In Northampton, Pennsylvania, the AIA recently bestowed the top award for architectural excellence to Joseph N. Biondo for the House Equanimity he designed. Located in a nondescript subdivision, Biondo hoped to tie the home to its surroundings and forego the abundant architectural clichés he saw elsewhere in the area. He explains, “The primary building materials, site poured concrete and various concrete products, pay respect to the history of Northampton – the birthplace of American Portland Cement.”
The heavy base of the rectilinear structure is partially embedded into the site, and living spaces clad in varying shades of blue are cantilevered to create covered outdoor areas. Biondo reveals his design methodology, saying, “Deliberately crude in its execution, the concrete monolith is treated as an existing condition, or ruin, whose subsequent wood-framed, cementitious clad boxes are carefully inserted.”
Locally quarried limestone covers several surfaces inside, where an open plan, neutral colors, and minimal furnishings mimic the exterior aesthetic. A concrete wall borders a large private courtyard which provides a quiet reprieve from the surrounding suburb.
Images: Steven Wolfe Photography
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