How much house is enough in terms of both size and craft? This approximately 700 ft² dwelling is the most recent in a series of affordable, modest houses designed by the firm, exploring the idea of ‘economy as ethic’.
It is a flexible prototype which is intended to be replicated and customized to specific sites. Its inherent ‘DNA’ allows this one bedroom house to easily grow into a two bedroom, 1,000 ft² family house. It is proto-urban, as it implies aggregation to make urban fabric. Its material expression can be adapted to other cultural contexts. It is rational in its structure and modular in its components. It is a small building which can have a big impact.
Its first iteration on the Ghost Campus serves as accommodation for an intern architect. It acts as a gatehouse. Through its traditional gabled roof form it communicates with the adjacent 1880s octagonal troop barn and 1830 Chebogue Schoolhouse (reconstructed and moved to the site). Due to its pivotal position in the campus, it actively engages with all of the other adjacent structures by framing courtyards. It optimizes both prospect and refuge in the landscape. As a landscape viewing instrument it seems to own the pastoral valley to the north and east through a generous 24’ wide corner window. At grade the blank plinth/hearth/stair wall protects the interior from the road, while a 12’ south-facing window above offers solar gain and a dramatic view toward Hirtle’s Beach. The supporting concrete fins extend into the landscape forming an entry dooryard and a fire court, stitching the cabin into its immediate context.
Enough House is more a verb than a noun, like an unstable molecule. It is an active agent which engages with its situation. This modernist, kinetic quality is due to its consistent use of the dynamic principle of pinwheeling composition, in terms of site plan, plan, section and elevation, which is found throughout the body of work of the firm.