MIT School of Architecture teacher and architect William O’Brien Jr. has designed a set of fascinating matching vacation homes in Upstate New York. Created for two brothers, "Twins" juxtaposes two homes, built from the same principal five shapes, on one plot of land. By varying the shapes, O’Brien created two residences that relate to the snowy landscape beautifully while also relating to one another.
Four trapezoids and one triangle make up the basis for the shapes that compose each home. Using the mathematical principle of dissection, O’Brien designed the homes to incorporate the same amount of space, but with different arrangements of both the floor plans and roof elevations. The resulting pieces are one square home and one hexagonal
, which use their spatial parts in different ways. For example, the triangle space is used as a sun room in one home, and a screened in porch in another. The roofs of each home slope toward each other, to allow snow and rain to collect into a piping system that connects the two homes. The pipes irrigate
the edible gardens
that are next to each home, giving each brother’s family access to different seasonal foods like corn, green vegetables, berries and wheat. The facades of both homes are set with full wall glass curtains
. These windows flood the interiors with light, but also bring the beautiful natural landscape indoors
, for a tranquil vacation. Since the plot is remote, the windows can also create a dialogue between the inhabitants of the two homes without shirking privacy. + William O’Brien Jr.