Charles Vega

Charles Vega

Kansas City, MO, US


the Madhouse

Within the vibrant, tight-knit Westside Neighborhood near downtown Kansas City, MO, sits a steep sloped, narrow, over-grown site. The house exists and the site remains. Allowing the hilly nature of the city to remain was a driver of this design. A house for a family of four, we call this project the Madhouse for a few reasons. One being that it sits on a quiet neighborhood street named Madison; but mostly because everyone who drives by comments on the madness of the owner for putting a house on the side of an urban cliff. Sunken beneath the ground on the North-East corner, the site quickly drops nearly 40 feet to the South letting the house project over the site 20 feet in the air.

Though complex in construction and implementation, the simple design does not buck the eclectic style of the surrounding houses. The use of air, stone, and light have driven this design since the beginning. The solidity of the house is derived from the bedrock it is intertwined with. The natural flow of air allows this house to exist mostly passive in systems. The duality of both being in the ground and in the trees allows for an array of lighting techniques.

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Status: Built
Location: Kansas City, MO, US
My Role: Desiger, General Contractor
Additional Credits: Matthew Teismann, Trevor Acorn