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SPLIT/HOUSE

HARVARD, IL

Nestled amidst rural Illinois farmland, Split/house is a multi-family dwelling uniquely programmed to accommodate an elderly couple requiring wheelchair access and their daughter, a nurse who cares for them.

Located 60 miles northwest of Chicago, Split/house sits on 5 acres of open land surrounded by expansive agricultural fields.

The clients required two separate dwelling spaces joined by communal areas: a primary dwelling for a woman to host gatherings with friends and visits from her children, complete with a wrap-around porch; a small, ADA-compliant suite for her elderly parents and, finally; communal areas for all occupants to use, including a garage, mud/laundry room and long dining room to fit the whole family for special occasions.

The form was informed by the programmatic needs of the clients. The shared spaces and ADA-compliant suite sit on the ground floor just above grade; eliminating the need for expensive, space-consuming ramps. The public volume of the primary residence is offset 4' above grade and serves as an inhabited landing between the ground floor (suite and shared spaces) and the second floor above (private bedrooms of the primary residence). The result is a staggered floor plan that is simultaneously public, private, continuous and accessible.

The materials took inspiration from traditional local farms, using corrugated sheet metal, concrete and wood paneling to blend harmoniously with the agricultural and architectural environment.