic Coast, the Figure Eight house sits amongst dunes, its design inspired by the spirit of the original modernist houses found on the island. The client and their family had been coming to this beach property for years before deciding to build their ideal vacation home. They requested contemporary living accommodations and a steel structure, which allowed for geometric operations on an otherwise archetypal house form. These cuts and extrusions bring natural light deep into the house, create pockets of outdoor gathering, and take advantage of breezes and views. The cedar cladding weathers to integrate with its surroundings; slatted portions break down the house’s mass and subtly reference the adjacent reeds and palms.
Programmatically, the house is arranged so that the sleeping areas are justified and stacked on one half of the house and the gathering spaces on the other. In this way, a sort of organizational gradient is created across the elevation of the house – from solid and enclosed to porous and open. Large sliding glass doors open to the outdoor living areas, breaking down the threshold between inside and out. The main living/dining/kitchen area is located on the upper level and takes advantage of the gabled roof form to create a double-height space. Overlooking this area is an office mezzanine, which sits above the master suite.
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