Custom Search

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ferrous House - Johnsen Schmaling Architects

The Ferrous House sits in a row of unexceptional 1970’s ranches, part of a narrow subdivision hugging the edge of a wooded nature preserve west of Milwaukee. An existing dwelling that had fallen into serious disrepair was entirely gutted and stripped of its roof, but the limited construction budget required the reuse of the existing foundation, main perimeter walls, and plumbing cores.


Architecture, Design, House, Interiors, Ferrous-House, Johnsen-Schmaling-Architects

Architecture, Design, House, Interiors, Ferrous-House, Johnsen-Schmaling-Architects
The main level of the house, a simple rectangular volume with 1,380 sf of living space, is wrapped on three sides with a suspended curtain of weathering steel panels, their warm color of ferrous corrosion echoing the hues of the derelict farm equipment left behind on the area’s abandoned pastures. The steel wrapper protects the inside of the house from the scrutiny of suspicious neighbors and the elements; in the back, it extends beyond the building’s perimeter, where it shelters the sides of a linear south-facing patio.

Architecture, Design, House, Interiors, Ferrous-House, Johnsen-Schmaling-Architects

Architecture, Design, House, Interiors, Ferrous-House, Johnsen-Schmaling-Architects

Architecture, Design, House, Interiors, Ferrous-House, Johnsen-Schmaling-Architects

Architecture, Design, House, Interiors, Ferrous-House, Johnsen-Schmaling-Architects
Linear storage boxes, containing built-in closet systems and living room cabinetry, penetrate the steel curtain and cantilever over the edge of the building, adding desperately needed square footage without altering the original footprint of the house.

Architecture, Design, House, Interiors, Ferrous-House, Johnsen-Schmaling-Architects

Architecture, Design, House, Interiors, Ferrous-House, Johnsen-Schmaling-Architects

Architecture, Design, House, Interiors, Ferrous-House, Johnsen-Schmaling-Architects

Architecture, Design, House, Interiors, Ferrous-House, Johnsen-Schmaling-Architects
In a carefully choreographed entry sequence, wide exterior stairs run along the front of the house and lead into a glazed foyer, an extension of the main circulation core that transforms into a small observatory above the roof. The slightly tilted roof plane is supported by a filigree of exposed metal and wood trusses, adding height to the living spaces and allowing northern light to wash the inside of the house through a translucent, Nanogel-filled glass band. At night, the window band radiates its warm light into the distance, subtly evoking the iconic clerestory glow of the dairy barns that once dotted the region.

Architecture, Design, House, Interiors, Ferrous-House, Johnsen-Schmaling-Architects

Architecture, Design, House, Interiors, Ferrous-House, Johnsen-Schmaling-Architects
The Ferrous House offers a resource-conscious solution to the challenges of an aging, and often ill-conceived, suburban housing stock. In contrast to a radical tabula rasa approach, the project demonstrates how the bones of an obsolete building can be utilized and transformed into the framework for a contemporary dwelling.

Architecture, Design, House, Interiors, Ferrous-House, Johnsen-Schmaling-Architects

Architecture, Design, House, Interiors, Ferrous-House, Johnsen-Schmaling-Architects

Architecture, Design, House, Interiors, Ferrous-House, Johnsen-Schmaling-Architects

Architecture, Design, House, Interiors, Ferrous-House, Johnsen-Schmaling-Architects

Architecture, Design, House, Interiors, Ferrous-House, Johnsen-Schmaling-Architects
Location: Spring Prairie, Wisconsin, USA
Project team: Brian Johnsen, AIA; Sebastian Schmaling, AIA; Nick Woods
Area: 125.4 sqm
Project year: 2008
Photography: Doug Edmunds

Architecture, Design, House, Interiors, Ferrous-House, Johnsen-Schmaling-Architects

Architecture, Design, House, Interiors, Ferrous-House, Johnsen-Schmaling-Architects

Architecture, Design, House, Interiors, Ferrous-House, Johnsen-Schmaling-Architects

Architecture, Design, House, Interiors, Ferrous-House, Johnsen-Schmaling-Architects

Architecture, Design, House, Interiors, Ferrous-House, Johnsen-Schmaling-Architects

Architecture, Design, House, Interiors, Ferrous-House, Johnsen-Schmaling-Architects

1 comment:

immodern said...

I was very inspired by this remodel, which we first saw in Dwell magazine. Fantastic use of materials and wonderful finishes. The Ferrous house also accomplishes something that has eluded many would-be remodelers of similar homes -- adding a front entry that is modern and consistent with the home (no silly colonial or georgian style columns supporting a portico, please). We also own a split foyer (aka split entry, bi-level, hi-ranch), and are in the process of remodeling ours to incorporate some mid-century modern details. I have dedicated a number of blog entries to the remodel. see http://purcellart.wordpress.com. I also included the Ferrous house as link to my blog, to share with others.

Post a Comment