Dash Marshall

With apologies to Robert Frost, if good fences make good neighbors, do good walls make good relatives? That’s the question we set out to explore with this family of five interventions, each a meditation on the qualities and role of walls.

Overall axo Exploded axonometric drawing showing five meditations from top to bottom: office (thickened), storage wall (perforated), fort bed (stacked), flex space (dissolved), secrets desk (folded).

MEDITATION 1: PERFORATED

In the entry hallway we wrapped an existing wall with new wooden fins that are perforated into an oversized pegboard, allowing it to function as storage (seen below on the left).

Flex from entry Flex from entry - closing View from the entry

MEDITATION 2: DISSOLVED

At the end of the entry hallway is a new ‘flex’ space. It was created by replacing a drywall partition with highly transparent millwork that lets light deep into the center of the home. One oversized operable panel acts as a door, connecting the space to the entry.

Flex inside open Flex inside closed Inside the flex space

A second oversized panel functions as a window that connects the flex space to the kitchen. Operating the two panels together allows the occupants to modulate the environment from a defined space to something that feels more like a nook.

Flex from outside Flex from outside A large moving panel may be closed to separate the flex space from the kitchen

Living room

Living to bridge

MEDITATION 3: THICKENED

The existing interior walls of the office are thickened with a new partition of walnut and opaque glass. This thickened wall allowed us to insert new lighting that helps the room feel more comfortable despite the lack of windows.

Peg wall to office Adjustable storage wall wraps around the entrance to the office

The thickened wall curls in on itself to create a daybed, allowing for multiple modalities of work (or napping) in a very small space.

Office at angle

Office

MEDITATION 4: FOLDED

Between the bedrooms of two siblings a portion of the wall was replaced with millwork folded into an S-curve in plan. This creates back to back workspaces and bookshelves for each child. Due to the fold, each workspace is half in one room and half in the other.

Kids-blue

A small “confessional” allows the kids to pass notes (or stink eye), but only when both raise the screen simultaneously.

Confessional

MEDITATION 5: STACKED

Within the bedroom of the youngest member of the family, a new wall has been created by stacking millwork. A series of volumes store the child’s clothing and possessions while protecting the sleeping area as a room within a room.

Kids-red with bed

Kids bed

Plan Floorplan showing meditations in gray



Photos by Mark Wickens