Split Box House
David Goldschmidt, AIA
Photos: Alexander Herring Photography
2018 Merit Award
The Split Box House aims to create a quiet, restrained, escape from the excessively noisy digital world that overly stimulates our daily lives and is a reaction to the surrounding banal spec homes each a louder spectacle than the next. Simple and clean in its form, the house started as a twenty-two foot wide extruded box. That width was chosen based on the distance a reasonable size wood truss can span. This ensured that no interior support walls were required allowing for an uncomplicated open floor plan. Cut to the desired length based on the space requirements of the family, the box is subsequently split into public and private functions. The private portion is rotated ninety degrees around the sky-lit stair hall to maximize views to the serene woods behind the house.
A complimentary warm ipe wood, alluding to the softer interiors of the house, clads the cuts. The private functions, comprised of the bedrooms upstairs and the guesthouse on the main level, bridge across a covered breezeway creating an outdoor room with a view corridor to the woods and access to the main and guest house entrances. The public functions move through a series of low and tall spaces culminating in a double height sky-lit space that provides shifting light patterns throughout the day. A series of site walls, carefully nestled into the steep lot, cascade down the front hill from the street to create a terraced entrance garden that becomes the exposed foundation of the house.