This house in suburban New Jersey attempts to reconcile several competing forces. The first challenge is to provide comfortable living space for five while preserving as much exterior space as possible for outdoor living. Given the relatively small site (50'x100'), our solution involves manipulating the typical house footprint in order to create usable exterior spaces. We go from a basic rectangle placed in the middle of the site to an "L" shaped configuration that creates a substantial sideyard to complement the backyard. This strategy also opens up more of the interior to the exterior and consequently, allows more light and air to move through the space.
The second challenge is to reconcile cost and customization. The perception is that custom houses must cost significantly more than production houses. In this case, we employ a number of production house building techniques including a straightforward foundation profile, framing on a module and vertically stacked bathrooms to reduce costs. The customization comes in the form of the layout of the spaces and the building on the site, as well as, locating the windows to take advantage of trees, views and sunlight. The result is a completely custom house built at a cost that rivals production houses......more