Striped, stilted and ready for action
Tuesday, March 13th, 2012
By Jason Abbruzese
Architect Gernot Bruckner has a new vision for modern homes, and it includes everything. His House 4 pre-fab structure has included everything a new homeowner could possibly need—furniture, cabinets, even fixtures—into the sticker price, starting at $457,000. “I just felt that the [traditional] design completely restricts the functionality
of the house—the quality of space, the quality of life,” Bruckner says. “[House 4] is a different way of enjoying a more sophisticated type of product without going over the top.” Bruckner, a native of Austria and principal of his firm, Brio 54, says the 2,171-squarefoot, three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath structure is the collision of form and function, with an eye on affordability. “[House 4] is not embellished,” he says. “It is very clean, simple, and casual, and yet there is a certain sophistication to it. People are really very intrigued by it.”
People are intrigued because House 4 features black-and-white-striped siding and sits atop stilts, a decision due to its location near the Connecticut shoreline. Though it won’t likely blend with the neighbor’s house, Bruckner doesn’t mind. “Architecture doesn’t have to be so serious,” he says. “I don’t want to live in a serious house. I want to live in a house that I enjoy living in.”
Robert Matto of RPM Energy Solutions helped Bruckner to make Houses 4 an energy efficient abode. He says insulation and air sealing were paramount to reducing energy consumptionby more than 50 percent. He also used cost-effective materials, which helped to keep the budget low. Matto enjoyed working with Bruckner on House 4. “It was a pleasure to collaborate with someone who understands building science," he says.
Bruckner lived in House 4 for a year to make sure everything—from the building and materials to the handpicked furniture—made for a modern, livable home. “It’s not consumer-oriented living,” Bruckner says. “You don’t need much stuff. You can move into this house with a minimal amount of things and it will still look good.”
Furniture, good looks and a fun personality? Quite a bargain for the package price.