Cambridge, MA | 2010
The Hidden Fortune House is a a 350 square foot addition to an existing historical residence. The project’s diminutive size is deceptive: Placed between the interior collective areas of the existing house and the exterior garden, it is conceived of as not an autonomous object, but as an extended frame that forms new spatial connections and continuities. Its folded zinc clad shape (likened to a fortune cookie) negotiates the goal of creating a light and lofty space with the reality of restrictive zoning processes. Built-in shelving increases the efficiency and flexibility of the space dramatically while making the storage appear compact and part of the interior walls. Innovatively pushing the geometric limits of prefabricated SIP panels, a nuanced geometry (rather than the default box-like form of pre-fab architecture) extends views, shades afternoon sun, and mediates scale differences within the urban context.
The window wall in relationship to the profile of the roof and ceiling allows the view to expand toward the garden and the sky.
Although the new family room is small, it is designed as the connecting space to the other public areas of the house extending views outside to the garden. The profile of the ceiling as it meets the window wall increases the amount of natural light without adding to glare while also providing a sense of spatial extension beyond the height of the ceiling. Like the building frame itself, the shelving system is a series of modular boxes, with and without cabinet doors, that can be configured in various ways.
A half level down from the existing public areas of the house, the new addition connects the garden with the kitchen. The stair then occupies the zone of the folded ceiling to connect a path to the outside using natural light as a cue (left). A skylight brings light into the kitchen (right) while framing an extended view to the sky. A perforated aluminum balcony screens one space from the other while also allowing visual continuity.
John Hong AIA, LEED + Jinhee Park AIA (principals in charge), Frederick Peter Ortner, Trevor Patt, Stephen Fan
Osprey Design/Build LLC
|coulter house||infinite box||verdant studios||braver house|