Project DescriptionLocated on a 1/3 acre within the historic Chatham Arch Neighborhood, eleven blocks north of
Monument Circle stands a contemporary new home that redefines urban infill. Complementing the context of the surrounding homes, the City Cottage, through key visual connections,respects the past while writing its own future. The street’s north façade evokes a strong vertical presence relating to the repetitive cadence of the adjacent properties masonry piers.The design provides a layer of privacy for the homeowners, while the solid massing peels away to large expanses of glazing, framing intended view sheds both inward and outward. Along with its versatility, the home pulls key horizontal elements from the established neighborhood rhythm, specifically the eaves and elevated floor lines.
Implementing a linear footprint, an organized functional plan was conceived by focusing the core functions of a home at the center. These functional spaces, anchored by “transitions” allowed for the common spaces to flow between each other. With this, a void was cut from the footprint providing a private vegetated courtyard sheltered from the urban street by the stair massing and steel gate. A Zen-like plunge pool situates itself at the corner of the court, visible from many areas of the house and welcomes guests along their entry journey. Through the calculated use of oversized glazing elements, natural light is maximized and infiltrates deep into the interior spaces. The visual openness and centralized courtyard blur the boundaries of exterior and interior, which creates a peaceful respite within the urban seeing.
Through the use of a simple exterior material palate and contrasting color scheme, the
building’s geometry is easily conveyed and emphasis is given to the primary focal points of the concept. Dark iron spot masonry is used in conjunction with dark mortar to create monolithic forms that anchor the east and south elevations. A cedar rain-screen wall distinguishes itself at a residential, human scale and contrasts the steel entry gate. The remaining mass of the house is clad in light colored fiber cement panels. The durable, cost effective panels serve as a quiet backdrop to the more dominant elements of the composition.
The interior finish scheme features reclaimed barn wood flooring and white glass cabinetry. Key to the interior design is the incorporation of natural ash wood elements. These are used on the loft railing, featured cabinetry and showcased on the vertical staircase. The ash kitchen/ dining ceiling bulkhead completes the idea of linear circulation. The terminus on axis with the ash linear bulkhead is the living room fi replace, incorporated in the chimney form which reinforces its street presence. Through its form, mass, and color both inside and out as a pure expression, it becomes the heart of the handsome City Cottage.