Fun Family Living in 980 Square Feet


(upbeat music) – We originally called this
project, our next house. There is this ongoing joke in
architecture profession of, house one, house two, house three. So we thought, wouldn’t it just
be sort of tongue in cheek, if we just said, well
this is the next one. Our house is a really perfect example of the idea of focusing on the small home that really is a luxurious home. – I think the best
thing about living small is that you can’t collect too much junk. You have to be very selective as to what you want to put in the house. – [Mark] It doesn’t really
compromise on anything, it’s really full with a
wonderful sense of richness, richness of material, richness of space, richness of experience. (fun energetic music) – Our home is just under
a 1000 square feet. We started the house as a
small-scale one bedroom project, we found out we were
expecting and decided, it’d be easier to add-on to this house. We came up with a plan
to add a second space, that stayed in scale
with the original house. The second bedroom had
to be lower in scale, that’s why we had the step-down
from the original piece of the house into the lower-scale
piece that’s the bedroom. We pushed it further to
the back of the property so it looks secondary from the street. We tried to keep all of the
elements of the house, distinct. We have the little projecting
volumes on the original house are all the storage volumes, it’s the kitchen, it’s the book storage. Then we have the roof, that
essentially folds over. And then the windows are essentially the things that fill in the gap. (mellow electronic music) – Windows in this house
are super important. They really are part
of the idea of focusing the indoor, outdoor relationship. The windows are set at
different elevations throughout the space, so
if you’re sitting down you have a different view to the outside than if you’re standing up. It just has a sense of liveliness to it and connection that just
makes you feel better. – While my husband Mark
and I, have been working in architecture now for close to 20 years. Small-scale spaces for a long time, that was something we
were really interested in. One of the best ways to
explore the small-scale design is really to scale the furniture and the sort of the room layouts. – So we are book people, so how did we fit those in a small house? Well we came up with the
idea where we have a series of moving bookcases that allow us to slide the books back and forth. (whimsical music) We really thought about
it like it’s an old school Pullman train car, we
don’t have corridors, we don’t have dedicated kitchen space, each one of the rooms has discrete zones so when you’re in the living room, you’re kind of in the
living room, dining room, kitchen, but you get a sense of being in a unique spot within that space. We were very hands-on in this project. Ann and I actually built our
first house, by ourselves. Over the years we got a
little more adventurous. – Literally the first concrete wall, we built all the form work
and poured the concrete. – We’re definitely all
about playing around and trying things out. (futuristic music) We really like to focus on the
idea of juxtaposing textures. This introduction of different materials makes a different contrast
in different light patterns and different texture of quality possible. The fineness of a really elegant wood, juxtaposed against the
rawness of industrial looking concrete, the effect is this nice warm balance between the two. (relaxing guitar music) Ann and I have a really great,
finished art glass collection and over the years, family members have given us iittala glass birds. – [Anne] And we were trying to figure out what we should do with
our bird collection. – [Mark] In the bedroom
there’s a walnut feature wall and we happen to have
from a prior project, a bunch of aluminum
discs that were leftover from a custom wine rack that
we had done for a client. – We discovered that if we
trimmed these little discs, they were perfect size for the birds. They essentially become birds that, sit within the tree itself. One of my favorites is really the little library connecting space. (upbeat rock music) That’s the circulation space, between the original
house and the addition. – And it’s form is generated
about going around the trees. So the little diagonal jog
that is in our library space is all about letting
the building slide past one of the existing pecan trees. Trying to be respectful of
the site in which it inhabits. – And it’s perfect in the morning
if you sit and have coffee and you can watch the sunrise, because the whole space will just glow. One of the spaces that we really enjoy is the bedroom space. – [Mark] Our master bedroom
is completely different than the other spaces of the house. It is really meant to be a quiet space. – [Anne] It’s like you’re
sitting out in the garden space, because you have windows on two sides. (happy music) (child laughs) The girls really like playing in the house because they can run everywhere. – [Mark] They sort of sense
it like it’s a big jungle gym. – [Ann] You can’t go off and
be closeted in your own space, you’re always sort of participating in the daily life of the house. (child shouts) – Our kids love that they
live in a glass house, I think it really reinforces, a sense of adventure-ness that they have. (country music) This has been sort of an
organic evolution for us. This house has really
grown into such a refined little idea, itself, that if
we did anything else to it, it would really take away from it and make it into something that it isn’t. – With the three girls,
in a two bedroom house, we probably have you know,
five years before we have to come up with another version, (laughs). (upbeat country music)

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