Wave & Smile: Concrete Cantilever Sets House Apart in Style


Sometimes a whole house represents some single design concept or overarching architectural strategy, but in other cases a single gesture can convert a relatively conventional contemporary home into something unusual, unique and outstanding.

Dubbed the Ribbon House for its curved concrete roof, the core visual element swoops sideways to provide shade (as well as a signature structural gesture) along both the roof as well as the side the hanging shell arcs out over. Hartree & Associates took a recognizable form and applies it in a gravity-defying and eye-catching cantilever, allowing it to both inform the interior patterns of light as well as the more obvious aesthetic effects on the exterior of the structure.

More than just ornamentation, this eccentric element provides a direct-daylight screen for inside spaces – even along the fully-glazed two-story glass curtain wall with an open view to the adjacent lake – while allowing indirect light to illuminate them during the day. From any angle, though, the appearance is dominated by this one move that makes the otherwise ordinary white facade stand apart from the neighboring homes along the same block.

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