Three interlocking volumes shape this glass, stone, steel and wood residence positioned within a forested five-acre property in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. This rural landscape helped New York City-based studio Koko Architecture + Design construct a contemporary gathering of residential spaces that would engage neighboring handcrafted Amish farm buildings in a design dialogue. Known as the Dangle-Byrd House, the 3,000 square foot splendid construction feels like a light-flooded aquarium when viewed from the glazed side. Craftsmanship and the desire to compose a collection of experiences while moving through the house led the architects to expose the elegance of materials while maintaining a low environmental impact.
Radiant floors and passive solar heating help the stone chimney offer comfort during summer months. This is how the architects describe their Japanese-influenced creation: While each volume is very simple in its form, the exchange between them allows for a wide variety of spatial experiences. The first impression one has is that the house is two “shadow-boxes” connected by a “bird cage”. However, as you enter the house the perceptions change. From the interior, the cage is no longer a figure, but rather a looking glass to the outside. The single storied master suite becomes an intimate walnut valise, retreating from the exposed glass living room. A dramatic perforated steel bridge passing through a two-storied screened porch reaches the guest suite. The northern end of the house has a private balcony looking down to the lap pool set into the woods.