Matt Lindsay, AIA

Matt Lindsay, AIA

Cleveland, Ohio


littleBIG House (2016)

The littleBIG House is a single family, 6 bedroom, 5-1/2 bath, 5,400 sf residence. The program called for typical living spaces as well as an artist’s studio and workshop. The new residence, situated within Cleveland, Ohio’s historic Little Italy neighborhood. Fundamental to the design of the residence is a commitment to sustainability through the use of the green construction techniques and technologies.

The architecture of the littleBIG House emerges from the reconciliation of inherent contradictions embedded within the site and program. The client desired an urban presence, while creating a private exterior spaces secluded from the surrounding context. In response to these constraints, the massing of the house is parsed into two distinct volumes, pushed to the extreme East and West boundaries of the site, connected by a covered bridge. This organization creates a communal courtyard from the residual space between the volumes. The envelope takes on a folded logic that unites the parts into cohesive whole responding to the varied nature of the program within.

At the Eastern streetscape the little residence, housing the artist studio and workshop, responds to the contrasting scale of the adjacent residences’ eave line and the larger multi-residence complex on the opposite side. The program of the Big House is distributed among multiple levels due to a limited footprint and interspersed among series of exterior living spaces including roof terraces and gardens, communal and private courtyards. This vertical organization gives the architecture a sense of urban density. A monumental stair connects the various programmatic elements. The stairwell folds upon itself overlapping and separating, creating a visual connection between levels. The movement of the stair is evident on the metal surface of the exterior envelope.

The internal textural transposition of materials plays out in a variety of locations. Bamboo wood comprises the surfaces of the stairs and millwork throughout the residences. In recognition of this material within a natural setting an abstracted pattern of light passing through a bamboo forest inspires the perforated pattern repeated on handrails, security gates, fences, window frit to obscure views into the residence from neighbors, ornamental screens around fire place.

Awards and Honors

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Status: Built
Location: Little Italy, OH, US
My Role: Project Architect / Designer
Additional Credits: robert maschke ARCHITECTS inc.