Archive for January, 2012

North Shore House

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

XANTHORIA ELEGANS (elegant sunburst lichen)

There are many fascinating elements of this North Shore site, from the dense, delicate treescape to the bold geology of the shoreline basalt. But one of the most stunning surprises is the colorful, elegant blankets of lichen and mosses that cover the gray rocks, ground and trees throughout the site. The biology of lichen is fascinating as it is the symbioses of two organisms—a fungus and an algae—creating a completely unique structure. They thrive in the most inhospitable climates and create the most painterly patterns and colors as they spread. In the harsh climate of the North Shore, these beautiful layers, textures and compositions look very much like protective quilts, buffering the site.

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Following this concept, the diagram of the house is a simple gray mass that hovers above the ground and rock outcroppings. To preserve the site and minimize excavation, the slope to the lake is unobstructed by utilizing pier footings. On the exterior, there is a simple layering of brightly colored accent materials in key locations. A wrapping, protective canopy at the entrance; a low layer at the kitchen to allow for storage on a predominantly glass wall; a privacy screen at the master bedroom.
On the interior, rooms are also created by the wrapping of material. This plan concept allows for a pavillion-like space within the house. This permeability of spaces along with extensive glass walls maintains a strong indoor-outdoor connection.

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