Ashton, Maryland, USA
Janet Bloomberg of KUBE architecture rethinks the suburban residence with SUB-urban, a home for an urban family that consciously combines materials with technical efficiency and merges the indoor with the outdoor.
This new house located on a 5-acre suburban site was designed for an urban family.
The design reimagines the suburban house as open and interconnected, with built-in flexibility, rather than closed and divided.
SUB-urban has recently been awarded a 2022 American Architecture Award Honorable Mention, by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
The site strategy was to minimize the new house footprint, with a “light touch” on the landscape, and a strong integration of interior and exterior.
There had previously been a 1970’s developer house on this site, which burned down years earlier.
The site strategy was to re-use the existing basement and foundation, and to cantilever all portions of the house that extend beyond that footprint.
All existing grading and trees were preserved, and the existing pool was refurbished rather than replaced.
A small pool house and field house step out from the main residence along the line of trees.
The house combines industrial materials that evoke the clients’ previous urban dwelling, with warmer materials reminiscent of the husband’s Icelandic upbringing.
Composed of two offset volumes that overlap in a large 2-story space, the front volume is more solid and private, while the rear volume is transparent.
A steel bridge connects the two, overlooking the main living spaces.
The front volume contains a guest suite and office below and children’s rooms above, while the rear glass volume contains the main living spaces and master suite, all of which look out to the trees and landscape.
A first floor guest suite offers the possibility of future one-story living.
A wall of folding doors opens up to the large rear deck, extending the living space to the outside.
Radiant heat operates efficiently throughout the house as the main heat source in winter, and an engineered fan in the living/dining area minimizes the need for air-conditioning in summer.
All lighting is LED, and the living room pendants and various other elements were re-purposed from the clients’ previous residence.
Architects: KUBE architecture
Lead Architect: Janet Bloomberg
Contractor: Added Dimensions Inc.
Photographers: Hoachlander Davis Photography, LLC.