NotM Dan Hisel: de Manio/Downing

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[image: entry stairs to porch]

Designed for a family of 4, the de Manio/Downing Residence is a single-family home occupying a 5-acre, wood site outside Boston. Meeting the demands of the contemporary family, the home’s program called for 4 bedrooms, a large, formal living/dining space for entertaining, more casual spaces for the family’s day-to-day activities, and home offices for both parents.

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[image: exterior view from north, across courtyard]

Dan Hisel, our current Ninja of the Month, saw the project as two connected volumes, “highly crafted boxes in the woods”, which are connected by a shared entry/porch space. These ‘boxes’ then form an L-shaped plan for the house, an underutilized [in the US, at least] housing typology that really locks the home into the landscape – as if placing the building in the site rather than on it. This relationship between the two volumes allows for an entry stair [seen above] that moves along the smaller ‘box’, directing you towards a centrally-located entrance in the main, larger ‘box’. It also creates an entry courtyard space for the family, which – when the trees have had a few more years to grow – will be like walking through their own personal, domesticated woods to enter the house.

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[image: exterior view from south]

The design solution places 2 highly crafted boxes in the woods whose entry sequence orchestrates a dramatic threshold welcoming people into the forest. These two volumes adopt three primary orientations corresponding to the different activities engaged by this active household: a formal entertaining space and a library for adults directed towards views of the woods, informal kitchen and family/breakfast spaces oriented towards the large yard, and offices in and over the garage, oriented towards the public zones of the street and driveway.

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[image: living / dining looking towards kitchen]

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[image: living / dining]

Looking to the plans [below], we can see that the combination of the home and the office is handled through what could be seen as a more ‘urban’ strategy than you would typically see in a single-family residence in the woods: the home and office share a common porch, accessed through a shared public space [the courtyard]. The office space is even provided large windows looking out onto the entry stair, much like one would expect to find in a building attempting to engage with pedestrians on a sidewalk.

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[image: first + second floor plans]

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[image: section]

View more of Dan Hisel’s work – and more images of the de Manio/Downing Residenceat his website – and / or check out coverage of other selected works here at AMNP’s NotM: Dan Hisel.

::all images + any quoted text provided by Dan Hisel::

::photography by Peter Vanderwarker::

Posted: June 18th, 2009
at 2:53pm by orangemenace


Categories: architecture,housing,featured ninjas,Ninjas of the Month

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