Bridge House accommodates three generations of a family
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Höweler + Yoon's Bridge House accommodates three generations of a family

The trio of stacked blocks that make up this Virginia residence by Höweler + Yoon Architecture are arranged in a bridge-like formation, providing three generations of a family with separate living spaces (+ slideshow).

Bridge House by Höweler + Yoon Architecture

Boston-based Höweler + Yoon Architecture designed the property for a site between a suburban development and a wooded ravine in McLean, Virginia.

The house is conceived as three separate volumes – one for each of the three generations – that are linked by a glazed box.

Bridge House by Höweler + Yoon Architecture

Two ground-level, aluminium-clad blocks act as podiums to support a horizontally lying third volume that forms the upper floor. This formation inspired the project name, Bridge House.

Bridge House by Höweler + Yoon Architecture

"The Bridge House appears as a single family home from the front," explained the architects, whose recent projects include a swing installation and a futuristic transport concept.

"Its rear elevation reveals an internal organisation designed to accommodate three generations living together under one roof — or in this case, within three volumes that act as a number of roofs."

Bridge House by Höweler + Yoon Architecture

The smaller of the two ground-floor volumes provides a private suite for the clients – the grandparents of the family – while the larger is used as a communal living area. The family kitchen, lounge, dining room and garage are set within this multi-purpose block.

Bridge House by Höweler + Yoon Architecture

The gap between the two ground-floor blocks is enclosed by two glazed walls that frame a view through the centre of the building to the woodland behind.

This glazed area offers an additional family living space that is bracketed by a pair of outdoor patios – one at the back and one at the front of the house.

Bridge House by Höweler + Yoon Architecture

"The void created under the bridge-like volume feels like an extension of the outdoors and allows the landscape to move through the house, blurring outside and inside space," said the studio.

Bridge House by Höweler + Yoon Architecture

A timber and metal staircase provides access to the uppermost volume, which contains four bedrooms and marble-lined bathrooms for the family's second and third generations.

Bridge House by Höweler + Yoon Architecture

Two master suites bookend the upper floor. One is used as a guest room for the client's visiting daughter, while the second suite and adjoining balcony are occupied by the client's son and daughter-in-law who live in the space with their two children.

Bridge House by Höweler + Yoon Architecture

The children's rooms have access to an outdoor terrace at the back of the property and are separated from each other by a bathroom.

Large windows in the bedrooms face into the woodland ravine to the rear of the house.

Bridge House by Höweler + Yoon Architecture

To help retain heat in winter and to keep a cool internal temperature in summer, the windows have been triple-glazed. The glazing is also recessed into bevelled openings in the facade to benefit from the shelter of an overhang.

Bridge House by Höweler + Yoon Architecture

"The angle of the bevel is calibrated to mediate solar gain on all full-glass facades to create a minimal edge detail," explained the studio.

Bridge House by Höweler + Yoon Architecture

Opaque areas of the building provide privacy from neighbouring residences to the front and sides.

Bridge House by Höweler + Yoon Architecture

These sections are clad in a combination of vertical panels of anodised aluminium – a reference to the tongue and groove panels used on neighbouring houses – and horizontal shingles of anodised bronze aluminium.

This variation is intended to "create a rich and varied colour spectrum throughout the day".

Bridge House by Höweler + Yoon Architecture

Interior furnishings including tables and benches are made from recycled wood, while a staircase and fireplace have hot-rolled steel and wood details.

Bridge House by Höweler + Yoon Architecture

Both the staircase and fireplace also operate as structural elements, pinning the three blocks together.

Photography is by Jeff Wolfram.

Bridge House by Höweler + Yoon Architecture
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Bridge House by Höweler + Yoon Architecture
First floor plan – click for larger image
Bridge House by Höweler + Yoon Architecture
Section – click for larger image