Home on Home is a novel up to date single-family suburban dwelling situated in Babylon, Lengthy Island, designed in 2022 by Architensions.
New York-based studio Architensions has designed Home on Home, the transformation of a compact suburban dwelling in Babylon, Lengthy Island, that features the addition of a second-floor quantity that appears as if one other home has been positioned on high of the home. A juxtaposition of previous and current, visually and programmatically, characterizes the design: the unique mild grey vinyl siding was retained on the outside of the primary story, however the second flooring addition is clad in a thick stucco to reinforce the amount’s stable, heavy, massing; and, in choose areas, a pores and skin of easy, mild pink rectangular ceramic tile. In a number of locations, the tile descends onto exterior partitions of the unique dwelling in inverted arcs, arches and swoops, as if the brand new is slowly overtaking the outdated. The stark aesthetics of this transformation accompany a structure, geometry, and total method that challenges the cookie-cutter single-family suburban typology that’s typical of the encompassing space, and extra broadly consultant of mid-century middle-class white flight.
The mission started in 2018, when Architensions co-founders Alessandro Orsini and Nick Roseboro responded to the house owner’s request for a mission that mirrored his adventurous design ambitions and need to broaden. Somewhat uniquely, the consumer was not all in favour of approaching the mission from the attitude of resale worth. “The concept of the commodification of structure as an actual property asset didn’t emerge all through the event of the design. The method was collaborative, with a give attention to a extremely iterative design course of.” The house owner was all in favour of updating the unique structure from an introverted enclosure, to an area through which features have been open and conventional notions of privateness or propriety challenged. He wished to hyperlink the present floor flooring to the addition above, and to make your complete dwelling extra open to the neighborhood and porous to the yard.
This immediate set the stage for a design course of rooted in intensive analysis into the cultural historical past and architectural taxonomy of the encompassing suburban neighborhoods. Specifically, co-principals Orsini and Roseboro have been within the dwelling’s proximity to Levittown, NY, a suburban growth archetypal of the connection between race, inequality, and housing in America, through which segregation was embedded in its formation by exclusionary contracts and redlining. In Levittown, African Individuals and indigenous communities couldn’t entry gross sales contracts by particular prescription of the Levitt & Sons Firm; this was true of comparable developments throughout suburban America and their surrounding neighborhoods. Additional inherent within the typology have been architectural options and layouts that fostered the isolation and introversion of the nuclear household, quite than neighborhood.
“To be able to subvert the typology, we wanted to turn out to be intimately conversant in it—then remix and subvert it,” says Roseboro. “Analysis is essential to our observe,” says Orsini. “For Home on Home on one aspect, we investigated the governmental laws and knowledge of the city of Babylon. On the opposite, we explored design options that addressed the present dwelling’s relationship with the historical past, context, and vernacular. We wished to find a brand new spatial paradigm that might hyperlink the structure of the home to its social narrative.
The design course of started with the evaluation of the present home, acknowledging its type—a ranch home much like these supplied by Sears Home Catalogues between 1908 and 1942 —as spillage from one of many standardized houses made common by Levittown. These houses have been made with out the assistance of an architect or design thought, and have been based mostly on the vernacular tectonics of the balloon body, with an added component of standardization. The picket profiles have been made with industrial strategies and dimensions that don’t afford design flexibility, and variation existed solely within the ornamental type of the facades, which have been made most frequently with neo-classical or Victorian references. Orsini and Roseboro then surveyed and produced a taxonomy of architectural components (home windows, porches, roofs, additions) typical of those suburban homes, which they’d then “hack” and remix on the house’s new quantity—concurrently referencing the neighborhood’s architectural historical past and turning it on its head.
“We wished to “hack” the typology of the American suburban single-family dwelling, which is so influenced by the Cult of Domesticity” says Orsini. “Early American suburban dwelling design values a patriarchal construction through which girls are granted standing solely by home labor and child-rearing, and prefers these actions to happen within the privateness of the house, quite than amongst the neighborhood. The truth is, the household is handled as a non secular entity the place the advantages of communal life are changed by the next thought of privateness, safety, and purity. Subsequently, the spatial group and ordering of those houses are based mostly on separating the lifetime of the household from the neighborhood, and moreover, concealing and compartmentalizing sure non-public acts, like intercourse, from the communal lifetime of the household, such that they’re presumed to not exist.”
The brand new, second-floor quantity is outlined by a big massing sitting on high of the present home. The stair connecting the primary flooring and the brand new addition wanted to be compacted to save lots of on house, but it surely additionally wanted to be a part of the structure as a component of separation, with out being a wall. Architensions selected to make use of a discrete cylinder, which helped to develop the design from inside out. On the outside, the putting geometry of the cylinder seems subtracted from the sq. quantity to create a street-facing, semi-circular outside patio, which extends from the second-floor bed room and affords a novel connection to exercise on the road. This acts as a subversion of the encompassing suburban typology, through which decks and patios are introverted in the direction of the yard, quite than extroverted in the direction of the entrance, and the standard entrance porch was both erased or shriveled to solely supply rain shelter or decorative ornament above the entrance entry.
Programmatically, Architensions reconfigured the bottom flooring, generously opening the kitchen and front room and including a examine space and a visitor room, complementing the reorganization of the service core together with closet, laundry room and toilet. On the brand new second flooring, a big open house is used as a main bed room, with the volumetric cylinder creating an inside partition between the sleeping space and the entrance patio. The first rest room, together with the window bench, is clad in grey and white speckled terrazzo and encompasses a communal sink situated in between the lavatory enclosure and the walk-in closet, rejecting the standard
single-family separation of mattress and tub, and questioning conventional ideas of modesty and privateness. Giant home windows open the views to the entrance and the again. On the floor stage, the cylinder meets the closet within the hall, one other defining component of the geometry.
Says Orsini: “There’s a very shut relationship between the inside and exterior within the mission. On the primary flooring, we configured openings and relationships with out altering the geometry of the present enclosure, however by repositioning home windows and doorways. This new configuration of openings then influenced the fabric placement on the facade. As soon as a window modified in measurement and place, we have been present in want of changing the unique cladding within the outdated window place.Subsequently, we launched the ceramic tiles to ascertain the duality between new versus present. The ceramic tile defines the ensuing cylinder of the second flooring patio and demarcates the outdated and new of the primary flooring exterior cladding.”
The inside was initially painted white, which conveyed a numbness, or concern of colour. They used yellow all through the mission to spotlight transitions, convey mild inside, and outline areas. Says Roseboro: “The colours are additionally associated to openings. The brand new horizontal opening of the stair manifests with a yellow cylinder, which informs using the yellow because the accent inside colour. The window openings are in relationship, as an alternative, with the newly launched materiality of the ceramic. On this means, each inside colours and exterior supplies started a dialogue between one another.”
Images by Michael Vahrenwald
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– by Matt Watts