2008 Angled Attic Wall
Posing as simple, straightforward and thus a good conservative neighbor, this New England two-family house actually expresses with enthusiasm a dominant paradox in these unassuming "well-behaved" suburban lemmings. That is the desire for the the formal symmetries of the gable type and the necessary misalignment of axis for the purposes of 'good' residential space planning. The incongruity of these two players invariably results in a multiplicity of axis at various scales, from the whole form to the relationship of a bay window to a bedroom. All of this is to say that what appears to be "simple and conservative" is instead a lucid example of subtle variation and mysterious and often bizarre design choice.
This project was to insert a master bedroom suite into an unused attic space. The entry sequence to the suite had been previously constructed, setting up a double door entrance in line with the primary longitudinal axis of the house. Code restrictions for minimum head and fixture clearances meant that the formulaic solution would have placed the bathroom in the center of newly defined space... undermining the potential usefulness of the floor area. An angled wall was introduced, rotated off the longitudinal axis in order to clear the double doors and provide adequate head room to one side for the bathroom fixtures. The result is an extremely clean division. And though the geometry of this wall does not appear 'normal' relative to the existing house it nevertheless engages the existing game of plotting program desires against the visual desires of symmetrical form. Project Diagrams Existing Axis of Symmetry Proposed Axis of Symmetry Proposed Plan and Sections