208 West Pennsylvania Addition and Remodel
This project expanded a 1927 mail-order house that included a 1988 kitchen addition. For this project, the original addition was remodeled into a bathroom, music room, pantry, and washer/dryer closet. A new kitchen and deck were constructed alongside the original addition.
The new addition was designed to seamlessly integrate with the 1988 addition. Details were appropriated and adjusted to create a light-filled cooking center overlooking the backyard garden.
Commissioned Project: 2017
[Robinson]Knight Residence, Phase One: Renovation
In 1974, Jack Sherman Baker, FAIA, designed this striking residence for Gertrude “GiGi” Robinson, a sociology professor at the University of Illinois. The house features three unique units – a studio apartment and guest bedroom on the ground floor, and a large, light filled dwelling unit on the second floor. Unfortunately, years of neglect have taken their toll on the exterior envelope and grounds.
The objective of this phase was to revitalize the exterior with new cladding, resolve structural problems, and restore and upgrade interior finishes and details. These new elements are introduced with sensitivity for the existing design, maintaining and enhancing the concepts powerfully executed in the original design.
Commissioned as Project Consultant: 2015
Renovation Completed: 2018
2017 Heritage Award from the Preservation and Conservation Association (PACA) of Champaign County
[Robinson]Knight Residence, Phase Two: Additions
The objective of this second phase is to add three unique elements to the originl composition: a reflecting pool in the entrance courtyard, a lap pool along the western edge, and a rooftop terrace and pavilion. These new elements are introduced with sensitivity for the existing design, maintaining and enhancing the spatial and proportional concepts powerfully executed in the original residence.
Commissioned Project: 2015-17
Design Associate: David Emmons
The cabin is located in the northwest corner of a 13-acre property being transformed into woodlands and prairie. The 770 SF four-season open plan takes full advantage of the picturesque water views. The ground floor features living, sleeping, washing and cooking spaces with framed views and multiple access points to the outdoor terraces. To the west is a 620 SF garage and shop. The long narrow section is developed to maximize views and cross ventilation.
The exterior cladding references Midwest rural vernacular and helps emphasize the spatial conception. Galvanized steel siding wraps the gables and north end. Vertical planks of local red cedar cover the north and south sides. The cedar is reintroduced on the interior ceiling to create a warm and aromatic environment.
Commissioned Project: 2016
Polygon Sculpture Studio
Hague, New York
The owners of a steep lakefront property wanted a small studio for making sculpture and accommodating guests. The form reflects these two functions.
The studio is at the highest point of the property, along an access road that forms the western boundary. It is at the pinnacle of the site, with tree-filtered views of Lake George, 130 steps above the water’s edge. On the ground floor is a vertical light-filled space and service zone tucked under the loft. The guest loft above forms its own gabled volume and pronounced deck. The result is a series of very distinct yet interconnected spaces.
The exterior cladding references Adirondack rural vernacular and helps emphasize the spatial conception. Galvanized steel siding wraps the gables and north end. Vertical planks of local red cedar cover the polygonal east and west sides. The cedar is reintroduced on the interior to create a warm and aromatic environment.
Commissioned Project: 2012
Design Associates: Workus Studio
Townsville, Queensland, Australia
The plan amplifies the stunning front and laterals views to the water, as well as rear views back to Castle Hill. Neighboring buildings are masked from the dwelling units by angling sidewalls, allowing centrally located spaces views of the waterfront. The structure throughout is white precast concrete.
The aesthetic is generated by maximizing and expressing the use of devices that make the building energy efficient. Front and rear decks on all dwelling units are conceived of as virtual rooms with operable hardwood shuttering on the front and rear planes of the building, allowing maximum operable flexibility of open and closed positions. Folding glass walls behind the shutters allow decks to be fully integrated with the adjacent living spaces.
The Penthouse features a series of interconnected small pavilions, divided by courtyards, all connected to a breezeway that runs the length of the building. Pavilion roofs with integrated photovoltaic solar collectors are torqued to the north to maximize solar exposure. A system of gutters and roofs channel water to storage containers located on the penthouse and entrance floor.
Commissioned Project: 2010-14
Design Associates: Workus Studio
A well-proportioned 1957 gabled house was constructed on the north edge of a small park. While the southern view of maturing park trees visible through the glazed gable end is delightful, an owner of dubious taste in the 1970s constructed a curiously awful Mansard carbuncle-of-an-addition to its west.
The new owner wanted to renovate the original gable house, and replace the addition. The solution was to create another gabled space, which expanded the park view. The original gabled space was updated to 21st century standards and became a spacious Kitchen; the new gabled space became a Living Area. A third gable faces the street and contains a garage and workshop. A courtyard completes the plan composition, creating a central oculus to bring light and transparency deep into the square plan.
Commissioned Project: 2011-12
Design Associates: Workus Studio
"Rex" Retreat Cabin
The site for "Rex" is an abandoned strip mine, transformed into a series of ponds, islands, and forest groves.
The 800SF four-season open plan "cabin" takes full advantage of the picturesque water views. The ground floor features living, sleeping, washing and cooking spaces with framed views and multiple access points to the outdoor terraces. Above is a small retreat loft with views in three directions.
The enclosure is shaped to react to its specific environment. A series of stepped and landscaped terraces connect water to the living levels above. Deep west eaves shade the strong afternoon sun. The long narrow section is developed to maximize views and cross ventilation. The natural, weathered exterior surfaces create a quiet backdrop for the activities of life.
Commissioned Project: 2010
Design Associates: Workus Studio
"Oasis" Library & Guest House
Oasis is located at the southernmost corner of a large wooded residential property that abuts fields of corn and soybean. It is separated from the principal residence by Saline Creek, which flows northeast to southwest across the site.
The linear composition begins as an entry at the north edge of the creek. An open-air pavilion marks the north end of the covered footbridge that spans the creek. The south end of the footbridge leads to a large deck, carefully shaped to avoid removing the existing trees.
The book-lined interior spaces are shaped to create flexible areas for study, sleep, meetings, etc. These spaces are arranged linearly on a single level, perched on concrete piers above the flood plane.
Commissioned Project: 2009-11
This economical 3300 SF residence is shaped and sited to deflect northerly winter winds and open to the expansive view to the south. This side features a deep overhang to shade the interior in the summer. but absorb south light in the winter. Rooms are located in an east-west linear sequence to allow cross ventilation throughout and to create a series of internal zones adaptable to guests or family use. The central feature is a 17-foot high living room overlooked by two offices for the faculty clients and a bridge on the second floor. Oak is used throughout the first floor public spaces and stairs, bouncing warm light on to the surrounding walls and ceilings. The walls are painted in semi-gloss white, light and medium gray, allowing the color mood of the interior to change with the atmospheric conditions outside.
The result is a light-filled sanctuary, a refuge for both family life and professional work.
Commissioned Project: 1997
Associate Architect: Guy Hampel
A House for Robeson Meadows
The house is imbedded into the landscape of a typical suburban subdivision to suggest a sustainable alternative to the developers’ standard box. The existing earth berm, used to shield the residential site from a busy road along the southern edge, was extended into the site, merging with the house form and transforming the garage form into an earthen mound. Within the limited area of a small suburban site, landscape and architecture are integrated into a single geometric composition.
Research Project: 1994
Exhibition, Public Forum on Unbuilt Architecture and the Future of Design, Boston Society of Architects, 1998.
Prospect and Refuge
Prospect and Refuge is a visual study of an isolated dwelling in a vast and sublime landscape. It illustrates a residential site construction composed of both the landscape and the architecture on a vast plain. The title of this drawing refers to Jay Appleton’s research into the perception of places of opportunity and safety in the landscape. In "The Poetry of Habitat," he suggests, "… the greatest satisfaction is to be had from the panorama - that wide, sweeping prospect which takes in a vision of a great tract of territory allowing the most comprehensive scope to the eye."
Research Project: 1992
Winner, American Society of Architectural Perspectivists, 1993
Significant Structures | Urbana house's new owner, architect take designer's modernism to new heights
"Victor" Meditation Hut featured in calm down. recreational architecture
"Victor" Meditation Hut featured in Modern Butterfly Roofs on DWELL.com
Spaces of Serenity featured at AIA'19.
From Olympians to Blind Pigs, lecture at Vallès School of Architecture, Sant Cugat del Vallès, Spain, September 25, 2018
Spaces of Serenity, Nanotecture, featured at AIA'18.
Jeffery S. Poss, Architect
Jeffery S. Poss, FAIA, Principal