Striving for perfection. Two Residential Houses by Randy Brown Architects. Print E-mail
Thursday, 27 September 2007 17:09

 

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We are proud to feature two remarkable projects by the talented Architect, Randy Brown, based in Omaha, Nebraska.

While different in their appearance both projects seem to share common philosophies. They are the result of a methodical process where ideas matured through the different design stages, Each element of the project was being constantly re-evaluated, even through its construction stage. Well integrated in their site they give the users through large window frames the best experience of the natural surroundings. Both projects were designed with Sustainability in mind; materials have been carefully chosen to minimize energy consumption.

 

 

 

The first project is the Randy Brown's own residence; the site is in the country 10-acre lot north of Omaha, in a partially wooded area with rolling hills. The Architect himself built the project. It took four years to finish. Each of the last four summers, reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin, college architecture students were hired to assist with the design and construction. Randy Brown had an affectionately nicknamed the project as ‘The Laboratory’ his intention for it to be an ‘Architectural experiment’. The design continued to evolve as it was being constructed. Everything was custom designed and built on site.
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Some Green building techniques were integrated into the architecture: passive solar, natural ventilation, insulated concrete forms, R-45 roof insulation, renewable materials, radiant flooring, heat pumps, and a green roof system.

 

The Architect explains the integration of the project to its surroundings: ‘The design explores ways to intertwine what is man-made with what is natural.  The intention is to create a house that is so interconnected with the land that it is simultaneously natural and man-made, much like abandoned tractors and farm machinery rusting away in the rural landscape.’

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The intent was to create open dynamic spaces that are defined and still feel connected to the larger whole. This was achieved by canting walls, pulling floors away from walls, creating mezzanine spaces, large window walls and floating stairs that seem to fly.

According to the architect, he intends to continue this architectural experiment for the rest of his life.  It is a “work in progress” with many areas unfinished today, opportunities for tomorrow.


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The second project is named Crabapple and recipient of the 2007 AIA small projects award. Located in the Omaha, Nebraska suburbs, it is developed with the intent to provide an alternative to the currently fashionable suburban houses adequately named ‘McMansions’.
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The result is an attractive, smart, affordable and eco-friendly house that would sell at the same price as the homebuilder house (comparable square footage). The form is a modular designed “bar” that sits on a poured-in-place foundation. The surrounding site is left unfinished and undisturbed and large floor-to-ceiling glazing connects the interior to the outside. Clean crisp lines delineate the modernity of the design.

As with the first project, sustainable construction material has been used. Cement board siding, one-inch low-e glazing, and a well-insulated rubber roof all contribute to a low Energy dissipation. Exposed framing and polished concrete floors reduce the use of cladding. Compact fluorescent light bulbs and energy star appliances lower the power consumption.

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Both projects emanate from a love of Architecture through talented minds. It achieves a high level of sophistication through careful planning. The attention to detail is obvious in both cases and no detail is left unattended. This is the work of true innovators.


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Last Updated on Friday, 11 December 2009 17:29
 
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