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Architectural Chemistry

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Architecture is a kind of science. Governed by laws and materials, it requires just the right combination of properties to achieve the desired reaction. For two scientists in the market for a new home in Oklahoma City, that reaction was one of efficiency and function, concocted with style by architect Brian L. Freese. 

“[The homeowners’] goals were strongly weighted towards pragmatic needs, practicality, and function, even to the extent that they wanted the aesthetic component of the design solution to express the operation of the home,” Freese says. “They wanted a maximum connection between interior spaces with a minimum of interior walls or barriers, an overall feeling of openness to the interior, and a focus on maximum efficiency of interior space, energy consumption, and construction.” 

Rather than create traditional room divisions, Freese organized the residence as a series of zones. Living, dining, kitchen, and study zones are on the first floor, flanked by the master suite on one side and service functions on the other; on the second floor, the couple’s daughter has a zone with an exposed wood frame and polycarbonate- wrapped stairway to separate the sleeping and recreation space. 

Freese characterizes the home’s style as “Midwest Modern”: “The materials are simple, low cost, and sourced from this area, and their implementation is direct and purposeful; the home responds to the local climate and geography with various components that mitigate our harsh sunlight and storms and concurrently become important aesthetic elements of the home, such as deep roof overhangs, louvers, and trellises,” Freese says. “The home has a strong visual connection to the outdoors with abundant glass, and the overall form and lines of the home are very horizontal to reflect the ever-present horizon line of the Midwest prairie.” 

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