World-renowned architect Steven Holl is challenging the distasteful world of McMansions with his latest creation, the Ex of In House. Located on a heavily-forested 28-acre site in Rhinebeck, NY, the quirky guest home is a three-level, 918-square-foot "compressed form" structure made up of various spherical intersections and trapezoidal volumes. The building's dramatic structure is part of the architect's ongoing research and development project entitled Explorations of "IN", which questions architectural clichés, like the ubiquitous McMansion.
Holl’s firm explains that the home is a study in the benefits of compact design: “The house serves as an alternative to modernist suburban houses that ‘sprawl in the landscape’. Instead, the Ex of In is a house of compression and inner voids.”
The timber-framed house was constructed almost entirely from raw materials, such as the solid mahogany used for the window and door frames, as well as the interior stairs. The white exterior is covered in an insulating stucco made out of a recycled glass aggregate called Poraver. The interior light fixtures were 3D-printed using cornstarch-based bioplastic.
On the interior, an expansive entrance hall leads the eye to the home’s many carved-out wooden shapes and spaces. These boolean voids are a favorite of Holl’s and are commonly used to give character to compact spaces. The double-height ceiling has a semi-circular skylight that provides optimal natural light to the living space, along with a grand circular feature window that holds court on the corner of the upper floor. Although the small kitchen sits at the base of the interior, there is little designation of individual spaces. The home is essentially just one large three-level room with no bedrooms, although it does sleep five.
Initially the plot of land used for the Ex of In’s construction was slated for five individual plots but was ultimately preserved as one to protect the surrounding rural landscape. Additionally, the home is heated by a geothermal system and uses solar power for its energy needs.
Via Curbed NY
Images via Steven Holl Architects