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 make up each home. Using the mathematical principle of dissection, O’Brien designed the homes to incorporate the same amount of space, but with different arrangement of both the floor plan and roof elevations.
The resulting pieces are a square and hexagonal home, which use their spatial parts in different ways. 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 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’s Twins homes illustrates the young architect’s incredible creativity, which is deeply rooted in mathematics.