The owner requested a house to foster a certain way of living; to meet individual needs while encouraging the family to be together, to take advantage of Mississippi’s wonderful environment, to interact with friends and family, to have a private respite, to work at home, to be healthy, and to be energy efficient.Program StatementBuilt environments should be teachers; made in ways that are at once engaging and challenging. The “challenging” component of this statement seems counterproductive to the design of a home with its traditional ideal of comfort and accommodation of specific needs. As architect and client are one-in-the-same here, the design became a unique opportunity to experiment. The experiment proposes that even a home should foster growth through challenge and exposure. The house is shaped to draw the outdoors in and lure the family outside. It incorporates passive and active strategies (see diagrams herein) and is an extremely low consumer of energy. It is composed of two wings, a public wing along the street and a private wing projecting into the site along the south. A lap pool along the north and lawn in the center promote healthy family activity. With floor-to-ceiling curtain wall on the east and a long band of shaded west-facing windows looking toward the street, the living area is like an exterior court between two facades, exposed between the street and private lawn. The rooms of the bedroom wing are more enclosed and minimal in area. Oversized window portals in these spaces challenge their cellular security. Blackout Drapes/Blinds return them to enveloping chambers.In accommodating both challenge and comfort, an extraordinary range of environmental conditions are created. These are continually surprising conditions of the in-between, of light and shadow. On the street, the house is simultaneously imposing and inviting, strange and familiar.
Location: Jackson, MS