Project: B-W Residence

Year: 2003

Location: Indianapolis

Located within one of the city’s designated historic districts, this new house needed to respect the design guidelines of the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission. At first glance the residence’s gabled street elevation recalls the simplicity of a child’s drawing of a house. However, an intersecting gabled portion at the center expands upon the basic rectangular form common to the simplest historic cottages. The brick chosen for the main body of the house is enlivened by a diapered pattern of projecting headers. On the exterior of the center section, the walls are sheathed in an interesting new material: a synthetic, chisel-point slate in a fish-scale pattern.

One of the architect’s challenges was to incorporate a book collection of over 5,000 volumes within the ground-floor living spaces. The first room entered from the front door is the library, but books occur in all the first-floor rooms. Floor-to-ceiling bookcases create a wallpaper texture without dominating spaces. One of the home’s most interesting features is its riser-less staircase of contrasting dark and light woods, which brings to mind a Lego™ construction.