So is it modern … or does a single decorative splash change it entirely? Or as Robert Venturi might put it: a duck, decorated shed or something in between? The boxy shape, minimalist structure and simple white-and-red color scheme all suggest modernism, but the striking built-in window treatments along the front and side (mostly-glass) walls indicate otherwise.

Titled the Tattoo House by Maynard Architects, this open-plan abode lets in lots of daylight but has custom-cut, high-quality window stickers to temper the sun’s rays with tree-like cut-outs. During the day, these prevent light from getting in – at night, it selectively stops light from projecting out for an opposite visual effect.

In both cases, though, privacy is protected on the more-obscured upper level (which has sight-lines leading to neighboring properties) while leaving views open along the bottom. There downside of year-round protection, though, compared to having actual tree cover: no change from summer to winter, with spring growth naturally providing shade and fall reversing the process.

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All of this again recalls Venturi: on top of some strictly (and strange) ornamental moves (like putting an gold antenna on top of a retirement home to symbolize their TV-watching habits), he made space-twisting choices (like the uncomfortably-twisted little staircase in his own mother’s home). Of course, with the recessed cylindrical columns and glass-box shape one could also read some Mies, Corbu or Johnson into this structure too.