Johnsen Schmaling Architects - Ferrous House in Spring Prairie, Wisconsin Print
Wednesday, 07 July 2010 07:41

© Doug Edmunds Studio

2010 AIA Housing Award Recipient, this house is the careful reinvention of an existing, ill-conceived suburban production home at the end of its life cycle. This project challenges the ordinary but environmentally irresponsible tabula rasa approach – tear down and build bigger – and offers a sensible alternative, illustrating how the bones of a dysfunctional building can be reclaimed as the framework for a contemporary, precisely detailed dwelling. The project is a case study for a resource-conscious suburban renewal in a time of economic and ecological distress.

© Doug Edmunds Studio

While the project brief asked for a radical aesthetic and spatial metamorphosis, the severely limited construction budget, and environmental common sense, commanded the reuse of major elements of the existing building, including the foundations, main perimeter walls, and plumbing stacks.

The interior was gutted and reorganized to create open, interconnected spaces. A new shed roof, supported by a filigree of exposed metal and wood trusses, adds height to the living spaces and allows northern light to wash the inside of the house through a long band of translucent, aerogel-filled polycarbonate glazing.

© Doug Edmunds Studio

Throughout the building, sustainable systems and materials were specified, including low-VOC paints and stains, recycled steel, high-efficiency mechanical systems, Energy Star-rated windows, and locally sourced woods.

Project Details:
Architecture: Johnsen Schmaling Architects

Engineer: Patera, LLC
General Contractor: Jorndt Fahey Remodelling, LLC