Nicholas Mattia

Nicholas Mattia

Chicago, IL, US


Two Homes in One House

Soft Limits

The modern single-family house can be understood as a consumer product with a range of domestic orders and qualities set by prevailing culture or the needs of a particular family. As the image of a “family” has evolved into something beyond the traditional nuclear ideal, the core ideas of what a house should be came into question. This studio speculates on the possibilities of the single-family house as something slightly more than a shelter for related inhabitants - two homes in one house. 

The materials and surfaces in this house operate in a spectrum of rigidity – soft materials descend downward and hard and heavy materials rise upwards: much like stalactites and stalagmites, respectively. This dichotomy of materials begins to blend in the middle range of the house to add to the overall effect of lightness.

This project explores the threshold between the two residents of the house - the owner and the renter. It creates “soft limits” between them through the use of curtains that create a unique condition of interaction - a special threefold condition:

1. Big groups can occupy the space when curtain is open 

2. Small groups can occupy space outside the curtain on respective sides 

3. Intimate space exists on the interior of the curtains when closed.

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Status: School Project
Location: Chicago, IL, US