Two directives were posed by the clients’ brief: House their collection of late 20th century artworks and design objects in spaces that compliment, but do not detract from their presence; accomplish this on a primary single continuous floor plane that allows for a graceful aging in place. Additionally, the client expressed a strong mistrust for open plans. Finally, site the project on a shallow, tightly constrained, and steeply sloping site.
The result is a set of geometric rules that generate the plan, curate the collection, and resonate with the patterns of daily life. Routine activities are contained in nine rooms that are arranged on a continuous ground plane (the upper level). To integrate the space for living and display while maintaining the desire for spatial separation, a slightly curved street wall acts as a datum for rooms defined by incomplete geometries. Each successive room is relational and adjacent rooms contribute to each other’s definition. Incomplete boundaries promote spatial continuity and well-defined geometries protect programmatic divisions. In these ways, this project attempts to resolve the complicated figure ground relationship through the tension between programmatic containment and spatial overlap.
Project Location | Ann Arbor, Michigan
Status | Completed, 2019
Principals in Charge | Craig Borum, FAIA
PLY+ Project Team | Yibo Jiao, Yusi Zha, Annabelle Guan, Jiashi Yu
Structural Engineering | SDI Structures
Photography | Jeffrey Kilmer, Yusi Zha, Jason Keen