July 13, 2014

Strange building project...

... a house going up in my neighborhood:

Untitled

69 comments:

Mark O said...

Good. A tower.

ngtrains said...

Madison has several strange homes. I recall a couple in Shorewood Hills

Original Mike said...

It's a castle! Will there be a moat? And a drawbridge? I love a good drawbridge.

traditionalguy said...

It's either a fortress for the sole UW pro-Walker conservative on faculty to stand up to union thugs; or it's a strong point for a defense in depth against a Tea Party Army invading from the south.

The lack of windows gives them away. Are there enough gun firing slits?

MaxedOutMama said...

Rapunzel, let down your hair!

YoungHegelian said...

I'd sell your house & leave the neighborhood NOW if I were you! Judging from what I see in the garage, your new neighbor is building a death ray to defend his new house with the towers.

Leave while you still can! Before you and Meade are vaporized over a dog-piss incident on the guy's front lawn!

St. George said...

You have something against steam shovels moving into your neighborhood?

surfed said...

Faux Norman tower and keep.

chickelit said...

It looks like the third little pig's house. Maybe it's designed to be huff and puff tornado-proof.

chickelit said...

You should only start to worry when they start digging the moat.

Freeman Hunt said...

Fortress Lake Mendota.

The Crack Emcee said...

This is Dealing With Crazy White Folks 101:

Attack when the gun turrets are delivered - or still sitting in the yard.

DON'T lose the element of surprise,...

richard mcenroe said...

Innerestin' lookin' jernt.

SmartAssets said...

Looks like it is going to have turrets.

great Unknown said...

Hmmm. A radar dish in the garage, circular structures suitable for 360 degree scanning and/or missile silos. It's either NSA or your local Democratic DA.

Martha said...

Don't like the house your neighbors are building?

Sue them!

http://nyti.ms/1r6vuE4

In North Carolina, a bitter fight over how a neighborhood should look.

My brother is attempting to rebuild an oceanside house destroyed by Hurricane Sandy but construction has been stopped by neighbors unhappy with the house--- too grand for the neighborhood. The house is almost finished, the building plans approved long ago, and now the neighbors have successfully objected and stopped further construction.

Oso Negro said...

Looks like someone is thinking zombie apocalypse.

Jazzizhep said...

Turrets are as under-utilized as an architectural design feature as windows are over-utilized. Of course I am assuming there will be ports at the top for the archers and places to pour hot pitch on the unsuspecting raiders...er door-to-door salesmen and Jehovah's Witnesses.

I hope I have not triple posted. Blogger didn't accept my long-active Google+ account and kept redirecting me.

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

A man’s home is his defensible redoubt.

glenn said...

Probably some of those survivalist types. When they move in check for preserved foods and shotgun ammo.

Anonymous said...

Custom-made dungeon, no doubt. There WILL be bodies in that basement.

Deirdre Mundy said...

Strange...until you realize it's a post apocalyptic fortress. The question is "Who is building it? What does he know?"

hawkeyedjb said...

Those robots are beating the crap out of each other. Better separate them before someone gets hurt.

CatherineM said...

1 Window?

I had a dream that a friend built a new house. The husband thinks he's green (and thought we were in Iraq for the water, man!). I get to the dream house and it's all brick, no windows. He said, "it's like a basement as it keeps the heat out in the summer, and the cold out in the winter. Totally 0 carbon foot print!"

Your picture of that house is strangely similar to the one I dreamt about.

Ann Althouse said...

I just approved the comments. So all comments above this one were made by people who didn't know what others would be saying.

tim maguire said...

I'd love to see what it looks like inside when finished.

surfed said...

Query - Is there a moat? A discernible drawbridge? Slits for archers? Excavation tells for a dungeon? Any one speaking ancien French? Relatives of William the Conqueror applying for building permits?

Irene said...

If it's a residential property, then didn't the Homeowners' Association have to approve its construction? (May the Association interprets "historic" broadly.)

surfed said...

Addendum - If I worked at Harold's Chicken Shack in Madison I wouldn't be delivering any take out to that address.

surfed said...

Further Addendum - The top rated film in France in 1993. Available on Netflix. Very very funny in a Gallic kinda' way...

Les Visiteurs

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Visiteurs

Anonymous said...

An interesting look for a halfway house.

Ann Althouse said...

It's a historic district, but there is a lot of diversity which is part of the tradition. There are some innovative buildings, such as the Frank Lloyd Wright Airplane House.

This project was sold as blending into the landscape, because it's low, and it's meant to resemble a garden wall.

Google "serpentine wall" to see what the inspiration supposedly was.

FleetUSA said...

Is the head of the Architecture School moving in?

gadfly said...

So I assume that this is the neighborhood house under construction?

Anonymous said...



Blogger Ann Althouse said...
"It's a historic district, but there is a lot of diversity which is part of the tradition..."
---------------------------------

That' why it's the perfect place for a halfway house, drug rehab, foster care facility, etc. Filled with compassionate caring Democrats.

The Godfather said...

My wife and I took a cruise on the Rhine a few years ago. We learned that most of the Rhine castles are now resort hotels. The one in your neighborhood looks too small for that. Maybe a B&B. If so, this should allow you to visit an exotic locale while avoiding travel, and I understand you abhor travel.

David said...

Expensive.

mtrobertsattorney said...

It maybe that whoever is building that fortress is way ahead of the curve.

If I were living in that neighborhood, I, and hopefully some of my neighbors, would begin talks with the owner on a mutual defense pact, much like NATO.

If Obama loses the senate in November and the Republicans win the presidency in 2016, progressive leftists and the "you didn't build that" crowd
will begin a bitter counter-attack against income inequality.

David said...

Irene said...
If it's a residential property, then didn't the Homeowners' Association have to approve its construction? (May the Association interprets "historic" broadly.)


Madison is not a gated community.

Yet.

Meade said...

45 years ago we would've called it "hippie dippy".

Now it's just a little plain dippy.

Jupiter said...

I think that's a spiral (actually, helical) staircase in the garage.

broomhandle said...

Cool and distinctive. Most modern American houses are not built to last which is why it really doesn't matter if Miami is underwater in a few hundred years. I'd love to have that house in my neighborhood. Beats the shit out of the phony columns and wooden shutters dross.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

The redans should be pointy, not round, for better supporting fire.

Need to cut down the trees for a clear field of fire.

Original Mike said...

Thing in the garage looks like H.G. Wells' time machine.

FedkaTheConvict said...

That' why it's the perfect place for a halfway house, drug rehab, foster care facility, etc. Filled with compassionate caring Democrats.

Or unaccompanied minors from Central America.

campy said...

"If Obama loses the senate in November and the Republicans win the presidency in 2016, "

Not a chance.

Michael said...

This will be the home of an architect, the very architect that drew these plans by hand. No computer generated plans for this guy. Wire rimmed glasses. Sickening knowledge of wine. Dowdy wife. Absurd house. Architect house. Bank on it.

MathMom said...

A feng shui nightmare.

The Bergall said...

Have other angles? An entry way?

Architect's bill must have been something.

Flat roofs in your neck of the woods? Eh........

Kieth Nissen said...

The house violates current ethos of being open to the street, caring about what goes on in the public right of way. They wanna be alone. I can understand that but it also means dark rooms, short sight lines (maybe there are windows in the back yard) and, if you are going to make the wall the whole design, better choose some good looking material for the wall. They didn't do that.

Ann Althouse said...

The door is within the fold at the center of the photo.

Ann Althouse said...

The roof is designed to be turned into a green roof of some sort.

chickelit said...

Ann Althouse said...
The door is within the fold at the center of the photo.

I believe the term is invaginated.

Ann Althouse said...
The roof is designed to be turned into a green roof of some sort.

Green slate or verdigris copper sheathing?

Bob Ellison said...

The fan in the garage launches the vehicles out at sub-sonic speed. That should get them downtown after breakfast in time.

gadfly said...

Madison House

This curvy brick house for Madison, Wisconsin, is designed by architects Thomas Phifer and Partners to resemble a serpentine garden wall.

With construction set to begin later this month, the building will be the home for a pair of university professors within a neighborhood that also features houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan.

The site was formally the garden of two residences, so the architects designed a building that would reference this. “This house in essence is a garden wall,” Thomas Phifer told Dezeen. “It’s extremely simple and humble, with not a lot of embellishment.”

Built from an assortment of reclaimed bricks, Madison House will comprise a free-flowing plan loosely divided up into four wings with cedar floors and white walls. There won’t be many partitions, but rooms will be naturally divided by the swelling and constricting shapes.

Phifer explains: “The couple live a very simple and uncluttered life, so they want something that is very minimal and expresses their desire for simplicity.”

Frameless windows will be set forward from the brickwork and finished in mirrored glass, preventing views into rooms from the surrounding garden, while circular skylights will be dotted intermittently across the roof.

“We wanted sporadic skylights that light up very particular little places,” added the architect. “They won’t be centered in the rooms at all, but organised according to the kind of informal spirit of the walls.”

chickelit said...

From Gadly's link:
With construction set to begin later this month, the building will be the home for a pair of university professors within a neighbourhood that also features houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan.

The University must pay really well. DINKs too, probably.

The floor plan looks amoeba-like.

Anonymous said...

St. George said:
"You have something against steam shovels moving into your neighborhood?"

Neither machine parked in the front yard, a small front end loader most commonly referred to as a Bobcat, although that is a brand like Kleenex, or the small back hoe behind it is powered by steam. No construction equipment has since WWI or so, although the term, steam shovel, lives on. The Kaiser should have been so lucky.

I'm always interested in names, words, or products that no longer have a function yet are still with us. Blackberry anyone? Or names, words, or products that are still with us that no one knows. Finials or lintels anyone?

Joe Schmoe said...

I will assume these are professors with tenure.

rhhardin said...

old style materials.

Joe Schmoe said...

Hopefully the interior walls are insulated well, and that the house is shaded well by trees. Otherwise it will be a brick oven in the summer.

I generally like organic curves. In the plan view this house looks like the curvy shape is driven by the location of trees, whether existing or to be planted.

It looks like most of their furniture will be built-in, which is helpful as it's hard to furnish a curvy house with rectangular pieces. Hanging artwork becomes a chore on any wall.

I don't like the sparsity of windows. Without much interplay between the inside and outside, the house becomes a bit of a fortress.

I wish there was more of a 'surprise' in the design to offset the defensive exterior. An interior courtyard within the house would've been a nice touch.

Other than the immediate siting of trees, the house doesn't seem to reflect any local design vernacular at all. I hate ceding provincial touches to 'global' design.

All in all, a house only the owners will love.

MadisonMan said...

Anyone who designs a house with a flat roof in Wisconsin deserves the leaks they will inevitably get.

Sure, the Architects will win the awards, and the homeowners will get the headaches.

Steve said...

What kind of self obsessed jerk builds a house like that in a neighborhood full of traditional houses. People will rightfully be laughing at them for years.

chickelit said...

Steve said...
What kind of self obsessed jerk builds a house like that in a neighborhood full of traditional houses. People will rightfully be laughing at them for years.

Or maybe not. The point is to not only be different which is a low bar but aesthetically pleasing which is a higher bar. I do wonder about the wall inspiration: "we don't need no education."

MadisonMan said...
Anyone who designs a house with a flat roof in Wisconsin deserves the leaks they will inevitably get.

This was my very first thought as well. Wright was the notable first to fight Wisconsin's nature in this regard. His building are still loved despite losing that battle.

chickelit said...

Steve said...

"People will wrightfully be laughing at them for years."

FTFY

Hagar said...

A rule of thumb in building construction is that anything curved costs approximately twice as much to build as an equivalent flat surface.

chickelit said...

Hagar said...
A rule of thumb in building construction is that anything curved costs approximately twice as much to build as an equivalent flat surface.

Rectilinear thinking and expression is for squares, man.

Phaedrus said...

The linked article suggests something pretty cool when complete.

If somebody wants to spend their own money on something unique more power to them. I don't think this type of building when complete will intrude on the neighborhood's "traditional" Wright homes. Never really heard anyone describe Wright's work as "traditional." I'd like to see pics of those homes in this same neighborhood.

Also, the construction pic in the blog post probably doesn't do justice to what the completed building will look like.

Greg Toombs said...

Seems the architect has been infected with turrets syndrome.

Rusty said...

The Bergall said...
Have other angles? An entry way?

Architect's bill must have been something.

Flat roofs in your neck of the woods? Eh........

I'd like to see more too. It's an interesting design.
Figuyre a $1.00 a brick to lay a standard brick.

All flat roofs eventually leak.