Block Producer: Basalite Concrete Products
“Attention to detail was extremely important to our clients, from the massing of the house to the finest of details,” says Don Clark, AIA, of Cathexes. “They wanted Old World stonework and industrial materials.” In response, the architects provided a balance of various building materials as a major aspect of the overall design in a contemporary design that references the intrinsic nature of those materials.
Combining Old and New Allows the Natural to Shine
“We created a rigorous process for the design layout, textural selection and execution in the spirit
of masonry as art. While a delicate balance had to be considered with the natural hues of all the exterior materials—which meant using only one color for all the block and pavers—it was important to create richness within. Shadow play, block orientation (i.e. soldier coursing in bands), and careful attention to composition were used to achieve this,” according to Clark. Components of concrete masonry, streamlined steel design, cedar siding with a deep profile, glazing and zinc siding are all combined into an artistic whole.
Layers of Light and Texture Create a Rich and Distinct Design
Each course of the concrete masonry, for every wall, was designed and selected. Bands and angles were placed specifically to balance and layer the composition. Four different finishes or face textures were carefully selected and located—using standard concrete block, split-face block, plus honed and shot-blast blocks. Various textures absorb and reflect light differently, giving every wall and space a visual richness that evolves throughout the day and over the course of the year.
The floor plan is fully accessible, and includes an elevator and circulation around the exterior with a continuous switchback trail. Sun angles were studied with 3D modeling to maximize passive solar design. Light, and its effect on both exterior and interior spaces, was studied. Layers of technical controls are incorporated to accommodate different functions, from entertaining large groups to intimate uses.
The reception area divides private spaces from public. Forms are “held together” via the central curved hallway. The ceiling of the main curved hallway is arranged with a random-pattern “starry night” theme.
The balance of building materials is a major aspect of the overall design of 2345 House. Rich block work, with its structural qualities and artistic potential help this house live in harmony with its natural setting.